November 12, 2014

Stop Living Through Social Media and Start Living Your Life

Stop Living Through Social Media and Start Living Your Life

Social media is, in my opinion, one of the greatest inventions of our generation. Not only do sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn allow us to stay in touch with friends and family, despite our physical locations, they also opens up opportunities for networking, planning events, quickly spreading news stories and so much more. It’s no surprise that social media has become such a prominent part of our generation’s lifestyle. Between cell phone apps, tablets and laptops, there is never a time of day when we aren’t “connected.” But when does our love of social media turn from a convenient and fun way to stay in touch, to a ridiculous obsession? For most people, myself included, we have already far surpassed that point. It has become a competition to see how interesting you can make your life look via Snapchat story and Instagram, and we have started doing things for the cute photo opportunity it affords instead of the actual experience. Our generation needs to stop living through social media and start living our lives!

Now, I’m not saying to delete all of your social media…it’s still a fun way to kill time, and we couldn’t live without the ability to Facebook creep on that cute guy from class so that you can show him off to your roommate. But our generation definitely needs to learn how to turn it from an obsession into a hobby. Here are some of my tips on how to do just that:

1. Plan one hour a day where you are completely cut off from social media. I promise that you can survive without checking your Twitter account for 1/24th of your day. And if you’re feeling really crazy, you can even try two hours!

2. Cut back on your accounts. Do you actually use all 12 of the social media apps on your phone? If you don’t find enjoyment in looking at 50 Snapchat stories a day, then just delete your Snapchat! I promise you, your followers probably won’t even notice.

3. Limit your visits. If you’re anything like me, you are obsessed with Facebook and you look at it every chance you get. But realistically, who needs to check your timeline five times a day? No one’s lives are changing that rapidly, and we’re probably seeing the same stuff over and over anyways. So set a limit on how many times you’re allowed to visit your social media each day, and stick to it!

4. Find alternative ways to kill short periods of time. Guess what our parents did when they had 10 minutes to waste when they were our age? Not send a tweet! Try something new like reading the news, getting some fresh air or calling your mom…believe it or not, there really are more things to do than you’d think.

5. When you’re going somewhere that you don’t need your electronic devices, don’t take your electronic devices! If you are at work, hiking or going to the beach, there is no way that you absolutely must have your phone with you. So leave your devices at home and look at the hotties on the beach instead of taking an Instagram selfie. I’m doing you a favor…your followers cannot handle another “hotdog or legs” beach picture.

By Rachael Walker-  UNC- Chapel Hill student-  Nov 2014

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