During my adolescence, I struggled greatly with my social media use. Instagram and Twitter were up and coming platforms, and I used and abused them just like every other teenager I knew. My problems with social media were exacerbated by mental illness. I developed codependency issues, since I could always be connected to my friends. I struggled with self image, and sought validation from maybe some of the seedier places. However, as I got older (and started going to therapy), my social media use leveled out. Now in the pandemic, I find myself slipping back into some of my old habits.

The thing that really helps me manage my social media use is intentionality. I don’t do well setting boundaries on apps, because I know I will immediately feel guilty for breaking them, which only makes me feel worse. Instead, I like my social media use to be purposeful. I no longer waste long amounts of time on social media, because I only use it during short periods, such as my fifteen minute breaks at work, or while I’m waiting for the kettle to boil. I am still working on my phone being a constant distraction, especially in classes that I don’t like, where I am not required to have my camera on. Situations like that seem to invite distractions, and I often fight a losing battle.

Another way I reduce stress around social media is cutting out apps that are toxic, or stress me out. When the pandemic started, I deleted the Facebook app off of my phone, since I couldn’t handle seeing people I knew post about it. I still haven’t redownloaded it, and I find that I don’t miss it. Overall, I feel like my social media use right now is as healthy as it can be, regarding the current situation.

20. Minneapolis. They/Them. Double Majoring in Developmental Psychology and Applied Music. I write about college life, being queer, and everything in between.