Why social media is ruining my life

Peyton Litterick

Hi, I’m social media. Pay attention to me.

See that picture of my friends and I trying to take a cute selfie at the pumpkin patch a couple weeks ago?

Courtesy of Peyton Litterick

Well, it turned out decent after spending thirty minutes editing it, and then continuously checking how many likes it was getting on Instagram.

On my drive home, I barely remember even being at the pumpkin patch, enjoying the little time I had with my two long distance best friends because I had my nose buried in my phone for the three hours we were there.

I wasn’t paying attention to the world around me, much less the people I had by my side. For some reason, waiting for the next notification was more important than asking my friends how their families and college have been.

It’s honestly embarrassing, but I’m here to confess that social media is indeed ruining my life.

Most people have a morning routine: wake up, make some coffee, take a shower and get ready for the day.

But mine?

Hit snooze a couple times, roll over and check my Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and if I have time, maybe spend a mindless hour on TikTok.

Then, I’ll go to class, and check my phone every five or ten minutes and barely pay attention to the education that I’m paying thousands and thousands of dollars for.

At work, I keep my phone in my pocket despite our no cellphone policy because I can’t pull myself away from that connection for eight hours.

Date night with my boyfriend consists of a nice restaurant, a few conversations and then we’re both either on our phones or talking about something that happened on our social media.

When bedtime rolls around, I’ll sit on TikTok and Snapchat for a few hours before falling asleep.

Repeat every day until I die.

I’m really exposing myself and cringing as I write this because I just took a 20 minute TikTok break.

On top of just being on social media and wasting my day away, I’m typically self degrading while I’m at it.

It is most definitely a girl thing, but the “why can’t I have her body?” or “why can’t I have that expensive pair of shoes that she has?” or “why does she have a social life and I don’t?” is mentally exhausting.

I’m not consciously aware that I am constantly comparing my life to everyone else’s.

Even if I am, I don’t realize just how deep that influence goes.

I didn’t realize I was waking up every morning thinking about what everyone else in my social media world was doing and how they were accomplishing more than me.

No matter what I do, they will always be better. And that’s some shit right there.

“You’re not perfect enough, so be more perfect.”

The idea that’s being pounded into my head that I have to constantly be aware of everything I do or say or post is sickening.

But, despite all of this, it’s still not enough.

It’s not enough to remind myself that social media is a way for people to highlight the good things in their life and to hide the behind the scenes of everyday life.

It’s not enough to remind myself that a good majority of the people that I follow are in the exact same boat as me, and they, too, are actually miserable and their lives aren’t as adventurous and amazing as they’re making it out to be by their social media.

It’s STILL not enough to tell my brain to stop as I keep obsessively scrolling through my feed.

Reality doesn’t matter; I only care about what I can see and feel, and quite frankly, it makes me feel like shit. But why can’t I just stop? Wouldn’t that solve everything?

Unfortunately, no, it would really make it worse as the fear of missing out, or “FOMO” as my little sister calls it, would quite literally destroy me.

It’s the fear that if I am off social media for ten minutes, the most amazing and wonderful thing in the world is going to happen…and like hell if I’m going to miss that.


This makes me feel like a prisoner, and I often feel like there’s nothing I can do about it. There are things I enjoy about social media.

For God’s sake, I’m in college and pursuing a degree that’s based around social media.

But, I’m not sure if the pros outweigh the cons.

And yet here I am, refreshing my feeds and taking intermittent social media breaks.

It’s not going away anytime soon.

We are always advancing and finding the fastest and best way to do something.

We go get our news from social media, we stay connected to family and friends through social media.

We follow our favorite celebrities and, if you’re like me, you find a major in college that lets you be creative and run an entire social media platform.

There’s just no escaping it, at least not for the rest of my life on this earth.

If you’ve made it to the end of this, use this as your reminder to get outside, watch a movie with your friends, go visit your mom, paint a picture…and do it without your phone.

The likes, messages, follows and content will be there for you when you get home. Life is short, man. Make the absolute most of it.