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Why a Social Media Break Is Worth Taking After Graduation


For most of us, graduation is around the corner or already here. Soon, you will be sent out into the real world with a degree in one hand and a resume in the other, seeking to make something of yourself and prove to your parents that your college tuition was worth it.

One of the best things you can do for yourself right after graduating is taking a social media break. For months now, your primary interaction with your friends may have been commenting on Facebook study groups for finals, liking friends’ photos of their final transcripts and posting a play-by-play of your own process preparing for graduation in order to keep extended family in the loop.

You may have spent the past several weeks responding to comments like “What’s next???” and “Any jobs lined up?” and “You’re going to change the world!!!!” There’s an immense amount of pressure on college graduates to immediately show everyone what they can do now that they’ve completed their education, akin to a rat race. Rather than subjecting yourself to that, consider spending some time disconnected right after graduation.

1. It will stop you comparing yourselves to your peers

Once you’ve all earned your degrees, everyone’s lives will begin taking different paths. Where before all your peers were, like you, completing the same final steps in college, suddenly everyone is forging their own unique path, and it’s going to be next to impossible not to compare yourself to your classmates.

Oh, look! Jaimey just got a job at the National Institute for Public Health Research. Matthew is somehow already setting up a non-profit. Ari got accepted to the dream grad school you eventually plan on applying to, and they’re going to give her a stipend.

“One of the worst things after graduation was that deep anxiety I felt about facing the real world and real problems,” says Janet Leith, a Colombia University graduate who nixed her social media accounts soon after graduation. “Seeing some of the success my friends were having and posting about on Facebook made me feel worse. I felt a pressure to advertise my own successes on social media and in the end, I decided I didn’t need that in my life.”

Janet says she has much more time to focus on what she wants and what’s important to her now, and couldn’t be happier. By taking some time off social media, you can avoid the urge to compete with your classmates to prove you’re most successful after college, and you can stop beating yourself up if you see classmates outshining you after college.

2. It will help you develop discipline and self-control

Part of the problem with social media is our habit of being deeply sucked into it. Once you realize you can theoretically stay in touch with absolutely anyone at all times with your phone, it’s hard to avoid checking Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat every hour or whenever you get a new notification. Developing discipline over your social media habits can be a particularly hard challenge, particularly for millennials who have grown up with social media as both a viable career choice and a way to manage their social lives.

“My Facebook and Twitter were covered in embarrassing and impulsive things I had done during college,” says Amy Lau, a graduate of Syracuse University. “I knew this was not the image I wanted to present to the world when I was entering professional life, so the easiest thing for me was to disconnect from all of them.” 

By taking time to disconnect yourself from your social media accounts, even for just a few weeks, you can learn to survive without the constant updates and need to interact with people online, giving you more chance to appreciate the world around you, and learn to appreciate getting news in smaller chunks throughout the day, rather than receive a constant stream of updates.

3. It will help you recharge and reinvigorate your IRL relationships

Right after you graduate, you’re going to be experiencing an influx of emotions, such as jealousy directed at peers who appear to have immediately jumped into dream careers, exhaustion after completing a four-year challenge, the feeling of being overwhelmed by the options and choices ahead of you and the sense that you now have to figure out what to do with the rest of your life.

That’s an immense amount of pressure, and trying to go through it all with everyone’s lives on display online can make you feel deeply overwhelmed or depressed. Take some time to disconnect from social media after you get your degree in order to prioritize your own needs, your own time and face-to-face interaction. After all, in the rush to graduate you may have found yourself neglecting friendships, face time with peers, normal human interactions that can easily fall to the wayside in the modern, rushed world.

Social media is part of networking for jobs after graduation, which means once you start getting into the job-searching game, you’re probably going to need to get your social media accounts back up and running as soon as possible. By taking some time to recuperate after completing your degree, you can take some time to address any stress, sleep deprivation, body aches and pains and other signs of bodily neglect you have have neglected while preparing for graduation.

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