Social media breaks are vital for student health

By reducing dopamine-triggering stimuli, it helps break addictive cycles and whether we want to admit it or not, social media is an addiction. | Ariana Rodriguez, PantherNOW

Ariana Rodriguez | Staff Writer

With apps like Instagram connecting us and Canvas dependency growing as online classes continue to be in high demand, it can be difficult to unplug from online life. Amidst the convenience and connectivity, it can manifest into burnout and exhaustion.

For college students, integrating social media breaks into their routine can offer a much-needed reprieve from the pressures of online engagement. Taking time away from these platforms allows students to recenter themselves, focus on personal growth and nurture real-life connections. 

Whether it’s spending time outdoors, pursuing hobbies or engaging in face-to-face interactions, disconnecting from social media is no longer an option- it’s a necessity. 

Social media breaks provide an opportunity for introspection and self-reflection. Without the constant barrage of curated content, students can assess their priorities with clarity without the influence of influencers on our screens. 

This period of introspection enables them to cultivate a stronger sense of identity and purpose, reducing their susceptibility to comparison and external validation. Especially through social media like Instagram where everyone is living their best life or on TikTok watching luxurious influencers  

Rather than being anxious and fear of missing out, it’s important to establish a balance between online and offline activity. 

Reducing screen time and disconnecting from social media can alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. By creating boundaries around digital consumption, college students can overcome unhealthy habits and create healthier ones.

Another way to unplug and help your brain adapt to less screen time is dopamine fasting. Dopamine fasting, which is the practice of abstaining from instant gratification activities like social media, aims to reset the brain’s reward system. 

By reducing dopamine-triggering stimuli, it helps break addictive cycles and whether we want to admit it or not, social media is an addiction. Dopamine fasting also alleviates mental well being, boosts productivity and fosters self-awareness.

Social media breaks are crucial for safeguarding the mental health of college students in today’s digital landscape. From envying millionaires online, comparing your hard work to another’s and AI being a growing concern, excessive social media use is a hazard.

By acknowledging the adverse effects of excessive social media usage and adopting strategies like dopamine fasting, students can reclaim control over their digital habits and prioritize their well-being. 

As we disconnect from the virtual world this upcoming summer, we can focus more on the joys of living in the present moment and overcoming the addictiveness of social media. 


The opinions presented on this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

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