Throughout the pandemic and stay-at-home rules, the use of electronic devices and social media has increased. School and most work are now done remotely, so we use technology and electronics to get our education and that paycheck. During the stay-at-home order, many people are finding entertainment on social media but are also finding that being on the internet can affect their mental health. I believe there are other ways to enjoy free time than just sitting on your phone or computer. I’ve learned that taking the time to try something new, or doing something away from the internet, helped me unwind and also kept me on track with school. Even though finding time for it may be hard, putting in the effort to do it helps me feel like I’m not in this alone. I can have fun doing other things while I’m cooped up at home.
Some may say there isn’t much to do when you have to stay home, but I don’t agree. There are so many things to do — art, baking (one of my favorites), and even deep-cleaning the house. Maybe the supplies are too expensive, or people cannot go out to buy them, but we can make art out of practically anything. Art has no rules. Same for deep-cleaning, folding some clothes or mopping the floor. Maybe people are too swamped with virtual work to take the breaks, but having fun without an electronic device and being safe is easy.
According to an article from “Psychiatry Advisor” titled “Living Life On-line: Adolescent Mental Health and Social Media,” social media can have a big impact on our attitude and personality — it may have a negative effect. Being online throughout quarantine makes it more likely that social media will put us in a blue mood. Not only that, but being on the internet can make socializing and physical contact much harder.
Many people believe that if you’re already at home there is no point in making an effort to go out and try something new, or that finding a hobby to do at home is too hard or boring. Some people may also say that you are safe on the internet, and if you are not a “sensitive” person then there’s no harm in staying on an electronic device or the internet for long periods of time. There are so many things to do at home, but you just haven’t discovered them or are trying things you know you’re not interested in. I believe that what you see on the internet will affect you no matter what, and even though it may not have happened to you, taking a break or limiting time on the internet can really be good for your mental health.
In conclusion, I believe in taking a break and finding something new, like learning to play chess or making that really complicated family dish that does not come with a written recipe. Taking a break from social media like TikTok or Instagram can give you the time to cleanse and try out some new activities.