By Chichi Ruwende | April 19, 2019
Whether it’s scanning Twitter to keep up with the latest news or aimlessly scrolling through your Instagram feed, we all have (and love) social media. What was originally created as a way to keep up with family or express your thoughts in 140 characters has snowballed into an entirely new world of its own. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve spent more time than I’d like keeping up with a Kardashian or two or looking at mason jars on Pinterest. But the one week during the school year where the Greenhills community can catch a break from it all is during the Mindfulness Center’s Social Media Blackout.
The Social Media Blackout, usually scheduled at the end of the 3rd Marking Period, is a 7-day cleanse from all forms of social media. For me, this meant no adorable animal Twitter videos, spring break pictures on Instagram, or posts from my mom on Facebook. I welcomed this opportunity to focus on school, extracurriculars, and simply survive one of the most stressful periods of the semester.
Liza Ruggiero, the director of the Mindfulness Center, points out that the primary goal of this blackout is t take a break from social media. “Our hope is that this opportunity generates a community dialogue from a place of curiosity and that together we can make more informed choices about how we spend our time and how we prioritize what matters most to us.” The students who participated in this year’s Social Media Blackout felt similarly. During the culminating discussion on the last day of the challenge, some of the participants discussed that some students were eager to re-download their apps, while others were grappling with whether or not they wanted to log back in at all.
While there were some moments throughout the week where I felt the urge to grab my phone and sneak a peek at Instagram, I was grateful for the opportunity to purge all things social media. I found myself with more time on my hands. I read a book, took some extra-long walks with my dog, and caught up on the insane amount of homework that inevitably piles up at the end of each marking period. The Blackout was the much-needed breath of fresh air from our all-consuming world of social media.