It’s a good time to unplug

During a busy time of homework and activities, it’s okay to take a social media break.

Emily Brown, Columnist

A couple weekends ago, I made a huge mistake in the middle of the night. I opened my laptop and lazily scrolled through my Facebook feed. It only took a couple of scrolls for my heart to drop. I saw a girl from my high school starting her post with, “I’ve been trying to stay out of this, but…”

This was at the end of the week of the Brett Kavanaugh hearing. On Sept. 27, 2018, the day Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh testified, I, similar to a lot of people on campus and across America, was emotionally drained. Once again, our country is divided. Some Republicans are claiming the Democrats made up the sexual assault  to push Kavanaugh’s confirmation, yet some Democrats are worried about having an alleged rapist on the supreme court.

But there’s another group of people who was greatly affected by this whole deal. Survivors of sexual abuse were forced to relive their trauma over and over during the week of the testimonies and senate voting. Not only that, but conversations about Kavanaugh were everywhere. One of my classes is still talking about it.

Instead of America coming together and supporting Ford, a bunch of people are claiming that it’s a dangerous time in America for young men. Their reason behind this claim is because Ford came out with this claim for political gains and any person can come forward and lie about being sexually harassed for fame or money or revenge. America is crying out that we need to protect men, instead of survivors of all genders — not just female survivors.

The majority of this conversation and debate is happening online and I can say firsthand that it is an ugly debate filled with bigotry and hate on both sides.

When a sexual abuse survivor sees all these posts and how hostile people are about asking why survivors didn’t come forward and tell someone when the assault happened, it is perceived that coming forward with a claim of sexual assault is shameful, traumatic and has a high risk of not being believed or reported.

So in this time of he said, she said debate and saying that all who come forward are liars, it’s perfectly fine to take a break off of social media. Facebook has been a personal weight for me that has been holding me down from living my daily life. I’m more anxious and depressed. I have knots in my stomach. I can’t focus.

A social media cleanse has a lot of benefits. It can bring you closer to the people around you, it can take away the distraction, and it can cleanse your mind. But it can and is harder than it sounds. As college students, our world revolves around social media and technology. I’ll be the first to say that I’d be lost without my Google Calendar and Blackboard. I’m a commuter, so I use texting and Snapchat to stay connected to my friends on campus.

But once I send that message to my group chat, I can easily open my Facebook and see three different posts about how all victims are liars and have my mood take a 180.

Even though it’s hard, a social media cleanse is often one of the most important steps of self-care a person could take when something in the news is personally triggering.

And this tip isn’t just for the Kavanaugh proceeding or incidents surrounding sexual assault. It’s perfectly okay to take a break from social media to avoid any specific triggers or bigotry. There doesn’t even have to be a trigger or any specific reason. You may just want to focus on the new episode of “This Is Us”or finish that paper due in a couple of hours. Social media can wait. Your physical and mental health can’t.