The power of powering off

Buzz … buzz … buzz … The sound of a cell phone notification goes off as you are trying to finish your essay due at 11:59:59 p.m. while the clock reads 11:47:26 p.m. What does the weak Generation Z student do? 


Check their Instagram, of course.

“A short mental break,” you assure yourself. 

The time fades away, and you turn in the assignment in the wrong format because you didn’t have time to change the font to Times New Roman because you were busy lurking on your friend’s roommate’s brother’s page. 

But why are the photos of said brother so important at such a crucial time?

My brain craves mind-numbing scrolls through social media, and yes, those cravings come at the worst times. 

For me, it’s easy to respond to the “buzz” and take a little peep at what is happening on my feed rather than focus on the task at hand because it is not as demanding. 

To check the latest, all I have to do is click an app and move my thumb. That sounds like the life – except it’s not.

That is the social media black hole that is warping young brains. 

I feel my attention span diminishing, and it is scary. I usually watch television with my phone in my hand as I simultaneously watch a YouTube video. I’m not the only one, right?

My phone sends me weekly screen time reports, and I’m in the high four-hour range, which means every day I spend close to five hours staring at a 4.7-inch screen. 

The apple of my eye is my Apple iPhone.

I have all these ideas of traveling and trying new recipes, but then I see it online and I feel satisfied. Social media is like a bad movie trailer. 

It only shows the good parts and sets your expectations really high, just to leave you disappointed when you experience the real thing IRL.

When I find the willpower to shut off my phone, I feel exhilarated. It’s eye opening to let go of the photo filters and TikTok dances, but it’s so strange that it’s so challenging to let go.

I think it’s difficult to power off because I live in the fear of missing out (FOMO), whether that’s missing out on the latest trend, the new funny video or updates from my favorite athletes. Social media feeds my FOMO.

The feeling of leaving my phone at home while I’m out is so empowering, though. I need to cater to that craving instead. This is the power of powering off. It’s refreshing to live in the moment.

Shutting off your phone to fully engage in a conversation and get to know someone better is the power of powering off. 

Fully experiencing a hike and paying attention to your breathing patterns without having to take a selfie is the power of powering off. 

Even listening to a lecture without checking Twitter or your text messages, and walking out feeling like you actually absorbed the information is the power of powering off.

Although it seems that the internet and social media connect the world, there is a lot more to it than what is online, and that’s for us to discover on our own when we power off.

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