We use cookies to provide some features and experiences in QOSHE

More information  .  Close
Aa Aa Aa
- A +

My parents banned social media when I was a kid. I'm glad they did.

2 52 72

I grew up “under a rock.” Shockingly, it was good for me.

Growing up with limited internet access, I was often embarrassed and jealous of other girls who didn’t “live under a rock.” While my friends surfed YouTube, Omegle, Instagram or Snapchat, I was a prolific email and "g-chat" girl.

Writing that made me cringe. I alternately laugh and wallow in self-embarrassment reflecting on my Gmail and Google chat days, when I religiously kept up correspondence with the friends kind enough to make that extra effort to stay in touch.

At the time, I was envious of friends and acquaintances at sports practices who posed for photos together, “tagged” each other in their posts, or gossiped about what Susy wore and could you believe that Jack and Jill broke up again?

USA TODAY's opinion newsletter: Get the best insights and analysis delivered to your inbox.

I didn’t know at the time what a blessing it was to enjoy a childhood free of the constraints, anxiety and sadness social media often brings. Uninhibited by the expectations and consuming nature of social media, I had more time for real, in-person, screenless interaction. I had more time to spend doing the nerdy things I loved – like rereading "Anne of Green Gables" for the 10th time.

Facebook has studied the effects of its photo-sharing app on viewers over the past few years. The studies, according to The Wall Street Journal, unsurprisingly found that Instagram has detrimental effects on millions of young people, especially teenage girls.

Instagram algorithms facilitate a never-ending stream of photos and videos that “can send........


Get it on Google Play