Pitt-Johnstown senior Taylor Somerville is off the social media grid and has no regrets about her decision.
She began the 2018 fall term with a focus on graduating in December and she did so without social media.
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“Before this semester started, I completely deleted my Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat accounts. I deactivated my Facebook and it will stay deactivated until this semester is over,” she said.
“Once I graduate, I plan to reactive my Facebook in order to save my pictures onto a flash drive. Then I will delete that account as well.”
Why when, according to Pew Research Center surveys, about 88% of 18- to 29-year-olds use a form of social media (either YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, or Twitter)?
“I realized the amount of time I spent on it was unhealthy and I was constantly comparing myself to others,” she said. “Everyone has struggles in life, but on social media all one sees is people’s ‘highlight reel,’ not their struggles. Facebook honestly almost became an obsession for me so I thought and prayed a lot about what I should do.”
Somerville, a lifetime Johnstown resident and commuter student, is a financial accounting major and says she will pursue a Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination MBA through Seton Hill University. She aspires to become a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Fraud Examiner.
“I never truly realized how much time I wasted on social media until it was all gone,” she said. “My social media accounts were really a distraction and deleting the accounts gave me the opportunity to enjoy life in the here and now. I am much happier without social media than with it."
Modern-day distractions are things of her past.
"Since it has been gone, I do not feel the pressure of measuring up to everyone else and I can focus on just being myself. It feels great to be working on my relationship with God, working on myself, and of course focusing on my classes,” she said.
Taylor describes her freedom from devices as, in a word, empowering.
“I would challenge other college students to go off the grid and see how powerful it is for them,” she said.
The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown was founded in 1927 and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best in the Northeast” college, by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” and by Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization.” The distinctive combination of Pitt-Johnstown’s people, programs, and place results in exceptional performance in preparing students for career and professional success. Pitt-Johnstown is the regional leader, educating for success in the Real World.