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It is so easy to forget the importance of securing and protecting yourself in your everyday life, especially considering the challenges our generation faced following the COVID-19 pandemic. When reflecting on the many experiences that my friends and I experienced in our lives recently, I came to the realization that: many of us do not understand how to emotionally protect ourselves. 

Our generation’s  obsession with social media does have an impact on our daily lives. We rely on it to get news, spread the recent community stories and hear perspectives besides our own. However, it can be overwhelming if we let it dominate and control how we view the world in its entirety.

As of the last few months, I have been overburdened by the amount of opposing views, comments and debates I see on social media. My front page is inundated with sensitive content to grab people’s attention and encourage them to act. Despite the intention of the people posting this type of content, it has had the opposite effect. I have found myself utterly disturbed by the lack of warning or consideration on how these triggering and video images could impact anybody at any given time. I realized I had to emotionally protect myself by muting phrases, words and sometimes, even my favorite accounts. 

Our generation places priority on progression and change. I came to the realization that my attempts and desire to promote progress and change is actually causing me to be exposed to the lack of it in our society. In turn, it made me feel even worse. Our generation fears being left out of the loop and not in the middle of the conversation. This has caused a lot of us to surround ourselves with information that opposes our world view, which causes more stress in our lives. It is a form of self-sabotage.

After realizing where my physical actions were placing me, I discovered that I had more control than I previously believed. It’s the same reason a lot of people find themselves a lot happier in their lives when they quit social media platforms. By surrounding myself with information that isn’t political, controversial or complicated — I was able to enjoy my time on social media more. Sure, this means I am not as informed on the current celebrity gossip or the global news conversations but, I am also significantly more satisfied in my life and my current position in it.

A lot of this satisfaction comes from accepting that I do not understand, know about or have an opinion on some of the most controversial topics currently being discussed – “out of sight, out of mind.” Since I do not know about the issues going on in the world, I’m able to live more freely and accept that I will be okay even if the worst scenarios come into my life.

To many, it may come as a form of ignorance, but perhaps putting yourself first is more essential and important than being exposed to issues you cannot personally change on your own. I enjoy learning about what is occurring in the world by listening to my friends, family and instructors. Being able to hear perspectives and find out about topics from the people around me has allowed me to explore my opinions and perspectives on them without a fear of judgment, argumentation and the overwhelming nature of conversation that social media may induce. 

As social media continues to grow, develop and change, it is more important than ever to trust yourself and prioritize your health, safety and emotional stability – even if that means you might not be personally involved in the biggest conversations and discourses. 

Opinions expressed in The Nevada Sagebrush are solely those of the author and do not necessarily express the views of The Sagebrush or its staff. Gabriel Kanae is a student at the University of Nevada studying journalism. They can be reached at and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.

Gabe Kanae

Gabriel "Gabe" Kanae (he/they), a University of Nevada, Reno sophomore, evolved from a young video game enthusiast to a dynamic creator. Launching into the creative world with YouTube at 13, Gabe now weaves his narratives through analog photography, film, and the written word, from opinion pieces to poetry and novels. His recent ventures include the introspective album "Kanachrome" and the poetic collection "Three Letter Lovers," showcasing his multifaceted artistry and profound impact on contemporary storytelling.

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