NFL Player Urges People to Take 1 Day a Week Off from Social Media

Social Media
The Associated Press

On-line platforms like Facebook and Twitter put Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Isaac Rochell in such a “funk,” that he recently started an initiative to convince people to take one day a week off from social media.

Rochell told ESPN he had “an unhealthy relationship with his phone,” so he’s started a movement called #SeeYouOnSunday, urging social media users to put down their cell phones on Saturdays and enjoy life more.

He feels his social media issues started late in high school when he became a hot football recruit for major colleges.

“As my football career grew, so, too, did social media,” Rochell told ESPN. “I created other platforms, moving on from just the standard Facebook page to Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and more. By my senior year, I had four social media platforms, and my focus on them grew. Meaningless scrolls and goofy posts became less intriguing to me — suddenly, I was solely concerned with my aesthetic. Suddenly, my self-worth was contingent on how I was perceived online.”

As Rochelle put it, the small town Southern kid was “no longer concerned about how I was perceived by McDonough, Georgia. I wanted the whole world to ‘like’ Isaac Rochell.”

His “social media funk” continued in college, and then when he arrived in the NFL as a 2017 Chargers draft pick.

“As my college career ended and another dream came true — being drafted by the Los Angeles Chargers and joining the NFL — this indulgent social media use only got worse,” Rochell said. “As a professional athlete, you learn one thing quickly: You will always be highly scrutinized by fans on social media, and there is an accompanying expectation for you to be perfect. An athlete might post a picture-perfect highlight reel of their life on and off the field to Instagram, but they are encountering and dealing with the same challenging emotions that any other user, or human, feels. Jealousy, anxiety, sadness, anger — no matter how picturesque our lives might look, athletes deal with these emotions just like anyone else.”

Rochell feels he started to lose track of what was truly important in life.

“I began to observe the day-to-day relationship I had with my phone. I’d wonder this as I threw a ‘like’ at one post or gave my friend’s story a comment or sent my old teammates a few direct messages. I realized I was inherently doing these things, without even thinking. I found myself unsure of what is actually important.”

Another problem Rochell noticed was he wasn’t talking to friends when dining with them.

“Lastly, and perhaps the most frightening, I noticed myself at dinner with my closest friends spending most of the time not talking to them, but scrolling a news feed. Something needed to change.”

So the change he made was to take one day a week off from social media, and encourages others to follow suit.

“Every six days, I take a day off. I view social media the same way, and we are inviting social media users to take Saturday’s off. #SeeYouOnSunday invites participants to embrace newfound or existing hobbies, engage with peers or do something for themselves on Saturday. Make Saturdays your own.”

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