Student takes permanent social media fast

By Easton Oliver, Contributing Writer

I recently took a two-month break from social media.

I deleted Instagram, Twitter, Facebook – anything I felt was wasting my time.

It was for the purpose of productivity, but, at the same time, it became more than that.

It was an incredibly healthy experience for me personally, and I had a lot of time to think about why that was.

In short, social media is hurting us.

I think the main reason that it’s creating so much insecurity in people today is that it has sold us on competition.

We’re all encouraged to put forward only the best parts of our lives – vacations, pets and significant others. We’re then rewarded based on how fulfilling our life seems in the form of “likes” or “shares.”

When we don’t receive as many likes as we want, or worse, as many as other people receive, we begin to feel insignificant. This is toxic.

We begin to subconsciously look at social media as a blueprint of how our life should be playing out.

When a rough patch hits, as they often do, we begin to feel our problems are exclusive to us because we aren’t observing them in others lives.

We fill in the gaps of others’ timelines with our imaginations. Since every post of that person’s life is positive and great, our life must be like that too.

What’s wrong with us, then? Why aren’t our lives like the one we imagine others have?

Humans place too much weight on the opinion of others to begin with.

That’s only magnified when coupled with the impersonal nature of a screen.

We find our worth in our followings. It becomes a cycle of validation.

Studies have been linking social media addiction to declining mental health for years now.

It’s not a coincidence that many millennials are plagued with depression and anxiety while simultaneously being the most connected generation in history. I’d argue that it’s more common than not to have social media addiction.

If you find yourself scrolling through an app, closing it and immediately reopening it out of habit, you likely have an addiction.

“Likes,” “shares” and “retweets” all give us a hit of dopamine that we begin to crave. It satiates us until we make that post that doesn’t perform as well as others, leading to those feelings of irrelevance.

I’m probably making this sound scarier than it actually is, but as someone with medically diagnosed clinical anxiety, I can tell you that social media makes it so much worse, and I hadn’t realized it until I stepped away.

I only redownloaded Instagram because it’s required for my business, but otherwise I might never have come back.

I do not think humans are supposed to be so connected to the world. Constant streams of new information have helped us progress as a society but is likely hurting us as individuals.

Maybe I sound old and cynical, or maybe I’m just not as hip as my peers.

From my own experience, however, I believe we would all be a lot better off with a little less screen time–just something to consider.

Rock climbing club welcomes all

By Easton Oliver, Contributing Writer

OBU’s Climbing Club is searching for anyone who is willing to elevate their competition this fall.

The OBU Climbing Club offers a community for those looking to get into the climbing scene.

Participants see this club as more “alternative” than a traditional club sport, like flag football or soccer.

Regardless, it’s a rapidly growing scene in Oklahoma.

The recent establishment of climbing gyms in nearby metropolitan areas, like Threshold in Oklahoma City and ClimbUP in Norman, has brought renewed interest to climbing in Oklahoma.

Jacob Cunningham, member of the climbing team, struggled with a lack of climbing area before he came to OBU.

He has since been fascinated by the OBU rock climbing.

“I’ve always wanted to climb,” Cunningham said. “I lived two hours away from a climbing gym. When I came [to OBU], it was right here. It was accessible.”

Co-captain of the climbing club Josie Edgar believes that climbing has brought people together in the long run.

“I think that what’s really appealing about the sport is the community,” Edgar said. “It’s a really encouraging community, especially here at OBU. I think that we are good at doing that in a Christ-like manner.”

When it comes to the climbing team, one of their large focuses is competition. The team will travel around the state, and sometimes outside of it, to test themselves against other teams.

“We have a lot more competing members than we used to have,” Ed-gar said.

As the team grows, they’ll become more competitive at the upcoming rounds of fall competitions. Edgar said she’s confident in the future for the team as a whole.

“Everyone is really working to get better, so I think that we’ll perform well at competition this semester,” Edgar said.

The climbing club is not only about competition. Members who train individually can succeed just as well as someone who prefers to train with a group of people.

“We are a team, but it’s also a sport that’s very focused toward individual improvement,” Josie said. “So, if there’s someone who really likes to focus on self-improvement and getting stronger themselves, then it’s a really good sport for that. It’s a full body workout every time.”

The community aspect of the climbing team is a theme that consistently keeps members together.

“The community is super, super sick. I love all the people that are in the climbing club,” Cunningham said. “Even if you don’t want to compete, or aren’t good at it, if you’re enjoying it, definitely still join.”

Though the forty-foot wall may be daunting for some, Cunningham believes that there is no harm in trying.

“I think everybody should try it,” Cunningham said. “You should try everything once. If it’s your thing, then it’s your thing. You should definitely join the club if you find yourself enjoying it.”

Students interested in being part of climbing club don’t have to look far to get involved.

“Come to the wall and get plugged in with the community,” Edgar said. “Then ask one of the co-captains, Ben Dingus or me – about joining up with the club. We currently have several open spots that we’re looking to fill.”

More than that, it’s all about coming together, Cunningham said.

“Keep climbing, get better and hang out with us,” Cunningham said.