– Emma Lembke, Founder, Log Off, @logoff_movement on Instagram
“I haven’t always had a healthy relationship with social media. When I got my first Instagram account in sixth grade, I was initially enthralled. I loved that I could express myself through my posts and connect with friends. But after a month or two, my mental health started to take a hit. Images of unattainable body and beauty standards left me with anxiety and an eating disorder. I also found myself scrolling mindlessly, spending as much as six hours a day on social media.
I learned how addictive social media can be and the negative effects it can have on kids’ mental health—but I couldn’t find a space to talk to other teens about the issue. So I decided to create my organization, Log Off, to fill that void.
Log Off is not against social media. Instead, it’s a youth movement by teens and for teens that promotes finding healthy ways to exist on social media. And yes, we use social media to help spread our message. We’ve heard from many teens who’ve benefited from Log Off’s conversations and tools. With our Digital Detox Challenge, for example, kids can cut their screen time in half.
I’ve changed my social media habits too. For example, I use apps like Screentime Genie to limit my time online. When I do log on, I’ll take a moment to reflect on how each post makes me feel before I keep scrolling. I do the same when creating content for Log Off. Instead of worrying about how many followers we have I focus on the fun, creative aspects of making social media, such as putting out a new video I feel proud of. And when I’m done, I unplug and enjoy the real world.”