How Teens Curb Social Media Addiction: A First Person Story

"When an app told me I was on track to spend 17 years of my life on screens, I knew something had to change." I'm impressed by this story.

December 13, 2023

I was happy to stumble upon this first person story by Kate Romalewski, a 17-year old teenager from NYC who had success with Opal.

Stories like Kate's make me very optimistic about the next generation who is rising up to be more conscious and balanced in their use of screen time then their predecessors.

"I don’t want to spend 17 years of my life on screens, and now, I know that I don’t have to."
- Kate Romalewski

I'm impressed by Kate and her story for two main reasons:

  1. It takes courage to share.

It takes courage to open up about social media addiction, or any addiction for that matter. Most people shy away from talking openly about this topic as it is uncomfortable and still considered taboo in many circles.

It takes even more courage to write something vulnerable up on a website for the world to see.

This culture of comparison only intensified when I got my first phone at age 10 and downloaded Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. I spent hours finding the perfect photos to post on Instagram, analyzing selfies of my prepubescent face for imperfections. Curating the perfect profile was everything to me. In reality, I was a ball of anxiety. I remember looking in the mirror and wishing I was somebody else.
- Kate Romalewski

While it's hard, opening up and sharing with the world is a strong force for good. It can, has and will inspire more teens to do the same.

“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it's having the courage to show up and be seen.”
- Brené Brown
  1. It takes self-awareness to change.

It takes a higher level consciousness and self-awareness, which is rare in most adults.

“On the subway, I no longer sit hunched over my phone. I simply look around, studying the mosaic of faces walking in and out of the car,”
Kate Romalewski

It is well documented that awareness is the first step in any journey for meaningful change.

We do our part in the Opal app, providing data like a projection of how much of your life you're on track to spend staring at your phone. Kate's story can inspire many more.

Awareness is the greatest agent for change.
- Eckart Tolle

Thank you for sharing, Kate!

Read the article here on Chalkbeat here: I’m a teen who used to spend hours a day scrolling. Here’s how I curbed my social media habit.

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