"Duck Dynasty" star Sadie Robertson has revealed she's taking a temporary hiatus from social media to focus on her relationship with God and encouraged others who may be feeling "drained, hurt, consumed, or insecure" because of platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to take a break, as well.
The 19-year-old model, author, and inspirational speaker made the announcement to her 2.8 million followers in an Instagram video: "Go make your memories," captioned Robertson. "If you are being drained, hurt, consumed, or felt insecure because of social media then delete it...it is not life... it's just where you talk about life."
In the video, Robertson said that with the end of Winter Jam and the A&E show "Duck Dynasty", life is "crazy" and she feels she just needs to "get away" and invest in her friendships, family, and relationship with the Lord.
"So that's what I'm gonna do," she said. "I'm going to keep my eyes off the screen."
Willie and Korie's daughter said she plans to return to social media on her birthday - June 11th - and in the meantime, her best friends Cheyenne Little and Courtney Kruger will handle her Instagram account to keep audiences informed of her whereabouts.
"If you want to write a letter to me send to the duck commander office," she wrote. "See y'all in a few months loves."
A 2012 survey by Common Sense Media found that "[teens] are attached to their devices than to their social networking sites: 41% of cell phone owners say they would describe themselves as "addicted" to their phones, and 32% of iPad owners say the same. 20% of social networkers say they are "addicted" to their sites." Other statistics show that many young people today spend a cumulative 3.5 hours per day on social media.
University of Wollongong technology expert Professor Katina Michael recently told ABC News that such statistics are alarming, as teens are not only exposed to the risk of addiction, there is also the fear of missing out on seeing things that are posted to social media.
"I think more and more adolescents are considering that the pressures of social media are so vast that it's best to get off," she said. "[Young people] need to be connected and feel they can't be disconnected, and a quarter of our teens are constantly connected and send about 150 texts per day."
She added, "We are seeing a huge wave of technology into our education systems, and it's allegedly supposed to be bettering our literacy levels and our maths and science skills, but what we see is the increase of technology actually decreases students' ability to read and speak to others clearly."
To combat this, Bruce Hindmarsh, a professor of spiritual formation at Regent College in Vancouver and a historian of the eighteenth century, advised Christians to engage in "smartphone fasting", whether one day a week, or for a week or more at a time.
"I think fasting is a great model - saying 'no' to something good to say 'yes' to something better, checking that we have not become addicted and enslaved, and making space for God," he said.
He added that some will need physical separation from their phones. "Some people will need to put their smartphone in another room than their bedroom so it is not the first thing they look at in the morning," he said. "They can begin with prayer and Bible reading and have a space for that, rather than immediately jumping on digital media."
Hindmarsh also encouraged using technology in order to limit technology consumption: "Use reminders to shut off the phone and pray," he said. "And use filters. I think probably everyone should have filtering and accountability software of some kind on their computers, phones, and devices."