On the social-media self-exile of Kaua‘i’s Bethany Hamilton

Kaua‘i professional surfer Bethany Hamilton’s recent challenge to herself to abstain from social media was more than pushing her latest venture of motivational speaking promoting “The Unstoppable Life” courses she telecasts virtually.

The Soul Surfin’ Kauaian legend turns 31 today, and what she did had more to do with promoting a lifestyle that isn’t as dependent on our phones.

We live in a society where having a phone is a necessary evil, and sometimes you have dual phones: one for business and the other for personal use.

Make no mistake, these phones are now unavoidable in our life. But the power of convenience doesn’t necessarily always create more joy.

It would be interesting to see more in-depth university and scientific analysis on just how overstimulated we are because of this necessary technology.

Does having the power of instant access to information, games, online shopping, DoorDash and transportation, you name it, make us happier?

Sure, in the short-term. But as the old saying goes, “the more you get, the more you want.” So instant gratification is the latest roller-coaster-ride that is burnt onto our overstimulated brains.

Kudos to Hamilton for utilizing her celebrity status to bring awareness to another aspect of mental health that seems to get overlooked.

Though her study was hardly conducted in a scientific way, Hamilton did claim there were some benefits from her abstaining in her video she published on Twitter after her hiatus from social media was over.

“I removed my social media off my phone,” Hamilton tweeted. “It’s been amazing!!! I wish I did it sooner!!! So I had to share this idea with y’all so you too may experience the freedom and goodness of just owning your time and life with lots of love and peace.”

Peace, love, joy and enjoying the things about life that really matter is not something that is generally found with the eclectic bombardment of subliminal messages we witness every day on social media.

It’s inevitable that we must use social media to some degree, but hopefully Hamilton’s message about moderation will resonate with others, or else we will keep funding and feeding our own demise.


Jason Blasco, reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or jblasco@thegardenisland.com.

  1. Kahi February 8, 2021 5:20 am Reply

    Is that really news to publish? Who cares?

    1. Agree February 8, 2021 4:02 pm Reply

      Yes. No one cares what she isn’t doing. What’s should be news worthy is that state wide there was only 33 positive corvid cases reported. And we have only 2 confirmed cases on kauai. Great another day with no one dying from the most deadly disease of the generation. But you can still drink, eat and smoke yourself to death. Remember in March of 2020 14 days to slow the spread. It’s been 11 months.

  2. laura February 8, 2021 9:45 pm Reply

    Beautiful article Bethany! I hope others will be inspired to really look at what does bring us joy and peace….. I was inspired….. How distractions take us away from those acitivies and people we really love…

  3. Ann O'Riley February 9, 2021 10:52 am Reply

    The interruptions by social media on cellular phones is a stressful annoyance that does not fit with my Kauai lifestyle.
    In fact, I no longer have a cellular phone for that reason, and for the fact that I got many scam calls that interrupted my day.

    Praise for Bethany (one of my heroines) for making this move and speaking out.

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