I Vowed To Stay Off Social Media For A Week And This Is What I Learned

Social media has basically taken over our entire existence. Not a day goes by where we don’t catch ourselves instinctively looking at our phone. Whether it’s to check up on everyone and their friend’s latest Instagram photos, or to just read up on all the Snapchat news stories, social media has become the biggest obsession of our generation. It’s time we all just admit it – we’re addicted to social media. And, just like any other addiction, it can be extremely difficult to break the habit. Sometimes, social media can start to feel like a burden – an overwhelming cloud hovering above us, constantly urging us to pick up that phone. I have personally felt this way for a long time, and I know plenty of friends and family who have done “social media detoxes” and have found it to be extremely relieving. Because of this, I decided to do my own social media detox. After a week of staying completely away from social media, here’s what I have learned:

1. You realize the first thing you do every morning is check your phone.

Literally, every morning. The second that alarm goes off, you grab your phone and stare at the screen, not even fully knowing what you’re looking for. You read an endless amount of irrelevant posts before you remember – oh shit, I need to get out of bed.

2. You start feeling like you’re missing out.

That feeling that you may be missing out on something so important constantly hangs over you. You see your friends on their phones, talking about the latest posts and you start to realize you’re falling out of the “loop." It’s just enough to make you reach for your phone again.

3. You notice how much time you spent on your phone that you could’ve been using towards other more important things (i.e. studying).

Especially all that time in between classes when you’re scrolling through your phone just waiting for next class to start. You could be using that time to finish up some homework or do something else productive.

4. You start to find out that yes, you do have other hobbies.

Being off social media, and your phone in general, allows for more “me time." You find yourself exploring new hobbies and start investing your time in activities that make you happy.

5. You become more connected with your spirituality/religion/morals.

This one goes along with the previous point. Since you aren’t on your phone 24/7, you have a lot more time to reflect on life and the way you’re living yours – I know, sounds sappy but it’s true. When you're so caught up in social media you don't put as much time aside to work on becoming a better you! Giving yourself that extra time to relax and remember what matters most to you helps boost your overall outlook on life and can help you be more positive. 

6. You realize that we post way too many things that honestly nobody cares about.

Okay, a cute selfie every now and then when you’re wearing something hot and you’re feeling yourself is totally acceptable. But, most people in our generation have a problem of oversharing, like, a lot. The whole world doesn’t want to know what you ate for lunch that day or how your love life is doing. Some things are meant to be kept private; we can’t all be one of the Kardashians.

Of course, in this day and age it’s almost impossible to stay completely away from the phone and social media due to most jobs and schools requiring the use of some sort of social app; plus, spending a little down time on social media can be relaxing at times. However, I have found that limiting myself on the amount of time I spend on social media has been very beneficial to my overall health. Taking a week – or even a few days – off of social media every so often can help balance out the stress you may be feeling and can help you refocus back to what truly matters. It’s not the amount of likes you get on your photos, or the length of your Snapchat streaks that matter; it’s the quality of your life and the memories you can make when you put that phone down and just look up! So, now, I challenge you all to go put your phone down for a while, turn off those notifications, and go try something new. Pick up a new hobby, treat yourself to a relaxing bath, go make plans with your friends – anything! It’s time to break that nasty social media addiction and live life to the fullest!

Nina is a sophomore at Christopher Newport University. She is majoring in English with a concentration in writing. In her free time, Nina enjoys reading, writing, discovering new music, going thrift shopping, and most of all traveling! She loves being surrounded by her family and friends and enjoys spending time with her CNU Her Campus family!

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