I’ve been meaning to use social media a little bit less all summer, so when I got back to school I figured what better time to not use it than a week full of classes! I was hoping that giving up social media would help me focus more on my studies and self. Reflecting on the week, I found that it really did just that!
Day 1: Monday
It wasn’t all too hard. It was almost refreshing. It was weird in the morning when I reached for my phone and there weren’t any notifications except for a message or two. I woke up early for classes and actually was ready early because I didn’t have the distraction of any social media to check. I found that between classes when I was sitting there early I had little to do and not enough time to do work so I looked over my notes from the prior lectures. Overall it was an interesting day, especially when I sat down to do work in the GSU for an hour and actually got a lot done without the constant scratch to check my phone. When studying with friends later that night, I found myself missing out on the Snapchats being sent in our large snap group but also found it manageable to just concentrate on my work and all the stupid shenanigans they were creating.
Day 2: Tuesday
I honestly thought I would get further than just 24 hours. I woke up and was fine through classes, but after class, I just did not want to do work. I figured without social media my procrastination would get a little better but it most definitely did not. I made it a point to stick with a friend after class and just talk and catch up for two hours. Looking back now though, I guess two hours chatting with a friend is better than two hours of screen time doing nothing. I did cave and check Snapchat though. I just couldn’t get myself to break the 400-day streak I have with a friend. I also had to self-promo my last article about how social media isn’t the best thing for college students — I found that pretty hypocritical of me, but oh well. I did get work done when I got back to my dorm for the night and got it done relatively fast without checking my phone every five minutes.
Day 3: Wednesday
The third day was probably the easiest. I was past the shock of not knowing what to do and I wasn’t at the race to the end of the week. I was perfectly in the middle of my experiment and doing well. I started a paper early and caught up on some reading when I found myself with time after classes and before dinner. The only time that I found weird during Wednesday was the odd time between classes where I was sitting in class early with everyone else but everyone else was on their phones while I was staring off into space.
Day 4: Thursday
I came to realize that giving up social media for the week also made me pay attention in lectures MUCH better. I didn’t have a constant urge to check Twitter every time I got bored. In my mind, I didn’t have the option to do anything but listen to the professor speaking, which is technically why I’m even in college. So this experiment definitely helped me realize that lectures don’t have to be this dreadful thing if I listen and take adequate notes.
Day 5: Friday
I can’t say that I’m sad this experiment is over, but I also can’t say that I was miserable all week. Honestly, it was nice not having notifications to always worry about or what steak I had to keep up on Snapchat. I also was completely unaware of what people were doing in their spare time if I didn’t actually want to know. Meaning, out of the hundreds of people I follow on Instagram, I probably only talk to a handful of them on a daily basis and those are the people I truly care about. I was much more aware of how my close friends were doing rather than worrying about what someone in one of my high school classes from 3 years ago was doing on a random Wednesday night.
My conclusion from this experience is that without the constant pressure to see what everyone else was doing online, I found it easier to pay attention to myself and my close friends. I didn’t totally see a change in my procrastination habits since I just procrastinated in different ways like doing laundry or cleaning my room, but I definitely was more productive than usual. But I don’t think I’ll be giving social media up all together… maybe just be using it a little less.