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I Went 24 Hours Without Social Media, the Results May Shock You

Just like anyone, I've been bored in the house and in the house bored during the quarantine. Although scrolling through social media, it appears a lot of my peers have thrown quarantine to the wayside, I am still taking it seriously. I've come to realize social media was my go-to for entertainment. So, insert my delusional idea of not using socials for a straight 24 hours here.


I actually wanted to do this challenge in February, but life happened. Pre-quarantine, I spent a lot of my free time scrolling through Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. When I woke up in the morning, the first thing I did was scroll. When I laid my head down at night, the last thing I did was scroll as well. With that being said, I wanted to branch out from my routine and get more involved in the life that I felt was passing me by. “You’re in Atlanta, the ‘Black Hollywood’” - I told myself. “Use this as an excuse to explore the city you’ll be calling home over the next few years.” So, first, allow me to tell you what I would have done with my day had Corona not came in on the very wrecking ball Ms. Cyrus warned us about.

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For starters, I wanted to do this experiment on a weekend. These days, my social media activity was extremely high, and if I was going to challenge myself, I was going to go all the way. Like I always say, mama ain’t raise no bi- wuss. Instead of waking up and killing my already terrible eyesight by scrolling through Twitter immediately, I would have gotten up and made myself a smoothie (I’d like to note that I was on a health kick during this time. Spoiler alert: it didn’t last long).


While enjoying my smoothie, I planned on watching a bit of Netflix because that’s totally not against the rules… right? Watching the social media game show “The Circle” would have started my day off with that extra bit of ironic satire that always seems to get me going. Weekends were usually the busiest when it came to my nail business, so this would have been the perfect distraction from the enticing, yet jarring jaws of the social media beast. Back to back nail appointments would have shaved off several hours from my day and left the time at about four in the afternoon.

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After living by my business motto and “turning my clients’ hands into masterpieces,” I would have forced my friends out of the room as unknowing subjects in my experiment. Buckhead was the destination, and by this time, you’d think my mama sent me to my room without dinner the way my stomach would have been doing somersaults and cartwheels out of hunger. I heard good things about The Southern Gentleman, a soul food spot on Peachtree, so this would have been the restaurant of choice.


After filling our stomachs, we would have returned back to campus to prepare for whatever party was poppin' that night; it’s Atlanta after all. A party without social media would have been difficult, seeing as I’m the friend who is always recording, yet somehow strangely never posting. However, as I said before, if I’m going to challenge myself I’m going all out. I planned on stepping out of my comfort zone that night by letting loose, dancing more, and interacting with even more people. I would have finished it off barely making it back to my room with a terrible hangover in the morning and hazy memory. I planned on looking back on that night for years to come, telling my kids bits and pieces of the story that would have been. 

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Of course, none of this actually happened. The literal virus that is Miss ‘Rona came and shook up everyone’s reality.


While doing this challenge in the current day, I didn’t force myself to drink a “healthy” smoothie, and I didn’t ironically watch a show that spoke on my short-lived reality. I didn’t go out and explore the city I fled to in hopes of a prosperous future. I didn’t sit down and enjoy a freshly cooked meal in a newly discovered restaurant. I didn’t go out and live my best life partying the night away, making lasting memories, or making a fool out of myself for the hell of it. And lastly, I didn’t spend precious time with those I loved the most; time I could have never predicted was so valuable in the coming months. 


While doing this challenge, I didn’t force myself to explore new things like picking up a new hobby or reading a book (yes, mandatory school readings made leisurely reading books alien to me), because to be quite honest, I’m drained. I understand that I have it better off than others. I’m not worried about how the bills will be paid, or if I’ll even have somewhere to stay in the coming weeks. Even so, the switch to online classes coupled with the fact that being at home triggers certain emotions that I intentionally escape while at school has caused all motivation to leave my body.


Social media is the much-needed distraction from a mundane life that has become my “new normal.” So, during my 24 hours, I spent the majority of my time lying in bed, drifting in and out of sleep. The rest of it was largely spent watching my notifications from various apps pop up one after another. For some reason, the day I go without social media was the day my phone wanted to be jumpin’, jumpin’. It was especially hard because one of my top love languages in all of my relationships is the sending and receiving of social media posts. Every hour like clockwork my friends were sending relatable TikToks in our iMessage group chat, funny tweets in our Twitter group chat, or Instagram posts in our DMS. 

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It’s insane how lonely and out of touch from reality I felt without social networking. Is there a deeper message on how society has become so reliant on social media in here somewhere? Possibly. However, that’s not the message I want one to take away from this piece. I want one to know that it’s okay to do nothing occasionally. It’s okay to put everything to the side and just lay there in bed all day, especially during times like this when everyone is adjusting to a new reality and going through their own battles respectively. This challenge along with the current climate allowed me to tap into my “lazy” side and do something that my busy schedule often prevented me from doing: nothing, and I’m perfectly okay with that.


The tenacious Arianna Johnson is a junior mass media arts major with a concentration in journalism and a minor in political science at thee illustrious Clark Atlanta University. She's from the place where bigger is better: Dallas, Texas. This means that her love for BBQ is almost as big as her love for her state! She enjoys writing, shopping, makeup and here recently, doing nails. She hopes to one day write for CNN, Teen Vogue, Essence and more. If you're looking for sarcasm, political commentary, Black girl struggles, all things beauty and everything in between, then she's your girl!
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