A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Disconnect From Your Feed and Reconnect With Reality

A real life American Horror Story situation: you’re by yourself in a public setting with a dead cellphone and no charger (I apologize for even suggesting such a traumatic event without warning). What do you do? Option one includes curling up into the fetal position while crying, and option two is to simply going back to the comforts of your home and learn your lesson for forgetting to charge your phone overnight. But, don't you think it's possible that we could eventually train ourselves to cope and somehow deal with such a tragic event?

I was walking along the Brooklyn Bridge with a few friends the other night when this problem occurred to me. It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, but it wasn’t glaring at me enough to create those evil sweat droplets across my upper lip. The air was cool enough to throw on some cute layers (which basically translates to: wear whatever you want, throw a leather jacket on top and call it a day). Most importantly, my school work was mostly finished for the week, so I didn’t have that looming sense of guilt for not burying my nose in a textbook. Every detail was more perfect that I could have imagined until my friends and I finally approached the opening of the bridge. When I looked ahead I saw a trail of cellphones being held up to the sky. Even I, despite the fact that I’m nearly six feet tall, had a hard time taking a picture of the skyline without having every generation of the iPhone photobombing me. My frustration got me thinking, if this view is so breathtaking, why do we choose to photograph it, as if to claim it as our own, instead of experiencing it first hand? The same concept goes for concerts, museums, etc.,. I don’t want to be that girl who can only remember a view, a performance, or a work of art through my Instagram feed. I want to create memories, not put filters on them.

 

That being said, here is a three-step guide on how to disconnect from wifi and reconnect with reality. 

1. Save your data for emergencies only

Even though most restaurants and public spaces offer free wifi these days, try to not use your phone if you’re not connected. This means (dare I say it?) walking down the street and engaging with your surroundings rather than walking with your head down, checking to see if your ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend’s cousin’s sister updated her Snapchat story. By doing so, you’re directly removing yourself from unnecessary information that won’t have any benefit or positive impact on your own life, becoming an active participant in your environment, and saving your data for times you might seriously need it! Now, take that extra cash you just saved from your phone bill and treat yourself to a cupcake (or seven) because you’re a big baller now.

 

2. Survival of the fittest: App Edition

Now that we’ve all become so committed to our virtual lives through social media, it seems harsh to part ways with one platform. When we downloaded these apps, we promised to love them all equally. But, it’s has come the time to delete one. Just. One. Single. Platform. It’s your choice which one doesn’t make the cut, as long as it’s gone for good. I know, it’s a big step, especially since the apps start shaking out of fear when you try to rearrange or delete them. But, we need to remember why we are doing this. By eliminating one of the platforms, you'll be less tempted to distract yourself from reality (A.K.A. meeting new people who could potentially become good friends, noticing that an adorable puppy is walking down the street, seeing a BOGO sale sign in the window of your favorite store, etc.,). That being said, do you really need to see your friend’s shameless Fit Tea promotion on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook?

3. Turn off the notifications

Assuming that you’re even half the narcissist that I am, and didn’t choose to delete Instagram, make sure you turn off those notifications! You’d be surprised how liberating it is to not know, and eventually not care, how many "likes" your picture accumulated. After taking this step, you stop posting pictures for your followers and you begin posting for yourself. Take that selfie, acknowledge what a BAB you look like in it, document it, and then move on. There is no need to watch your "likes" add up. Don’t worry though, even if you don’t see them, they’re still there.