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A Week Without Social Media

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SCU chapter.

A couple weeks ago I headed up north to a beach with some friends. I couldn’t help but notice we all spent so much time snapchatting and taking pics we ended up spending less time with one another.

So I vouched to delete and stop using all social media apps for a week—spring break. When I first told a friend this I almost laughed at her reply, “but spring break is the time to have social media! How else are you going to show everyone all the cool stuff you’re doing?” But alas, I convinced myself to stick to my conviction. Here’s the lowdown on how it went:

Day 1: Honestly, it could’ve been worse. I had nothing planned for the first day of break, so the boredom was definitely something that caught me off guard. However it’s amazing that I often think of myself as more productive when I’m on social media whereas in reality, staring at other peoples’ lives doesn’t do me too much good.

I found myself actually going to the library—for more than just to study—and checked out some books, found interesting sheet music, and devoted some time to old hobbies I hadn’t touched in a while.

Day 2: The grind was getting a little tougher, but not unmanageable. Definitely the most challenging part was when I met up with old friends and everyone got on their phones—either to show each other something or take selfies or snapchat. I gave it my hardest effort, but I’ll admit—I ventured a few glimpses at the dreaded sites.

Day 3

 By this time I had begun to slack a little. I may or may not have sneaked a few peeks at Instagram or Facebook through my laptop.

Day 4

The social media void was actively being felt in my life and I’m not afraid to say cheating was getting pretty regular. When not out, I actively filled this gap with films and/or TV shows. I breezed through a whole season of The X Files, which was more productive than social media, I suppose…?

Day 5

The final day! I had realized social media tends to take up a lot of time that can be used in other ways (even if those ways are just other forms of media like movies). But at the same time, this entire week, I had been devoid of politics, news from friends, and most contact with those I care about when not meeting them. I definitely weakened some of my dependence and realized it’s important to be able to have fun without feeling obligated to show others. It’s also liberating to not be so intent on creating a social media persona in order to impress others, not be so meticulous with that selfie, and maybe not edit that aesthetic so much. Because while those things are important, real life seems to lie elsewhere—outside the realm of the screen. And at risk of sounding like my mom, it’s important to disconnect at times and free ourselves from media, even though there are pros and cons to it.

Pictures courtesy of Liquene, Sebastiaan ter Burg, and TeroVesalainen

Bethool is in her second year studying Biochemistry and Philosophy. She loves reading all kinds of books, photography, exploring the great outdoors, and playing music.
Laurel Fisher is a senior at Santa Clara University. She is double majoring in math and French. She loves traveling, scrapbooking, and anything to do with France. In her free time, she loves taking photos of just about anything, watching Netflix, eating delicious food, going to the gym, and spending time with her friends.