I was always told to be careful from peer pressure regarding drinking or drug use. What shocked me, however, was how this pressure was nothing compared to that of not having any social media in college. I don’t have a Facebook or Instagram. I barely use Snapchat. And it seems to shock every single one of my friends, and they whine endlessly about it. I have thought about it many times, and almost caved into the pressure. After much consideration, here is why I decided against getting social media:
1. We have become desensitized to privacy:
No matter what we do, the automatic expectation is to have pictures. Lunch with friends? Post it on Snapchat. Traveling to a different country? Pictures. It almost makes me sad that I have to verify my fun or my relationships by social media. I can travel, work, hang out with friends, or go to concerts without having to post a picture online about it. I find that most of the time when I do post on Snapchat, I’m not having that much fun to begin with. I just want to show off something I did.
2. No drama
I don’t have to worry about which girl liked whose boyfriend’s Instagram post. I don’t even understand the jealousy behind them. I don’t have to worry about how many followers I have, or justify my “popularity” in numbers. I have no clue what filters on pictures are, and don’t need to worry about trying to get a perfect angle. I also am very proud of how I never stalked another girl’s Instagram. I began to enjoy how stress and drama-free my life is.
3. I still know what’s going on in my friend’s lives:
My friends all tell me I’m clueless without social media. But I don’t know what exactly am I clueless about? I don’t spend hours just scrolling through Instagram staring at different people and their activities. I can read a book or listen to the news. I know my friends don’t mean that I’m clueless about current events – they mean that I’m clueless about the latest events about my friends. And again, I don’t need to know everything that my friends are doing.
4. I save time:
I never got addicted to social media to begin with. I never had to wean myself off when it comes to study for finals. I can turn my phone off and study for hours without getting distracted.
5. I can have hobbies:
I notice when I’m in line getting a coffee, everyone is on their phone. When I hang out with my friends, we spend 4 hours talking and sitting on our phones. Not having anything on my phone in the first place, I can work on my calligraphy, or go to my piano classes. It makes me sad when my friends ask me how I have time for my hobbies, when in reality it’s just that our phones take up the bulk of our days.