The first question I got when I told people I gave up social media for a week was, “Why would you do that?”
Well it’s quite simple: I wanted to see if I could do it and what would happen to my everyday life. I was never one to live my life on social media and post every update for the world to know, but I was always on some sort of social media just scrolling through. It was mindless and gave me something to do while sitting on the bus or a way to procrastinate. I realized how much I was on it and in a snap decision, I downloaded an extension and set it to block all social media from my laptop and phone for one week. There was no going back now. Here’s what happened…
Afternoon: It’s 4:00pm on March 1st and I’m giving up social media for one week. I should Google things to do instead of go on social media. A lot of places say read a book. Maybe I’ll stop by Homer B. after work over the next couple of days and check out a good book. Let’s see if they have anything I want.
Night: It’s been five hours and I’m starting to wonder if I can do this. I definitely feel the urge to go on social media. What am I supposed to do if I can’t go on social media? Stay strong…
Morning: After waking up today, I thought I’d be more anxious to check my phone than I was. I always check my phone notifications in the morning so it’s nice to know that I’m not freaking out just yet.
Afternoon: Wow, it’s a lot easier to concentrate in class when I can’t have Facebook open in the background of my laptop. It’s so much easier to study, too. Good thing, I have way too many exams this week to be distracted.
Night: I’m started to feel the pressure. People keep talking about things on Facebook or mentioning, “Did you see so-and-so’s Snapchat story?” No sir, I did not. Luckily, I’m starting to get used to this feeling
Morning: Just as I thought I was getting used to not using social media, it happened. I subconsciously unlocked my phone and opened up Facebook. Luckily, it didn’t actually open. It just gave me a notification saying that I had blocked that app. I was surprised to see it before I realized that I wasn’t using social media. It goes to show how much I depended on social media just to satisfy my boredom.
Afternoon: Not much else happened this day. Although, I hear something about people’s tires being stolen? What is this about? Ugh, I really wish I could go on social media and check this out. UConn scandals are so juicy.
Night: I’m not sure what to do with myself. I always go on Facebook before actually going to sleep. I have nothing to look at now. I guess I could just lay here and wait until I fall asleep. This feels so wrong.
Morning/Afternoon: I actually had a dream that I was using social media. I convinced myself that it’s not cheating if I just take a one hour break during the one week period. I just used that as an excuse to open up Snapchat and check all my notifications. I felt so guilty in my dream and when I woke up, I felt so relieved that I didn’t actually break my challenge.
Night: I also found that it’s way easier to not use social media when you’re hanging out with the person you interact with the most on social media. It’s nice to not worry about it.
Mid-week challenges so far:
- Not being able to use social media before bed.
- Seeing the push notifications on my phone. Facebook is currently at nine, Snapchat is at three, and Messenger is at one.
- When my friends forgot I gave up social media and ask “Did you see this post?”
- Having to use actual texting on my phone rather than Facebook Messenger. I like Messenger more.
- Not being able to send Snapchats of random funny things I see throughout the day.
Morning/Afternoon: Facebook is starting to email me saying that I have notifications. I know I haven’t been on in a couple of days, Facebook. No need to remind me. Why are they emailing me anyway? Seems a little desperate to me.
Night: It’s definitely so much easier to do my work without Facebook. I feel so accomplished at the end of the day, but I do miss going on social media.
All day: Now Facebook is emailing me to tell me that someone commented on their own photo. In other words, Facebook is getting way more desperate trying to get me to go back. I haven’t talked to this girl since high school and even then, we never hung out. Why am I seriously getting a notification that she commented on her own photo? This is getting weird. When Facebook misses you more than any of your friends or family...
Morning/Afternoon: Less than 24 hours to go. I thought I would be more excited, but I don’t feel any different. I’m not counting down the moments or anything. In fact, I haven’t really been thinking about social media the past couple of days nearly as much as I was at the beginning of the week.
Night: Okay, there’s about an hour left now and I’m started to get more excited. Final stretch!
Final moments and afterthoughts:
The clock had struck 4:00pm on March 8th and I was finally able check my notifications. I had a final count of 19 Facebook notifications, nine Snapchats, one Facebook Message, and an endless feed of Instagram posts to go through. I sat in the Union and checked all my notifications and Snapchats, making sure to reply to everyone who didn’t know I took a week off. I never did get through all of Instagram, but that’s okay. It was actually overwhelming going through all those notifications.
I felt like I missed so much, which in the social media world, I did. I realized that I really didn’t miss all that much in the real world by giving up social media. Life went on. It was hard at first to give it up cold turkey, but it got easier. It was nice to disconnect and I felt more content with life. I didn’t feel the stress of looking at posts I didn’t care about, causing me to having to stay up late to do homework. I wasn’t checking my phone in class and I was more engaged in what I was learning. I did miss interacting with others through social media, but in the end it was worth giving it up for a week.