I Went a Week Without Social Media and Here's What Happened

I am a social media addict. I go on my phone, check every social media application I have, lock my phone, then unlock it and check them all again. I lose hours of sleep scrolling through Instagram, and won’t realize it until it’s 1:00 am. I compare myself so harshly to girls on Instagram and “relationship goals” posts on Twitter.  Quite frankly, I’m sick of feeling lousy about myself. My rules for the week were simple: I temporarily disabled my Instagram account and deleted the application. I also deleted Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook messenger. I only allowed myself to check Facebook for any important updates from my sorority. Here’s how my week went:

Day 1: Today was harder than I expected. I reached for my phone countless times, looking to fulfill my urge to know what everyone else was doing with their lives. I went to check Snapchat stories to find out what my sisters and friends were doing with their breaks. When I got bored, my first instinct was to check Twitter and Instagram. I got really bothered when they weren’t there. Instead of scrolling on my phone before bed, I actually did homework and finished a group project. All day I felt like I was missing out on everyone's posts and that I wasn't a loyal liker. Side note: I kept opening the wrong apps because my home screen was all messed up and out of order. This week couldn't end soon enough.

Day 2: On day two I went shopping and out to lunch with two of my friends. Although I wish I could have documented our singing in the car and our beautiful sushi on Snapchat, it was nice to enjoy their company and have fun without scrolling on my phone. During the car ride we actually made conversation and laughed with each other instead of looking at what everyone else was doing. I then spent the night in Freeport with my mom and sister. Although I wanted to take Snapchats of the Christmas lights, it was so nice to not have any distractions form a nice night with my family. I was still reaching for my phone pretty often to go on social media, but I was slowly getting used to focusing on my company and what was going on around me.

Day 3: This was Thanksgiving, and I was HEARTBROKEN I couldn't see everyones dressed-up selfies. I felt like the worst friend ever that I wasn’t able to like pictures today and see Snapchats of yummy food. What was refreshing though was not feeling the urge to be on my phone. I spent the afternoon with my boyfriend's family and the night with my own, and going on my phone didn’t even cross my mind. I texted my loved ones "happy Thanksgiving" and other than that I had a good day just focused on my friends and family instead of looking at people I half- knew on social media. No matter how hard it had been, this hiatus was so refreshing.

Day 4: Happy Black Friday! I can’t express how badly I wanted to document my Black Friday experience on Snapchat. We sung, we laughed, we shopped, and drank a lot of coffee. Nevertheless, it is all an amazing memory that I may not have made if I had been staring at my phone, looking at everyone else's Snapchats from the night. I missed social media, but not feeling the urge to take my phone out every five minutes was such a blessing. I was feeling refreshed, independent, and better about myself for not comparing my life and looks to everyone else. I started going to bed earlier in the night and when I woke up, I got straight out of bed. I felt better overall, almost more wholesome.

Day 5: Honestly, I was at the point where I wasn't missing social media very much. I spent the day with my boyfriend and visited my dad for a few hours. While I wished I could Snapchat my puppies for all to see and enjoy, not feeling the need to be on my phone was refreshing. It definitely took some time but I didn't feel the need to always be on my phone. It was harder than I thought it would be, but I was really enjoying this hiatus from my accounts.

Day 6: I really, truly enjoyed this week. My friends caught me up on some key things I missed but I didn't feel the need to get my accounts back. They asked me when I was coming back to the world of social media, but I honestly didn't know at this point. Sure, I missed Snapchating my friends funny pictures and I’ve always enjoyed seeing selfies on Instagram, but I loved not being on my phone more. I felt like I focused on myself so much more and I hadn't been comparing myself or my life to anyone else. I really didn’t know if I was ready to get my accounts back.

Day 7: It was my last day social-media free and I loved the week. I didn’t have the urge to check my phone much. It was so nice to not focus on others and to take a week for myself. It was the first day I really hadn't had the urge to check any of my social media pages; I truly didn't miss it as much as I thought I would.

Conclusion: Overall, this week was harder than I expected. With the holidays making me want to see everyone dressed up and vacation making me curious of what everyone was up to, I had a little more temptation to check it. After break though, I started getting very used to not having it. I feel much less dependent on my phone, and I’ve been going to bed so much earlier. When I wake up, I get right out of bed and get my day started. I also feel like I’ve been happier; I’ve stopped comparing myself and my life to other people. It’s been hard, but it was so worth it. I think I’m going to keep this up as long as possible.

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