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I Quit Social Media for a Week and Here’s What Happened

Let’s be honest, checking social media has become one of those things we do without even thinking. We unlock our phones, and as the home screen opens up- BOOM BOOM BOOM. Social Media apps right in the palm of your hand. It has easily become this never ending news feed of incredible moments; pictures of amazing food, breathtaking beaches, toned abs, flawless complexions and highlight reels. It pulls you into the picture-perfect lives everyone seems to be living.

I personally, have a love/hate relationship with social media, when I’m out having fun, I love documenting the moment with cute pictures and silly snaps. On the other hand, when I’ve had a bad day, or find myself mindlessly scrolling, constantly being bombarded by new posts of people living their “best lives,” gets a bit exhausting.

Day One:

I have officially been logged off all forms of active social media for the past ten hours, yep, that’s right. No Facebook, no Instagram, no quick Snap Chat selfies, nothing. It feels quite strange, to be honest, I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed with social media, but I do my fair share of instagram lurking. As I began this social media detox, I chose not to delete the apps completely off my phone but rather log off and leave them alone. I did this for two reasons, one, to test my self control (or lack thereof), and two, so I could see just how often I grabbed my phone and instinctively clicked on an app.

Like most millennials, the thought of disconnecting from the virtual world was a bit daunting, especially thinking about all the FOMO I’m inevitably going to experience when I do reconnect. But, truth be told, I could use some “me time,” and a break from social media seems like the perfect escape. So here’s to a week of being disconnected!

Update:

We’re well into day five now and it has definitely been an adjustment not turning to social media when I’m bored or placed in an awkward situation. Having little to check on my phone aside from the casual text, or a random Forever 21 email, I have been pushed out of my comfort zone. I think what I’ve noticed most about not being attached to my phone, is just how many people around me, are. Waiting outside lecture halls, in restaurants, walking to class, in stores, people seem to be looking down more than they glance up. It’s really opened my eyes to the irony behind social media, it claims to “connect” you to distant friends and family, when in reality, it’s virtually disconnecting you from the people right in front of you. A couple of years ago I saw this post on instagram about being present and it’s resonated with me ever since. It said, “Appreciate technology, but don’t overuse it. Choose people over your phone.” As I embark on my last few days of social media solitude, that excerpt will remain in my mind.

                                                                                        Image via Instagram

Final Thoughts:

To tell you the truth, disconnecting from everything and everyone was a more rewarding experience than I would’ve anticipated. Today, my boyfriend and I went on a cute Valentine’s inspired picnic on the beach, complete with a camera and fresh strawberries. It was so refreshing, being in the moment, no phone buzzing letting me know so and so had started a live video. As cliche as it sounds, taking in the smells and sounds of the ocean and each others’ company was one of those moments that really makes you appreciate life. It was fun and silly; we were snapping pictures of each other and together — not trying to get the perfect shot but just to remember the day. I’ll admit, I’m one of those people who takes a million pictures of average moments and attempts to make them look, well, above average. I think we all, in some sense, get sucked into the social media vortex, where we feel obligated to make our lives look as fun and exciting as they can be 24/7. We show the “highlights” rather than the raw moments. But as I look through photos from this warm Wednesday afternoon, I’ll remember the moment. I’ll remember being present, I’ll remember laughing and loving, I’ll remember the sweet snacks, and I’ll remember feeling content.

So, I encourage you all to take a step back, log off of social media and put your phone down. Embrace moments, instead of documenting them, and pay attention to the people sitting across from you. Life is too short, and people are too precious, not to appreciate, and be present for.

 

Takara is a third year student at UCSB, she is a Communication major, hoping to pursue a career in PR, advertising, or journalism. She is a fashion, beauty and skin care fanatic. Youtube make up tutorials and Netlflix are her guilty pleasures. You can find her on Instagram: @takarahepburn
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