The Pros and Cons to This Decision
In middle school, when all my friends were starting to get Instagram, Snapchat, Musical.ly and other social media apps, I was still waiting on getting my first phone. When my parents finally got me a phone for my birthday in eighth grade – I was the last person in my class– I promptly downloaded Instagram. For a few months, I was posting photos of my friends and I at the mall, my dog, etc. Nowadays, I definitely look back and cringe. Going into high school, I realized that having Instagram was a big source of anxiety for me. I would stress over who was liking and commenting on my posts, how I looked and more. At the same time, I didn’t even like the app that much; it didn’t provide me with as much happiness as it seemed to provide my friends. So, I decided to delete the app and opted out of downloading other social media apps like Snapchat. Going all throughout high school without any social media did impact my high school experience, but not as much as you might think. Overall, I don’t regret the decision. In this article, I will be discussing my experience without social media by sharing some of the pros and cons that came with this choice I made as a 13-year-old.
Pro #1: I spend a lot less time on my phone
Without approximately five different social media apps to rotate through, I honestly didn’t have much to do on my phone. Don’t get me wrong, I did, and still do, spend a lot of time listening to music and scrolling on Pinterest. But I do run out of things to do on my phone oftentimes, which I think most of us would agree is probably a good thing.
Pro #2: I was a lot less stressed throughout high school
Not having social media made me realize how much more stressed out I would be if I did have it. High school as a girl is hard enough without having to compare yourself to models online. I still see my friends getting themselves worked up about what to post, when to post, what to caption their posts, who’s liking and commenting on their posts, etc. Knowing myself, this would not be a healthy thing for me.
Con #1: I had FOMO
Obviously, not having social media did and still does cause one to experience the fear of missing out (FOMO). I often wonder what my friends are posting online, especially now that I am away at college and would love to see what they are spending their time doing. It’s like there is a whole different world online that I am not a part of and it sometimes causes me to feel disconnected from people.
Con #2: Sometimes I really want to share my experiences
The other con to not having social media is that I often find myself having cool photos and videos that I want to share with people. It totally can be fun to show others what you’ve been doing, but I try to remind myself I need to stay away from the notion of creating an idealized image of myself online. I know I would get too caught up in this. And, I know that I can send my favorite photos to my close friends and family, and those are the only people I really care about.
Overall, not having social media throughout high school was the right decision for me. I downloaded Snapchat right before college just because it was easier to stay in contact with friends from home and because it was easier to make new friends here. By not having had it all throughout high school, I think my relationship with it now is very healthy. There are so many times when I want to download TikTok or Instagram, but I know that not having them has been beneficial for me and will continue to be, because I would totally get addicted to them. Social media has several pros and cons, these are just the biggest ones for me. They are pretty obvious, but I thought I’d share my experience with it since it is a bit unique. If you feel that your relationship with social media is unhealthy, I recommend reflecting on what apps are more or less stressful for you, and/or taking some time away from those apps.