The Pros and Cons of Quitting Social Media in College

 

 

A few months ago I decided that I was wasting too much of my time on Instagram and Snapchat, either by procrastinating or being on my phone while hanging out with friends — which is actually one of my biggest pet peeves. Even when there was no new content on my feed and no Snapchats left to open, I would find other things to distract me for hours (*cough* Daily Mail). I decided it was time to do something about it, but it’s especially difficult to quit social media in college when so much of our lives are expected to be shared online. Overall, I’ve had a positive experience off the grid and would highly recommend taking social media breaks for your sanity.

 

Pros:

1. Not having to deal with everyone’s B.S.

Why are you still following that girl’s finsta from high school? She’s still tragic, but now it’s not as funny. Social media is either super idealized or brutally honest in the worst way; when people aren’t posting perfect vacation pics, they’re complaining on their finsta.

 

2. Having more time with yourself

All the time I wasn’t spending on my phone, I had to fill with other things, and it certainly wasn’t going to be homework. Besides downloading Solitaire and getting on the leaderboard for my record time, I’ve greatly improved my self-care routine and felt that there was more time in the day. Simply having time to sit and think throughout the day without distractions made me appreciate my me-time more.

 

3. You realize who really cares

You’ll find yourself reaching out to the people in your life that really matter to you. Without Snapchat streaks to maintain your minimal-effort friendships, you’re forcing yourself to realize which friendships are solid and worth the extra effort. Once I told people I wasn’t on Snapchat, the people who really wanted to stay in touch did, and I have stronger relationships with them now than when we would just send daily no caption selfies on Snapchat.

 

4. Off-da-grid Ron Swanson

If you’re like me and keep tape over your computer camera lens in fear that the government is watching you, deleting your social media presence might make you feel better about lessening your digital footprint. Although I know my phone’s microphone is still rolling constantly, selling my information, somehow not having an Instagram makes me feel slightly better about being off the grid.

 

5. You’re forced to live in the moment

Without Snapchats to open and a feed to scroll through, I don’t feel tempted to be on my phone when I’m in social settings. I find that when I stay off my phone while hanging out with friends, they usually do too. It also means in those moments on a quiet elevator or in line, I usually end up making small talk, which I’ve found to be a good thing.

 

Cons:

1. People think you’re sketchy when you don’t have a Snapchat

Not having Snapchat or Instagram means you’ll have to give your cell number to all the new people you want to stay in contact with. This makes it harder to reach out to people because you know people don’t like giving out their number.

 

2. You miss all the memes

One of my favorite things about Gen Z is our meme culture, and I truly feel like I’m missing out and out-of-the-loop when I delete Instagram.

 

3. Staying in touch with people is harder

Some friends just aren’t good at keeping in touch, and a quick snap to your group chat makes it much easier. Don’t take it personally if all of your friends don’t start individually texting you all the time instead of Snapchat; just make sure to text the people you want because they may not always reach out first.

 

Despite feeling out of the loop occasionally and getting weird reactions upon telling people I don’t have Snapchat, staying off social media has been great. We are taking in so much information, opinions, and pressures every day from the media, and finding a way to lessen those influences is extremely relieving. Overall, I would say that deleting your social media accounts entirely isn’t necessary, but deleting the apps for a few weeks or months at a time is really helpful in solidifying your relationships, taking time for yourself, and living in the moment.