Social media has become one of the most prevalent necessities in any young student’s life. Look around in your lecture hall and you will see numerous people just scrolling aimlessly on their phones. Witness a funny moment and you will see it again a dozen times over on your friends’ Snapchats. Need to find out everything about that cute guy sitting in front of you in your Stat151 class (may or may not be a true story)? Facebook will be your biggest help. In this day and age, every millennial is addicted to social media and I am definitely no exception. And that’s why I decided to see what would happen if I were to give up social media for a whole week…. Assuming that I could do it.
Here’s what happened, including a few thoughts from before and after and a log that I kept through the experiment this summer:
I honestly had no idea what to expect. When I first pitched the idea of going one week with absolutely no social media, I was fully aware that it would be a challenge for me. After all, I tend to live my whole life online. I have a fashion and beauty blog. I promote myself on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook constantly. In addition to that, like any young adult, I completely rely on Instagram and Snapchat for staying updated in my friends’ (and strangers’) lives. Would I feel completely out of the loop by week’s end? Probably.
But I was also super excited to prove to my family that I can indeed go a week without social media. My dad makes endless comments on how this generation is so tied to their phones blah blah blah. I’m so tired of hearing that. So let’s see if staying off of social media actually changes my perspective on this online phenomenon.
Okay, I’m already off to a bad start. Right when I woke up at 7am, I grabbed my phone to check Instagram and see how many likes I got over night (118, not bad, not bad). It’s such a habit to check all social media as soon as I open my eyes. It’s going to be a hard habit to break. So let’s just say this challenge starts at 8 a.m. I don’t want to fail on the first day.
Day 2 and 3
I have realized I have absolutely no self control. Whenever I open up my phone, I just automatically go to click on either the Instagram app or Snapchat. I don’t even think about doing it, it’s all just a subconscious thing. So, since I can’t trust myself to not go on social media, I have put all the apps in a folder on my phone and hidden them on a different screen to try to prevent myself from clicking on them! We will see if this works.
Also, when I am just surfing the web on my laptop, I always automatically just open up a new tab and click on Facebook. It’s making me so mad. I’m trying so hard to ignore social media but my fingers just have a mind of their own apparently.
I have never even been one for twitter, but for some strange reason unknown to me, I am craving to tweet things right now. There are so many thoughts running through my head that would make hilarious tweets. But I can’t. I must resist the urge.
The fourth day of no social media is definitely easier. Maybe it’s because I kept myself busy, but I didn’t feel as tempted to check all of my accounts every 5 minutes. I just left my phone in my room and carried on with my life. Are we making progress?!
The one good thing about doing this challenge is that it’s going to help my phone bill A LOT. Before starting this week, I had already used up 90% of my data. And it doesn’t reset for another three weeks. So thank goodness that I won’t be using any data this week!
I also really want to post a cute Instagram picture of my puppy, Oakley. How are people going to know how cute my dog is if I don’t share his pictures with the world? I don’t think I have ever gone this long without Instagramming anything. It feels weird.
Day 6 and 7
Honestly, I am really excited for this week to end. I just miss being able to scroll through Instagram and Twitter when I’m bored. Now, I don’t know what to do. When I’m on my breaks at work, I just stare pointlessly at my phone. It’s useless without any social media! Oh well, at least Pokémon Go doesn’t count as social media. That will keep my occupied in the meantime.
I really really really wish I could say that this week without social media changed my perspective on things, but I’m exactly the same as I was before. I have nothing life changing to say. I’m still addicted to Instagram and Snapchat and Facebook. However, it definitely wasn’t as hard to keep off of social as I had originally thought. Sure, I missed out on quite a bit of news. But it was kind of refreshing. I didn’t have to constantly scroll through cute couple pictures that made me sad that I didn’t have a boyfriend or see cool travel snapshots that made me wish I was anywhere else but Edmonton. But I also missed out on seeing cute puppy photos or reading a Facebook status saying my friend from back in the day got engaged.
There are both good and bad things to social media and while I’ll definitely continue spending my time on these apps constantly, I also didn’t hate spending this week apart from it. And let’s just admire how this is going to help me during Finals week at university! Maybe I’ll actually have the willpower to not escape to social media as often when the studying gets boring. I’m not a changed woman but I did learn that a break from social media isn’t always the worst thing in the world.
Taylor is in her fourth year, trying out her third faculty. After getting a taste of Sciences and Education, she decided Business was truly the faculty for her. When she is not studying for that elusive 4.0 GPA, you can find her glued to her computer, writing a new post on her personal style & beauty blog, when-im-older.com. And if she gets bored of that, you can most definitely bet she’s busy taking countless Snapchats of her Goldendoodle, Oakley.