By Anna Tabet |
I’d like to say that I don’t use social media too frequently. I never go on Facebook, I snapchat people maybe three times a day, and I only go on Twitter when I want to be reminded of how unfunny I am. Instagram, however, is probably the social media app I use the most. What can I say, I love being up to date on my friends’, and celebrity crushes, lives. Since social media has been a part of my everyday life for years now, I wanted to see just how much my daily habits would change if I deleted every single one of my social media apps.
So I did.
I woke up and immediately, without thinking, went on my phone and scrolled to the folder that used to hold all my social media apps. After seeing nothing in the folder, my sleepy haze lifted and I was reminded of my decision to delete all the apps the previous night. “This is fine!” I thought, while I continued to stare at my phone, unsure of what my next move would be. I settled for putting my phone down and just getting ready for class. Throughout the day, I caught myself staring at my emails begging someone, anyone, to email me something interesting.
This time when I woke up, I knew that the apps wouldn’t be there anymore; so, I just went straight into getting ready for my day. Walking to class was definitely a different experience without having notifications buzzing at me, begging me to give all my attention to a screen. It was genuinely nice. I felt more in-tune with the world around me and felt less of a need to have a distraction from it. Did I still download Doodle Jump and Subway Surfers so that I still had an excuse to not do my schoolwork right away? Yes. But I definitely was more at ease with my lack of a social media presence.
When I got to this day, I only grabbed my phone to text my friends or family members. One of the main reasons I was worried about deleting my social media was because I thought I’d lose touch with my friends that attended different universities. But what I quickly realized was that I only lost touch with people I was never really that close to to begin with. I was still getting caught up on my friends lives and telling them the random, funny stuff that would happen to me throughout the day, it just wasn’t text laid over a weird selfie of myself.
I genuinely didn’t even consider going on my phone this day. Now, this could be because I knew that there wouldn’t be any distractions on my phone in the form of Instagram DMs or snapchats; but it could also be connected to the fact that I had four different quizzes/tests to study for. Either way, I took turns between feeling incredibly productive and curling into a ball of stress in my bed.
The stress of social interactions resumed as I left the weekend and reentered the school week. I felt the absence of my apps as I stood in front of my locked classroom with the rest of my class, as we waited for our TA to arrive. Unlike every one of my classmates, I didn’t have something to stare at on my phone to prohibit me from making awkward smalltalk with those around me. So, I opted for staring at the fliers on the walls instead.
For some reason, this day felt like the first that I didn’t feel the absence of my social apps at all. I went about my day normally, interacted with those I love, and did an extensive amount of homework as usual. I didn’t feel like every activity I was doing was just to fill time, much like how I felt when I used my social media apps. Instead, I was genuinely in every moment I was a part of, and I loved it.
As I ended the week, I felt completely at peace with not having my social media. I no longer felt the compulsion to grab my phone to check the apps every time I had a second to spare. Although I entered the week feeling like it would be an eternity before I would have my social media apps again, time passed more genuinely, making my week feel shorter than I had anticipated.
This feeling of ease at the end of the week made me increasingly nervous to redownload my apps. I knew, however, that if I did choose to redownload them, I had to have a different mindset about it. I never again wanted to feel like I was using social media to merely fill time in my day. I never again wanted to feel like I was relying on social media to stay connected with people I love. And I never again wanted to feel like my happiness was contingent on a bird, a ghost, and a graphic of a camera.