How many times a day do you check social media?
Can you go three days without checking social media?
How often are you looking down at a screen instead of at the individuals you are spending time with?
As a class assignment, I was challenged to give up social media for three days. This meant only using your phone for necessary phone calls. At first, similar to what you may be thinking, I did not think it would be extremely difficult. Admittedly, I certainly overestimated the extent of my self control when it comes to refraining from using my cell phone. In all honestly, I was only able to make it two days without checking social media and during these two days I still had a few slip ups. Several times I found myself opening Snapchat before I had even realized what I was doing, so I quickly closed the application. I now realize it would have been smarter to delete all social media applications off from my phone, but this did not occur to me at the time.
So, what did I discover when I unplugged myself from a world that is constantly plugged in? Well, the first day I saw an increase in productivity throughout my day. Since I was not constantly wasting time scrolling through endless news feeds, I had more time to devote to school work done. In turn, this meant I had more free time at the end of the day, and I was also able to get to bed earlier than normal. I also noticed how much the people around me were on their phone. Whether it was at lunch or walking through campus, most of the people around me were looking down at a phone opposed to looking up at the people they were talking to. On the second day I was feeling left out. While everyone around me was talking about the latest post on Instagram or someone's snap story I did not know what they were talking about.
In conclusion, I realized how much time I waste being on my phone. Although technology has made huge positive contributions to our society, it may also be harming it more than we realize. If we are always looking down at our phones when in the presence of people we care about, what does this say about our relationships? Perhaps we should consider unplugging ourselves more often, as to give the individuals around us our full attention.
I challenge you to try this little experiment. I would suggest you remove all social media applications from your phone. This includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, games, etc. Whatever you are doing, give it your full attention. You may also find that you have more time at the end of your day. Perhaps, you will finish your work before you usually do. But, whether you do choose to try this experiment or not, I want you to consider how technology is affecting your life. Consider how much you are on your phone and how much those around you are. I bet if we unplugged once in awhile, we would see an improvement in the quality of our relationships, maybe even our lives in general. Going forward, I would suggest we just be conscious of how much time we spend on electronics. It is quite the achievement to be able to maintain relationships with family and friends hundreds or thousands of miles away, however like most things in life, they are only good in moderation. We should not devote such a great deal of time to social media if it means diminishing the quality of the relationships with people in close proximity to us