In 2018 I started out my year with the goal to delete Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook off my phone. I realized that I was spending way too much time mindlessly scrolling through Facebook posts and opening 50+ people's Snapchats every day just to keep a meaningless streak, and I wanted to see what my life would be like without social media. My generation has become so consumed in social media that we oftentimes forget to simply live in the moment.
So why did I delete everything? I found that using social media brought out so many negative emotions in me. I felt excluded because my friends didn't invite me to go to dinner with them, or jealous because someone seemed to have everything going for them. These seem like trivial things, but I'm sure you've opened up your feed and seen a post that made your day just a little bit worse. I was also frustrated that whenever I went out in a group of people there would always be people glued to their phones. I also felt like because of Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram, I had a weird lense into other people's lives. I knew who people were hanging out with, where they were going, and what they were eating. When I deleted everything, I had so much more to talk to people about. When I went home to see my friends in my hometown, I felt like we talked for hours to catch up because none of us could be said "Oh, I saw that on your story" or "yeah I saw your post on Insta!"
So what did my life look like without social media? I had so much more time to focus on what is important and explore so many new things. I started working out and going to bed earlier and I found myself feeling more happy and confident about myself. I got into a habit of going to sleep around 1-2 a.m. every night but then without social media, I was going to bed around 11 p.m. every night (much to my roommate's displeasure). I also ended up losing 10 pounds because I had so much time to exercise and stay active. I made so many more meaningful relationships and could talk to people for hours without even feeling the need to check my phone. Most importantly, I fell in love with the outdoors. I would walk around campus for hours and some days I walked more than 12 miles. I would sit out in the courtyard and listen to music, or fall asleep under a tree reading a book.
Even though I am back on social media now, I have no regrets of deleting it. It taught me that sometimes you just have to unplug yourself from all your devices and appreciate what is around you.