At the beginning of April, one of my favorite youtube channels released a video where they gave up social media for a month to see what would change in their lives. Yes Theory is a made of a group of guys who believe that saying "yes" to uncomfortable situations leads to learning and growth, and this mantra is something I relate to very much. So, in an effort to do something out of the every day, I followed along and deleted all my social media apps for 30 days.
It all started with a shocking realization, I was spending approximately five hours on my phone every day looking at social media alone. That includes Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, Twitter, Buzzfeed, and even dating apps. Five hours a day every day equates to roughly four whole months out of every year spent keeping up with social media. I was absolutely appalled at this and decided to change that right away.
I deleted everything, all my social media platforms from my phone. (I did keep Snapchat because it is the only way I can communicate with my roommates and I like being safe, I dropped my streaks though.) I recorded some of the observations I made over the next thirty days.
This experience has changed my outlook on social media, and before you call me crazy, I dare you to try it for yourself.
Going to the bathroom is weird. I have nothing to look at. I keep waiting for notifications to come up but there is nothing, I open my phone and click on apps that are missing. Waiting for classes is hard too, I just have to sit there and wait, nothing to do on my phone in that empty time.
I miss watching Rhett and Link every morning when I eat breakfast. Going to bed last night was different too. I just kind of went to bed, didn't check Instagram or watch videos. i just slept.
I have been checking my screen time, and I've noticed that I'm not spending less time on my phone, I'm spending time doing more productive things. I'm doing homework or watching Netflix with my roommates. I keep thinking of funny tweets but I can't tweet them. I also miss the funny twitter memes.
I really have noticed a change at when I look at my phone. I'm not constantly picking it up, waiting to see something. I think that I really have adapted to this, I don't know if I will ever go back.
I have missed several people's birthday's because nothing is there to remind me. I also miss the entertainment that dating apps brought, it was fun to just get on and look at all the crusty guys with my roommates. I think College is making this easier. If it was summer and I had nothing to do, I think that my experience of no social media would be different.
I went to a concert and didn't feel the need to post it anywhere. I was probably more in the moment than I would have been otherwise. Now that this is coming to the end, I think I will keep most of the social media use to a minimum. There is no need for me to waste my life away looking at the lives of people I see every day. Nobody has noticed my absence too, so that's something.
My high school had prom and I can't see all the cute pictures my friends posted, that is a downside to not being on the interconnected web we have woven. I don't know what I will re-download after this, maybe nothing at all. It has been nice not to have the pressure of posting things.
I can't believe this is over, I feel like I have been so out of touch with everyone's lives that It has been nice not to have to keep up. I think that after this, I will limit my social media use. I don't feel a need to get back on and check everything. I really think everyone should do this. I had no idea how much of my life I was giving up to a screen until I got that time back.
Everything about this experience has been good. I learned so much about myself and the hold social media had on my life. I won't be going back to using it the way I was, no way. I highly encourage everyone in the modern world of technology to try this experiment. I can honestly say, I feel more present in every moment now and I plan on keeping it that way.