PSA: You Can Survive Without Social Media

PSA: You Can Survive Without Social Media

I went without social media for an entire 40 days and am alive to tell the story.
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I woke up on the first day of Lent to no Facebook notifications, no Twitter DM's, or liked Instagram posts. I only had two texts, an email from my professor, and a CNN news update. I got to snooze my alarm a few more times than usual because I'd usually spend those extra thirty minutes checking social media before class. Day One without social media started off on the right foot.

And then here's what happened:

1. I started sending everyone in my contacts 8-ball game requests.

Before, when I was sitting in class waiting for the professor to show up, I would scroll through social media. So when I grabbed my phone to pass the time, I decided that maybe a game of pool would get the job done. But that got old after the first month.

2. I was the only one who had no idea what was being discussed when talking about a Snapchat story.

I sat down at lunch on the very first day without social media and the first thing a friend said was, "Did you see my story?" Since I hadn't seen it, he showed me on his phone instead. That was my first realization of just how much we let others into our lives through social media.

3. I stopped taking Instagram-worthy pictures.

Instead, I just took pictures. (Like that funny one of my dad showing me his new tool set.) I honestly thought I'd stop taking so many pictures because I was not going to post them. But I found that I take pictures just because I like to and not just because I liked to post them. I patted myself on the back for that.

4. I had to actually ask people what they did last weekend.

Normally we just know what all our friends are up to at all times. It was really weird not knowing, at all, what anyone did unless I had texted them to ask. It's funny because with social media we know what everyone is always doing whether we care to know or not.

5. I realized that I did not need to know what every single person that I had on social media was doing.

And I did not care for every person that I have on social media to know what I was doing every day of my life.

6. My grandma called and asked if I was okay.

After not posting at least a picture a week, my family started to worry about me. No post on Facebook means that I was either sick or dead. Sorry for scaring you grams.

7. I found myself texting more than usual.

The only way for me to see what someone was doing was to ask them personally. I normally wouldn't have texted as frequently, with some, as I did during Lent.

I always thought of social media as a great way to keep everyone connected. And it definitely does. But, it sort of restricts how connected we are. We think we see how someone is doing by their posts so we don't take that time to personally communicate with them.

8. I was to blame for the ending of the snap streaks.

Once you've snapped someone for 60+ days, it's not pretty when you end that.

9. I had nothing to do but stare forward when waiting on my professors to get to class.

This actually only happened one day. The next time I had time before my class, out of habit, I got on my phone. But since I could not check my social media, I began looking through my old pictures. This became something I did nearly when I thought I had nothing better to do.

10. But, I found a lot of better things to do.

With all the time I previously spent scrolling through my feeds, I now used that time to partake in more productive activities. I began going for walks. I read books. (Three in one week... one week!) I got my homework done before the hour it was due. I went to church more than just on Sunday mornings. I began playing my guitar, again. I wrote daily. I watched the Netflix that I used to pay to never watch.

11. I didn't lose my mind. Surprisingly.

I honestly thought giving up social media would be the hardest possible task in the world. Yes, it was difficult. But, I didn't miss it as much as I thought I would. After being informed that Sunday's were cheat days, I didn't feel the need to redownload my social media.

12. I generically snap chatted.

If something was Snapchat-worthy, I would take the picture and send it with a caption through text. You've got to work with what you've got. And here are some funny "snaps". Enjoy!


13. I had my friends snapping me through text, too.



12. I had more time for volunteer work.

I had been avoiding committing a lot of time to my volunteer work. But since I realized how much time I actually had, I committed to more hours of volunteering. I have always wanted to help more people and, now, I could. I complained that school was taking up time that I could be out helping people. But, in all reality, I was wasting my own time on my phone.

13. My friends would make jokes about all that I was missing.

At least once a day I would get a text saying to look at the picture I posted of you or go like my tweet or watch this video of this little girl singing. At first, I think it was out of habit. But after the first week, I know they were just trying to make staying off social media harder for me than it was, to begin with. Thankfully, my friends are not only... but also very thoughtful. If they felt I was missing out on something major, I would receive a screenshot revealing the latest and greatest news on social media.

14. I began to realize that I wasn't the one missing out.

The ones who spend hours of their day on their phones are the ones who are truly missing out. Without having social media, I'll be honest, there isn't much to do on your phone. I actually had one of the young girls I volunteer with get on my phone, then ask me why I even had a phone if I didn't have any cool apps. (I guess she didn't consider my Bible app and Spotify as "cool.") But when I wasn't using those apps or taking pictures, my attention was not on my screen. Instead, I paid more attention to my surroundings, to the real world. I always used to think that I did a good job of acknowledging all that was good in the world. But these past 40 days, I was forced to truly appreciate life. I do, now, in a way that I never have before.

I didn't think I would live, but I did. And, I am now here to urge anyone reading this article to do the same. It doesn't have to be 40 days or even a month. It doesn't have to be all social media; maybe just delete one app. You'll see that just a day without checking Twitter or Instagram will allow you to appreciate that day and all you did in it, more than ever before. Our lives shouldn't be lived through technology. And, unfortunately, that's how most of us are living. I don't think that is how it was meant to be.

So, go ahead, give it a try, and you, too, will see.

XO & best wishes,

Ashley Rose

Cover Image Credit: http://capitolmediasolutions.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/bigstock-Modern-Keyboard-With-Colored-S-68403502.jpg

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To The Senior Graduating High School In A Month

"What feels like the end, is often the beginning."
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It wasn’t too long ago that I was in your shoes. Just a little over a year ago, I was the senior that had a month left. One month left in the hometown that I grew up in. One month left with the friends that I didn’t want to leave. One month left in the place that I had called “my school” for the past four years. You are probably thinking the same things I thought whenever it came down to only 30 days left. You’re probably scared, nervous, worried, or anxious. Maybe you’re like me and are dying to get out of high school, ready to start a new chapter. Or maybe you aren’t so ready yet. Maybe you’re wishing for a little more time.

As scary as it is, this month you have left will fly by. You’ll blink and you’ll be standing in your cap and gown, waiting for your name to be called to receive your diploma. You’ll look back on your last four years at your school and wonder why time went by so fast. It’ll be bittersweet. However, trust me when I say that you have so much to look forward to. You are about to begin taking the steps to build your future. You are going to grow and learn so much more than any high school class could teach you. You are going to meet amazing people and accomplish amazing things. So, as scared as you might be, I encourage you to take that first step out of your comfort zone and face this world head on. Chase your dreams and work towards your goals. You are smart. You are brave. You are capable of achieving amazing things. All your life, the lessons you have learned have prepared you for this point in your life. You are more than ready.

There are times when you will feel alone, scared, or confused. There are times when it won’t always be easy. But those are the times when you will shine the most because I know you will work through whatever problems you may face. Don’t think of the bad times as a terrible thing. Use them all as learning experiences. As author Joshua Marine once said, “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

You might think that this is the end. However, it’s not. This is only the beginning. Trust me when I say that the adventures and opportunities you are about to face are nothing compared to high school. Whether you are going to college, going to work, or something else, this is the beginning of your journey called life. It will be exciting, it will be terrifying, but it will all be worth it.

So, as you walk out of your high school for the very last time, I encourage you to take a deep breath. Relax. You’ll always have the memories to look back on from high school. But your time is now, it begins today. Embrace it.

Cover Image Credit: http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1152445/images/o-HIGH-SCHOOL-GRADUATION-facebook.jpg

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Hey, Bored Sports Fans, There Are Plenty Of Ways To Keep Yourself Entertained This Season

When sports get boring, you have to create your own fun.

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It's not always easy being a sports fan. We have to deal with the offseason, sports analysts (who consistently think they know more than fans and athletes do), player injuries, and days going by during the season when our team isn't even playing. It's frustrating, to say the least, and sometimes it can get boring, too.

However, if you're a bored sports fan and want to change this, here's an example of what you can do.

First, go on Instagram and find Tom Brady's page. Once you're there go into the comments of a recent post and type in the following: "Aaron Rodgers is the GOAT." Submit your comment, and prepare to be amazed.

I guarantee that the responses you get will be as entertaining as they will be horrifying. Firstly, given that this is Tom Brady's account, many of his fans will relentlessly attack you. They'll call you names, make comments about your family (who they know nothing about), degrade your looks, and characterize you using every available synonym for "stupid" that exists. There are a few good Samaritans who will refrain from using profanity but will still explain to you why you're incorrect based on statistics, intangibles (such as leadership and likeability), and of course, their "expert" opinion.

Now, if you're lucky, a few brave souls who agree with your comment will come to your defense. They will defend both you and Aaron Rodgers as if you are family. A back-and-forth will occur, and an all-out war of words will take place. You should make it out alive, and hopefully much more entertained.

This concept can be applied to virtually any sports team or player, and the result should be relatively similar. Here are some more comments that should help to keep your nights occupied:

1. Lebron James's Instagram

Go to Lebron James's Instagram page and comment either: "Kobe Bryant is the GOAT" or "Michael Jordan is the GOAT." This can be done interchangeably if you go on either Michael or Kobe's account instead.

2. The Yankees' Instagram

Go to the Yankees' Instagram account and comment: "The Red Socks are better." Although I have to warn you, this comment might get you thrown out of New York.

3. Conor McGregor's Instagram

Go to Conor McGregor's Instagram account and comment: "Khabib Nurmagomedov is better."

4. Michigan State's College Football Instagram

Go to Michigan State's College Football Instagram account and comment: "Ohio State is better."

5. The Houston Rockets's Instagram

Go to the Houston Rockets's Instagram account and comment: "The Warriors are Better."

The list goes on.

Now, while this article is suggesting ways that you can start an online sports argument, I am in no way implying that you should actually go do this. Chances are you might get your feelings hurt and unnecessarily make others angry. So do not participate in any of this — unless of course, you are extremely bored.

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