7 Lessons Deleting Snapchat Has Taught Me

7 Lessons Deleting Snapchat Has Taught Me

No more streaks, selfies, or stories… for an entire month.
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Yep, that’s right — at the beginning of last month, I took the liberty to delete Snapchat entirely, along with a few other social media apps, including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, off my phone and computer. Rather inspired by one of my favorite singers, Ed Sheeran, and his recent detachment period from social media, I decided to also quit using some of the most popular apps in the world. Though the beginning of the process was completely heartbreaking and seemed almost impossible to overcome, I slowly but surely discovered the infinite benefits of removing myself from the hectic online world that is taken over by today’s technology-driven addiction.

1. No more stress; no more validation

The second I deleted Snapchat, I immediately came to the realization that there was no longer the need to update the public with what I was up to. This took away the feeling of constantly having to validate myself — whether that was through putting on a show by posting new videos and pictures. There was no more stress with focusing on the game of statistics or the numbers of likes, comments or retweets I got.

2. Alternatives are superior

One of the main reasons deleting Snapchat tore my heart apart, was because I used the app to keep in touch with a few good friends and people who went to other schools, lived in different countries or who I only saw once a year, if lucky. But after removing these apps, I was quickly introduced to other, better ways to still talk with these friends and family members, such as texting or calling, which I found more personal and exciting.

3. Lose the 24/7 pressure

When I used Snapchat in the past, there was always a huge unspoken pressure to be doing something adventurous, eating somewhere interesting or looking cute and presentable at all times. But in reality, that’s not always the case! A lot of the time, I’m not doing something super interesting, and even if I am, I don’t always have to share it publicly. Sometimes I’m just in my room editing photographs, doing homework at my neighborhood pond or even just sleeping — and there’s no need to feel any pressure of having to document every second of my life on social media.

4. Live NOW

As a person who loves photography and videography and always has a camera on them, I found that removing my Snapchat account was beneficial for me to learn to live in the moment, rather than documenting it all for the internet. When I had Snapchat, the app acted as another load of stress and another requirement of visual media, on top of my DSLR camera and phone camera that I already, and would much rather, use to capture moments. Since I’ve deleted the app, it’s allowed me to put away my phone when I’m out with friends and rely less on its unnecessary documentation of living through a lens, rather than through my own eyes.

5. Use phone storage for the better

I’ve always had an issue with storage space on my phone, especially because I’m limited to only eight gigabytes and half of it is used for downloading giant raw photograph files from my computer. Another two gig are used for actual normal phone things, like settings, data and applications. Snapchat took up one entire gigabyte, which left me with only one gig left over for other apps, videos and games — barely any space. By deleting Snapchat, I was able to store more information and a larger variety of apps on my phone.

6. Grades improve

Snapchat, along with the other apps and games I chose to delete during this one month trial run of social media detachment, I found was notably intrusive to my academic work environment and study habits. When I decided to delete the app, I found that I was able to focus for longer periods of time and no longer had to multitask trying to learn with worrying about responding to streaks at the same time.

7. Do more

“Do more” is actually one of my biggest New Year’s resolutions. Intending this lifestyle phrase to contribute to my life in all aspects — through academics, friends and family, community, health, activities, personal characteristic development and more — I have learned more about myself by getting off my phone and doing things I would have never done otherwise. I no longer worry so much about the miscellaneous information catered through social media — and instead, I can focus on living genuinely and doing more.

Cover Image Credit: Huffington Post

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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Stop Shaming Teens For Always Being On Their Phones, They're Doing More Good Than You Think

People used to spend hours listening to the radio. Now we spend hours listening to podcasts. The only difference is the size of the box.

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It feels like I am inundated with articles about how today's teens aren't social or mature enough or some other patronizing nonsense. Amongst the most common gripes is the complaint that kids these days spend so much time on their smartphones that they are becoming dumber.

This is simplified, reactionary nonsense. While I agree that staring at a screen at 4 a.m. is not the healthiest thing, pigeonholing an entire generation into that one stereotype neglects to consider a whole bunch of other reasons why people might choose to have their phones in hand.

For one thing, phones are simply a means of communication. I, for one, think it is lovely that I can call my friend halfway across the world to chat about the newest Bollywood movie, coordinate a budget meeting, and spam my siblings with stupid superhero memes at the same time. We are busier nowadays, but some of us thrive in the constant state of organized chaos.

Smartphones, with their myriad scheduling and communication applications, are absolutely indispensable for us.

Some of us also use our phones as a lightweight, omnipresent journal. It's a perfect place to jot down poems, story ideas, and funny observations for later perusal. Thanks to cloud connectivity, we don't have to worry about our writing becoming lost or damaged by the elements. It's also much, much less cumbersome than having boxes full of papers and notebooks. In fact, I wrote this entire article on my phone.

Smartphones are also instruments of information dissemination with activists and reporters using them to document world events in real time. Videos can be streamed across the word in a matter of seconds, making first-hand eyewitness accounts much more accessible. For every terrible Microsoft Paint attempt at a meme, we have footage of people making a difference in the world.

One a more serious note, there is also a pretty big gendered component. For many girls and women, it Is a defense mechanism. By putting headphones in our ears and a screen in front of our face, we send a silent message of unavailability. Guys who may otherwise try and accost us unwantedly see us disengaged and are less likely to bother us.

And if they do try to catcall us, we usually can't hear them.

On a more lighthearted note, is it really so wrong to want to do a BuzzFeed quiz or use a dating app? Even if we are not using our phones to save the world, we shouldn't be shamed for enjoying technology. We use them for art, entertainment, communication, science, information, the list goes on. It is human nature to be fascinated by the novel and that is exactly what smartphones are.

Besides, people used to spend hours listening to the radio. Now we spend hours listening to podcasts. The only difference is the size of the box.

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