Recently I took it upon myself to go on a social media cleanse, and from this I learned more about self control and who I am when I left social media. During this time period I began to see how my life would have been if I lived in an earlier time period or if I didn't have my phone. I took it upon myself to leave social media for a period of five days. I knew these five days would be hard as I would be more and more tempted, but I went cold turkey and only kept iMessage as my connection to others. I knew that if I kept anything else, I would continue to be tempted to go ahead and click the re-download button.
My family and I were able to communicate better as I had convinced them to do the challenge with me. The first two days were hard as we all continued to click on the empty location where Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or whatever used to be. However, toward the end of the week, we all began to be happier without these social media in our phones. My family and I were able to talk about issues and current events that were happening in the world without having biased opinions that social media might bring.
This entire experience helped me realize that my opinions can be shaped without those on social media. I read more news about events happening around us. I was especially intrigued about the Superbowl that was coming up and what were the rumors and opinions surrounding the game. This helped me look at news in a new perspective and helped me realize there is more than just the glance at my phone.
In relation to my friends, for the first couple days, I felt extremely out of touch with them. I felt like I was missing out on important information or "tea" as my friend would refer to it as. I was especially worried about my Snapchat streaks and what would happen to them in my absence. However, by the end of the week, my entire mentality had changed for the better. I began to understand how trivial such stuff like Snapchat streaks were. My friendships were not defined by factors such as how long our streak was' it was more about how we felt about each other and how close we were.
Events that were covered on social media also began to have a negative effect for me as I would begin to see the dogmatic view that came with such a personal thing like media. I began to see that I was only seeing what I wanted to see and had to explore my boundaries to learn more about the world around us. As the week ended, I noticed that my screen time on my phone had gone down by 75 percent and that I was sleeping close to an hour earlier than usual.
These statistics shocked me as I realized how bad my addiction had gotten. While I did re-downloaded the apps, I noticed that I am not dependent on them as I was eight days ago.
At the end of this whole experience, I can say that I felt like a person coming out of rehab. I felt a lot better as a I realized that I wasn't constantly checking my phone every five seconds to check for that latest Snapchat or twitter update. This experience helped change me into the better person I am, even though this challenge only lasted for a short period of time.