Snapchat Was Ruining My Life, So I Got Rid Of It

Snapchat Was Ruining My Life, So I Got Rid Of It

And I'm not logging back in anytime soon.

After much thought and consideration, I am writing this to let all of you know that my dear friend Snapchat user name isabelleadler56 has been put to rest. I know what all of you are thinking, but contrary to those beliefs, I have never felt better.

At the start of this year, I enrolled in a Technology in the Communication class. First assignment, digital and social media cleanse. I laughed out loud when this was assignment announced. Me, go 24 full hours with no phone, computer, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Netflix? HAHA no. Obviously, I bullshitted the assignment and carried on with my normal routine. Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, repeat.

There was a girl in my class who had mentioned that she did not have a Snapchat. I thought this was beyond strange. Like, it's 2017, every millennial has one. I literally thought she was lying when she uttered the words "I do not have a Snapchat." I was like why tho? But after hearing her response, it all made sense. She said that if someone wanted to have a conversation with her they could text or call her. She said it was a waste and time and energy for her. Damn, she was so deep.

I admired it but ultimately was not willing to let go of my precious Snapchat or any social media for that matter. I went many weeks thinking about what she said, however, was still keeping up with daily technological norms and of course my Snapchat streaks. 621, 554, 321, 223, and 181 were just some of my many snap streaks. I clearly put a lot of time and effort into Snapchat and was not willing to let go of that. But why..? It's just a number, right?

Recently, I've noticed that my bad days were adding up and seemed to be more than my good days. There was always something that either made me anxious or sad. Whenever I was feeling down, I immediately would do is check my Snapchat. As if Snapchat was going to solve all my problems. I would send snaps to people that made it clear I was upset so they would ask me why.

I was just asking for attention in the most deplorable way possible.

I think I would do it impulsively as an excuse as well but recently came to the conclusion that it was the source of my bad days and anxiety.

I thought back on it and realized anytime I felt sad, left out, and/ or anxious was because of what I was seeing. Seeing a snap story of the boy who wouldn't text me back brought me to tears, seeing friends out and knowing I was not invited made me feel like shit, and on top of that I felt like I was not liked when I would send a Snapchat and the person would open it and blatantly not answer. The open arrow on Snapchat drove me to such insanity, I would delete conversations with people to get rid of proof that they did not answer me.

What did I have to prove? That I took nice vacations and ate at good restaurants. I literally could not go anywhere "nice" or "cool" without storying or Snapchatting it. It was pathetic to me. Looking back on it, I was extremely pathetic.

All in all, Snapchat was adding to my mental health issues.

So I thought about it. I thought to get rid of it. If someone wants to talk to you they will call or text you. What did it matter where I had avocado toast and why did I have to take 15 pictures of it in order for it to be story worthy. Also, why was I letting a number define my relationships with people? And on top of that, why was I allowing what other people were doing to influence how I felt not only about myself but how I felt in general.

So I said fuck it and I logged out and deleted the app. AND, I did it on like the most popular snap story week ever. Thanksgiving.

I deleted my Snapchat on the start Thanksgiving break and I have never been more thankful.

Pun intended.

Instead of constantly wanting to send pictures of where I was or what I was doing, I actually just enjoyed where I was and what I was doing. I started to live life without caring as much. I also felt less anxious. I suddenly did not know what 300 of my closest friends were doing every second of every day and something about that was nice. It was relieving.

My little social media cleanse has quite literally changed my life and the way in which I not only see it but live it.

Needless to say, I do not plan on logging back in anytime soon.

The next thing to go? Instagram.

Cover Image Credit: Personal Photo

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Writers Need To Stop Attacking Each Other's Opinions, It's Not Doing Anything Productive

An Odyssey article is no place for a full-out brawl.

Lately while perusing my Facebook feed, I keep seeing articles titled in ways such as “ To The Girl Who Says She Doesn’t Need Feminism,” and “A Response To "Ladies, Nike Shorts And Leggings Are For The Gym.” Articles like these usually comment on a specific article, and basically state how the writers for those pieces are wrong, and go on to say what they believe.

Don’t get me wrong, I am completely okay with people voicing their own opinions. Every voice needs to be and should be heard, and I have found that Odyssey has been a great way for me to articulate my views on the world. Published works are a great way to share your opinion on political issues, the latest films, and even that gossip going on in your hometown.

However, is it really necessary to call out a specific writer and shut down their opinion?

I get it, some writers don’t like what others have to say in their articles, and these writers want to voice their opinions in a similar fashion. My only qualm with this method of calling out a specific article that made the writer feisty is that this is doing more harm than good.

A writer can easily write their opinions on a topic. I know I have been inspired by other articles that I have seen online that feature opinions different than mine. Rather than call these people out directly, I simply just write about how I feel. I don’t see the point in having to specifically tell this random writer whom I never met my opinions.

For example, I seriously considered writing a counter-piece about an anti-feminism article I saw on the internet today that basically said that feminism is what is going to ruin society. I then decided that this article would’ve been really counterintuitive. Firstly, there are so many pro-feminism pieces out there that I am pretty sure this writer has already read. Also, will this writer ever read this piece? My guess is no, so this article would be a complete waste of time in my mind if my key-audience would never read it.

Maybe that’s just me, but really, I think that these “attacking” articles really do no good. All they do is basically make others feel hurt for simply having an opinion. No opinion can be “wrong,” so to say. Opinions are opinions and they come from the beliefs of the people who form them. People are allowed to disagree with people’s opinions and form opposing beliefs, but that still doesn’t make the other person’s opinion wrong.

In conclusion, I guess all I am trying to say is that people need to stop attacking each other in their articles they write.

This spawns a writing war between writers, and no one really wants to read these articles. I find these articles kind of silly, really, and feel that there are far better ways to voice an opinion besides attacking your opponents.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Meditation In Motion With Alto's Odyssey

How the newest game in the Alto series makes the most of its broadened horizons.

After a brief reflection on the newest Monument Valley installment, I was recently introduced to another mesmerizing mobile phone game: Alto's Odyssey. It's actually a follow-up to another Team Alto release, Alto's Adventure -- a collaboration between Canadian studio Snowman and lead artist/programmer Harry Nesbitt -- but my entrance to the series starts here. I'm discovering that I might have a certain taste for cerebral games; both are minimalist in character design but striking in their color palette and sense of environment (a picture says a thousand words is a pretty apt metaphor here), but that is where the similarities end.

The game opens on raspy, meditative chords, not dissimilar to the opening notes of Trevor Morris's theme for Bioware's Dragon Age: Inquisition. The association alone had my breath catching in my throat and tugging at my heartstrings. The title screen is set against a horizon awash in dawn and speckled with hot air balloons as the sun slowly rises to scorch the hills upon hills of sand. If I wait long enough even the text fades away, and I am alone in the middle of a vast desert. But, with a tap, a blur enters from the left side of the screen and Alto is there, sandboard slamming onto the slopes.

My choices are limited -- jump or not jump, flip or don't flip -- but that doesn't mean the experience has to be as well. I guide Alto through countless biomes in a never-ending cycle of day and night, of wind and rain and dusk. There are sets of three goals at a time -- such as "Discover The Canyons", "Break a pot using a lotus flower", or the easy-breezy "Backflip off of a hot air balloon" -- that string me along and give me a concrete reason to play. I collect glowing coins along the slopes, which I can trade in at the Workshop for stronger helmets, extra lives, and special items. The scarf trailing behind Alto grows longer the farther I'm able to go or the more combos I'm able to land in one run, and after a certain amount of time I can even spot brightly-colored Birds of Paradise hovering over Alto's shoulder, curious at my progress. I quickly sink into the rhythm of the game, calculating the time and distance of my jumps, distinguishing between rocks and plant life, and cringing when I overestimate the number of flips I can accomplish in one go. But the game doesn't seem to mind my many failures: it promptly tells me to dust off and try again. "Don't worry, crashes happen!"

The more goals I accomplish the more levels I ascend, which gradually allows my boarder to progress further into entirely new zones, with new platforms and abilities and characters to spice it up a little. When I find myself getting too incensed (usually because I can't shake a pesky lemur off my tail) I can return to the title screen and swipe to the left, activating what I'm calling Zen Mode and leaving me with only the horizon and a simplistic, rotating drawing of the sun. I focus on the sun and the swaying cacti as my breathing levels off, and I'm ready to try again or go about my day.

I know Alto's Odyssey has so much more to offer me -- hours of smooth gliding, new areas, contemplative tunes, and more characters to test out on the slopes -- but the game makes it clear that I must work for such simple pleasures. I have to fail many times before I can accomplish menial goals, each one taking me further down the slopes than the last. It knows exactly what kind of game it is, and excels in all quadrants: it has gorgeous graphics, runs smoothly, doesn't overload me with objectives or abilities, and is overall one of the most meditative games I've played just to pass the time. Perhaps the best way to wake up is with Alto in your cup!

Alto's Odyssey is now available for download on iOS devices in the App Store.

Cover Image Credit: Team Alto

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