My One Week Social Media Detox Made Me Realize Time Is A Precious Gift

My One Week Social Media Detox Made Me Realize Time Is A Precious Gift

Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. I deleted everything.
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A couple of weeks ago, my AP Language teacher decided to put our class to the ultimate 21st century challenge that would prove to be difficult for any of us Gen Z'ers. No use of social media whatsoever. Of course, my teacher told us that cheating wouldn't affect her in anyway. It's all about the experience and to see how far we could rein ourselves in. If we cheated, we would only be depriving ourselves of the chance to see just how dependent we are on the little blocks of plastic we place in our pockets everyday.

Obviously, it wasn't easy. Older people will probably laugh at that statement and mutter a soft "of course not" to themselves. Let's be honest, in today's day and age, it wouldn't be easy for anyone regardless of age. Something you're clearly dependent on, something you use on a daily basis, something that is almost seems to be a necessity is taken away from you.

There were a few cheats here and there. I wasn't able to let go of social media completely. For example, I had another person take care of my Snapchat account for my daily streaks. I had to keep using GroupMe to keep in touch with my fellow co-editors and writers of my Odyssey team. I did, though, delete the Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest apps. It emptied up so much space on my phone, especially since I'm not an zealous gamer. My phone basically was there to send texts, receive texts and listen to music.

I had to download several other news apps so I could avoid Twitter. I already had CNN, but in addition, I added Fox, The Onion and Buzzfeed. I would always find articles on Facebook and Twitter, but now I didn't have those apps at my fingertips, I had to download specific news apps instead.

During this span of five days, I kept a journal. At the end of each day, I typed up a small paragraph's worth of report as to what happened, what changed and what I noticed. When my teacher first mentioned the fact that we would have to journal everyday, I groaned. Nothing special would happen. Or so I thought. I thought everyday would be the same grumbling and groaning about not being able to keep up with the latest gossip or news.

But it was so much more than that. And so I thought I would like to share with all of you, my journey of five days without any social media.


January 22 — Monday

I texted a friend two hours ago to take care of my Snapchat streaks. Most of them aren’t really big streaks, but I don’t want to break my streak with Christine since it’s 530 days long. I deleted Facebook and Instagram, so I won’t have to tempt myself. I don’t think I can delete GroupMe because I have to keep in touch with my Odyssey team — I don't think my team would be too happy if I suddenly disappeared for five days.

Coming home on the bus wasn’t too big of an issue for me, because I usually just sleep and listen to music. I can’t really look at screen or a book for too long while on a moving vehicle otherwise I’ll feel sick so I just listen to music to ease my mind.

I told my mom about the challenge, and she said that I would feel extremely relieved of my stress and mentally freed by the end of the week since I wouldn’t be wasting time on keeping an eye on what everyone else was doing. I have a lot of assessments tomorrow so I highly doubt I’ll have time to look at much social media tonight.

January 23 — Tuesday

When I woke up today, my fingers almost immediately went for the Snapchat app before I could stop myself. Good thing school has no service otherwise this would an even bigger challenge. Whenever I saw a notification for Snapchat come up, I would become nervous, hoping my friend (who was taking care of my account) would open it before the clock ran out. I was a little bored during lunch because there are moments of silence during lunchtime with my lunch group since everyone’s on their phone scrolling through their Instagram feed.

It’s actually around 10 p.m. right now and I was about to head to sleep, but I realize I have to write this down before I forget. The next three days are going to be even harder because my entire lunch group will be at Beta Convention. I won’t be able to see their Snapchat stories or Instagram pictures. I’ll be completely clueless as to how their trip will go plus there won't be much to do during lunch. Hoping these next couple days fly by.

January 24 — Wednesday

I felt refreshed today's morning. I think it’s because I slept an hour earlier last night. Usually that hour is spent opening up last minute streaks, scrolling through IG and FB and pinning a few crafts and DIY’s on Pinterest before I head off to bed. It felt great. Instead of the usual scrolling, I just set my alarms, listened to a little music and fell asleep. Actually one interesting thing I noticed that I fell asleep faster than usual. I searched it up on the internet and found an article that shows that apparently looking at any screen an hour before will cause your brain to be more awake, hence making it harder to sleep.

My friends left for Beta Con today so I had a lot of free time during lunch and ended up getting all my APUSH notes done rather than randomly scrolling around Pinterest or IG. I’m home right now, and I can’t do much but homework and Odyssey related work. I did about an hour of piano practice rather than the 30 minutes I usually do.

January 25 — Thursday

Not using social media has actually been getting easier by the day. I’ve started using my time on things that actually matter. I spent an hour longer reading “The Great Gastby,” because I didn’t have any other homework. Everything else I finished at school during lunch.

I do kind of want to see how my friends are doing at Beta Con, but honestly, I can always find out later. I think one of the things I want to stick to doing is not using any social media at least half an hour prior to going to sleep. I feel so much more awake in the mornings. Not having to stress about doing streaks first thing in the morning is another plus. I’ve found time that shockingly, I didn’t have before to go downstairs after my mom comes home from work and talk to her for a while. All of this is because I don’t use social media.

Even after my friends come back, I think I’ll continue doing homework during lunch as they scroll away on their screens. It’s giving me time I never knew even existed. Tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. I can use social media again.

January 27 — Saturday

I didn’t have to journal today because the challenge ended yesterday at 3:30 p.m., but I wanted to mention something that happened to a classmate of mine. I got a snap from one of the girls I have streaks with, and she’s in AP Lang too. She decided to quit Snapchat, because she realized that social media gave her depression and took away the time to do things she loved and spend time with loved ones. But what stood out to me the most was when she wrote: "Those 15 minutes every couple of hours really add up. What a world we live in." She’s right those 15 minutes we spend looking through social media every couple of hours end up adding up and taking away a lot of time.

Even though social media is supposed to keep us connected, it has disconnected us from reality and the things and people around us. I don’t know if I’m completely ready to stop using social media altogether, especially in the day and age we live in. But I am ready to start cutting it down bit by bit. I’m planning on writing an article on my experiences this week so maybe it’ll encourage someone else to try this challenge as well.


To anyone that reads this, I promise that this challenge is worth it. Especially if your life is as consumed by social media as anyone else's in the 21st century. It won't be easy, but that's why it's a challenge. Hopefully your experience will be as freeing as mine was.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash / Sam Manns

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100 Instagram Captions You'll Want To Use Right Now

Quotes, lyrics, sayings, and other ideas for Instagram captions!
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When it comes to Instagram we are often thinking about what to use as a caption for our photos that we take that we really want to post on Instagram. Sometimes we post the photo without a caption and sometimes we just use an emoji because we're stumped on finding a good caption to use for the photo. So we go the short route and just put an emoji as a caption for our photo. Well whether it is a selfie, a friend pic, group pic, or just need a caption for the photo, here are 100 captions to use for a photo. Some are lyrics, some are quotes, and some are just a quick caption to use on your photo. Also here are some accounts that are worth following:

-@brandonwoelfel

-@tess_and_sarah

-@brandymelvilleusa

-@goldenretrievers_

-@cats_of_instagram

-@zodiac.signs

-@thegrilledpineapple

-@jazzjennings_

-@chipper_thegolddog

-@llauratheleo

-@heyshalice

-@sailorhaley

-@sandcloudteam

-@photosabss

-@sharkbaitblond

Here are Quotes To Use As A Caption/ Lyrics To Use As A Caption/ Quick Little Sayings To Use As A Caption: for your Instagram photo that you wish to post!

1. Life goes on, with or without you.

2. Don't Worry Be Happy! Bob Marley

3. Be Happy.

4. Be Confident.

5. Be Positive.

6. Don't be a liar, everyone hates a liar.

7. Chillin' with my peeps.

8. Go big or go home.

9. What's the deal?

10. The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it's all that matters.

11. Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.

12. Life is a gift.

13. You couldn't handle me even if I came with instructions.

14. Forgive, yes. Forget, never.

15.There's a hole in my heart where you used to be.

16. I don't need any part-time people in my life.

17. Get the gist.

18. Boy, it's the 21st Century, get with the program.

19. Hey, I just met you, this is crazy!

20. I woke up like this.

21. Keep smiling because life is a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about.

22. Beauty is power, a smile is its sword.

23. Last day of class!

24. I donut care!

25. Got my donut and coffee today.

26. Happy as a clam

27. Beach days are the best!

28. A friend will always make you smile, especially when you don't want to…

29. Always classy, never trashy, and a little bit sassy.

30. If only we could turn back time...

31. With you, I forget all my problems. With you, time stands still.

32. Life's a climb, but the view is great.

33. "Ohana, means family, family means no one gets left behind or forgotten." — "Lilo & Stitch"

34. We come to love by not finding the perfect person, but by learning to see the imperfect person perfectly.

35. If I ever write a story about my life, don't be surprised if your name appears a billion times.

36. She's got that red lip, classic thing going on.

37. I don't know what's tighter, our jeans or our friendship!

38. Best friends make good times better and hard times easier!

39. Not sure what I did to deserve you as my best friend :)

40. I don't need your approval to be me.

41. So call me? Maybe?

42. "I am who.I am, I am what I am, I do what I do and I ain't never gonna do it any different. I don't care who likes it and who don't." — Buck Owens

43. Take me as I am, or watch me as I go.

44. "Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars." — Ed Sheeran

45. Cause you're a sky full of stars — Coldplay

46 . I keep dancing on my own — Calum Scott

47. Can't keep my hands to myself — Selena Gomez

48. I just want to look good for you — Selena Gomez

49. Kill em with kindness — Selena Gomez

50. I am not perfect. I make mistakes. But when I say sorry… I mean it!

51. Me? Weird? Please! I am limited edition!

52. Turn that frown upside down.

53. Smile, it's the best thing a girl can wear!

54, Stay true.

55. Laughing is the best medicine you can ever get!

56. "You're the king, baby I'm your queen." — Taylor Swift

57. Best Friends Forever!

58.Throwing it back to the good ole days!

59. Ugg Life.

60. I know you like, first-name-basis.

61. *Sends selfie to NASA cuz I'm a star*

62. Basic white girl.

63. Frisky Friday!

64. My thoughts are stars that I cannot fathom into constellations. — "The Fault In Our Stars"

65. "Maybe our okays will be our infinities." — The Fault In Our Stars

66. So hold onto me because I'm a little unsteady — Unsteady

67. This has got to be the best day of my life.

68. She's the beauty and he's the beast.

69. "All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them." — Walt Disney

70. "If you can dream it, you can do it." — Walt Disney

71. "Hakuna Matata, it means no worries for the rest of your days." — "The Lion King"

72. "The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it." — "The Lion King."

73. "Remember you're the one who can fill the world with sunshine." — "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"

74 ."The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all." — "Mulan"

75. "You don't have time to be timid. You must be bold and daring." — "Beauty and the Beast"

76. "All it takes is faith and trust." — "Peter Pan"

77. "A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference." — "Winnie the Pooh"

78. "If you focus on what you left behind, you will never be able to see what lies ahead." — "Ratatouille"

79. "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." — George Bernard Shaw

80. "A true hero isn't measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart." — "Hercules"

81. "Life's not a spectator sport. If watchin' is all you're gonna do, then you're gonna watch your life go by without ya." — "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"

82. "The things that make me different are the things that make me ME." — "Winnie the Pooh"

83. "Giving up is for rookies." — "Hercules"

84. "Happiness is the richest thing we will ever own." — Donald Duck

85. "Change is good." — "The Lion King"

86. "In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." — Abraham Lincoln

87. "An unexamined life is not worth living." — Socrates

88. "Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky." — Rabindranath Tagore

89. "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart." — Helen Keller

90. "The sky broke like an egg into full sunset and the water caught fire." — Pamela Hansford Johnson

91. "Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success." — Swami Sivananda

92. "Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain... To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices. Today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity, but embrace it." — Kevyn Aucoin

93. "Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'," — Audrey Hepburn

94. "Keep your face always toward the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you." — Walt Whitman

95. "My power's turned on, starting right now I'll be strong." — Rachel Platten

96. "Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared." — Buddha

97. "Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf." — Rabindranath Tagore

98. "I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'" — Muhammad Ali

99. "Why don't you be you, and I'll be me." — James Bay

100. Life is like a camera, we focus on the positives and develop from the negatives.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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The Case Against 'Strong AI', Are Computers Truly Intelligent?

The analysis of American philosopher, John Searle, and his "Chinese Room Thought Experiment," making the case against strong artificial intelligence.

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In his stance against 'strong AI,' John Searle presented what he named 'The Chinese Room Thought Experiment'. This experiment presents the situation in which a monolingual English speaker is secluded in a room and is given some writings that are written in Chinese along with some Chinese script and a set of rules in English to aid the English speaker to be able to compare the two sets of Chinese writings from each other. Then providing the English speaker with a third selection of writings along with more instructions in English for deciphering, the monolingual English speaker is now enabled to prepare a response to the questions asked in the script.

To compare and create an analogy which can further the understanding of this experiment can be one being secluded and being presented with two sets of hieroglyphics from Ancient Egypt and being given a key in English which allows them to understand the hieroglyphics and use that to answer the third set of hieroglyphics which are in the form of a question. The analogy works well in comparison to the Chinese scripts since most have experience in school being presented with a similar and relatable situation with hieroglyphics.

After the secluded monolingual English speaker uses all of the scripts and guides presented to him to answer the questions and return them to those outside the room, his answers are read by native Chinese speakers. The person inside the room becomes so well versed in following the instructions that are presented to them that they are able to seamlessly respond to the questions and the work that they created is seemingly "indistinguishable from those of Chinese speakers."

When they read and look at the answers provided by the English speaker, the Chinese speakers would not be able to come to the conclusion that the person that is inside the room and responding to their questions is not a native Chinese speaker. By being able to produce these answers by just decoding uninterpreted symbols using a code, it can be said that the person just following the instructions is "simply behaving like a computer." Searle uses this computer example to relate to the "Script Applier Mechanism" (SAM), story understanding program, created by Schank and Abelson in 1977.

In order to reach his conclusion for "The Chinese Room Thought Experiment," Searle decides to consider the situation as if he were the monolingual English speaker placed in the secluded room. In his own perspective, he believes that it is quite clear that he does not understand any bit of the Chinese stories. He states that he receives the same content in the writings that would be seamless for the native Chinese speaker to understand and regardless of the extent to which how extensive the deciphering codes are in the end, he as a monolingual English speaker understands nothing. Searle then takes this conclusion that he comes to and makes the follow-up conclusion that Schank's computer does not understand any of the stories either.

The computer is also able to use all three sets of the Chinese writing as well as the deciphering codes in English to come up with a response in Chinese just as the well-trained English speaker is able to do. Since Searle claims that he is able to "understand nothing" and is able to produce a response to the questions, he claims that Schank and Abelson's computer also does not understand anything as it is simply able to reproduce the exact same thing that the English speaker was able to do. Expanding the conclusions that he made further, Searle then states that the ability of Schank and Abelson's computer to follow the set of rules in order to respond to the questions is not something that can be considered inherently special or unique to their specific computer.

It is something that can be programmed into any computer or taught to any human being so it is not unique and the theory can then apply to any simulation. This works to support Searle's task of refuting strong AI, by stating that the computers ability to decipher the three sets of Chinese script and use the English codes, it is not considered intelligent no matter how intelligent it may seem.

The programming inserted into the computers which cause the symbols to be processed, it is not intelligent because it is just executing the functions it is being told to do and the symbols are meaningless and the computer itself is not doing anything that could be considered intelligent. With this lack of semantics and thinking, it can be stated that it does not have any meaningful mental states further supporting Searle's argument.

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