By: Lauren Carmichael
I gave up social media for a few days. Here’s what happened:
I made a deal with my brother to not go on social media for an entire week.
Spoiler alert: We both didn’t make it.
Before you keep reading, know that this isn’t a typical “my life was better, and I was more productive and connected with people more in real life” fairytale outcome.
Here’s what I learned from the experience:
Social media makes my life easier.
I have event reminders, birthday reminders, groups that I’m a part of. I have a group for my sister’s wedding festivities and a group for a friend’s bachelorette party coming up with all the event details. I have never met some of these people and thanks to social media, I don’t have to in order to connect and communicate with them about events. I needed to go on to one group to get Venmo information for shirts we were ordering for the bachelorette group, which started me off my path of anti-social media. When I signed on, I saw I had 20 notifications within the groups I’m a part of and a couple relatives with birthdays that I’d missed. Now, I’m sitting here hoping the fact that I know no one’s birthday is not brought up at the next family event. I realized my life is so intertwined with everyone one else through xocial media. Could I maybe find out everyone’s phone numbers and try and keep up with everything on my calendar? Yes. But, why add in the extra work and coordinating when someone else (or in this case, an app) is willing to do the work for me?
I found other things to be distracted by.
I’m a procrastinator by nature. I will look for any and everything to do besides what I actually need to be doing until it’s crunch time. I assumed getting rid of social media would cure me of this characteristic. I was wrong. When dinner, homework, chores, and bedtime routine is done, my son gets his “mine craft time” and normally, I would scroll through Facebook or Instagram to see what people are up to. Instead, I filled my time binge watching Grey’s Anatomy. I’m already on season 5. I usually would lay in bed and play on my phone before I go to sleep, but when social media wasn’t an option, I started watching Netflix in bed instead. So I ended up on some other type of screen instead of my little handheld one. I don’t use my phone much at home because I usually have 100 things to do. Maybe that’s why I didn’t really notice a huge difference.
Waiting in line feels infinitely longer.
I went out to get a sub for lunch. I sat at a window seat while waiting for my sub so I could have something to look at while I waited. The busy intersection at Westgate mall didn’t provide enough scenic gold to keep my attention so my wait time felt like an eternity. Out of desperation, I started scrolling through Venmo to see what people were spending money on. I thought, this is ridiculous. I should be able to wait here for a sub without looking at anything. And I know I can, because I did; but it made the whole experience feel way longer than normal and I was kind of bored.
Having a small business that you advertise with through social media or running any Facebook page for a club, made it ten times harder to not be on social media. I don’t necessarily see a downside to using it as an adult. I don’t have time to sit on my phone all day so it probably won’t ever become a real issue that affects my life negatively. I talk to people now more than ever and even have made new friends because of social media. I have learned things and get lots of laughs from it. It helps me coordinate and remember important dates and events.
I decided to give up my fight against social media and give in to my love for it.