Here’s What Happened When I Gave Up Social Media for One Week

Photo by Steph Distasio

Since there’s been a lot of buzz surrounding social media lately, Valley asked me to do the seemingly impossible— forego all social media for a week. You’re probably wondering how I survived, but I live to tell the tale. I deleted all of my social media apps including twitter, Facebook, snapchat and Instagram. Here’s what happened:

The sheer fact that these apps were missing from my phone took a little (a lot) getting used to. For about the first three mornings when I woke up and reached for my phone I immediately became confused that I could not check out the exciting overnight happenings. Once this morning grogginess subsided, I remembered what was going on. Riiiight, no social media.

During the first few days of this challenge, I continuously found myself typing ‘Facebook’ in my search bar. At the last second, right before I pressed enter, I would remember to my dissatisfaction that I could not log on to see my friends’ latest pictures and pointless celebrity gossip articles. Let’s just say I had to deactivate my Facebook for a few days because there were more close calls than I’m proud to admit.

In lieu of social media, I proceeded to check my email probably ten times a day. I would open every single spam, read it thoroughly and then delete it. Also, instead of logging on to my social media accounts during boring lectures, I would pull out my laptop and refresh my email about three times, read old emails and make sure I was up to date on everything.

I spent my minimal spare time by watching YouTube videos instead of the usual Facebook stalking, Instagram streaming and Twitter posts. I have seen videos on all ends of the spectrum this week from veterans surprise homecomings, to puppies sleeping, to applying the perfect winged eyeliner.

As the week rolled on, I began getting more and more comfortable with the social media ban. However, I still found myself doing weird, inexplicable things. I would look through each one of my pictures on my camera roll and analyze them carefully by zooming in and out, applying filters, taking them away, tinkering with the lighting, etc. I longed to post some on Instagram, especially after eventful nights out. I also did this weird thing where I would think of hilarious tweets in my head, but would have to text my friends what they were instead of posting them to Twitter. Needless to say, they stopped responding after day four and asked me if I could end this experiment early.

I didn’t think that I used social media all that much, but after going a week without it, my view changed. The fact that I was having urges to log onto my accounts was a bit eye opening. For me, the hardest app to give up was snapchat because I felt out of the loop. But, this feeling of disconnect turned out to be refreshing. I recommend everyone to try giving up social media. I felt like I could focus on my homework better and wasn’t constantly checking my phone for updates. Although my week is finished, I still haven’t re-downloaded social media apps on my phone and I don’t think I will right away.