Challenge, Problems and Solutions

My Life Without Social Media Experiment

“The only people who call their customers users are drug dealers and technologists.”

What made me decide to do this?

On February 11th I decided to take one month off from Social Media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat were deleted from my phone. A month before the charger to my laptop broke which meant all I had was my  phone. Even with just my phone I felt like I had more time in my day so with that I decided to go one step further and remove my social media from my life.  It really has nothing to do with the people but I was at a point in my life where I simply wanted more “headspace.” I felt constantly distracted without ever figuring out solutions to the real problems I had with my life. They were nagging issues at the back of my mind that seemed to always be there at the end of the day.

There is a difference between relaxing and distracting.

This difference was very easy to recognize when you remove most of the distraction from your life. It feels like we’re constantly distracted as a society, every minute of our day something has our attention, chat, notifications, videos, status update, stories. We are always looking at a screen but this doesn’t allow us time to think about our lives. There is this TED Talk called “How Boredom Can Lead to Your Most Brilliant Ideas.” This video which I linked explains alot of what I discovered during the month. Connectivity is almost a drug that we’re constantly in search for.

Clearly God Was Trying to Teach Me a Lesson

  1. My laptop charger broke and then the only other laptop I could use magically stopped working when I started using it.
  2. Where I work most of the week there was a bus stop directly in front of the store where I have wifi access. What happened? The bus stop got moved because of the Hastings Sewage problem. Coincidence?

These lead to two things I learnt, the first being to enjoy waiting. We as a society are constantly going somewhere, we have no patience. We don’t want to wait in the bank, wait on the bus, wait in line. But when you have no distractions scheduled you learn to enjoy the wait, live in the now. For me, life somehow felt less stressful when I learnt how to wait, to simply sit and do nothing.

Facebook

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Facebook simply send out junk notifications in order for you to keep opening the app. I have been off of Facebook for 1 month and all of my notifications are really irrelevant. However I will say Facebook is useful for job searches with a number of pages displaying new vacancies everyday. I got my current job through an Instagram post. My previous was from LinkedIn and I learnt about my weekend tutoring job through Facebook. Although social media is very distracting it’s useful in those areas.

Instagram

I had Instagram once before this current one and I had to delete. I was at a younger stage in my life and I found myself having many negative emotions while using it. Everyone had their perfect pictures, perfect bodies, exciting lives which made me feel very self conscious about mine. I deleted it and only rejoined Instagram when I was in University. At this point I was more mature and understood life a bit better so I wasn’t as bothered by posts but It still has that small effect.

I had to use social media for work, we have to keep our Instagram page updated. It’s nothing complicated but what I realized is that social media becomes a lot less addictive when you don’t know the persons you’re looking at. It’s way easier for me to put down the Instagram from work than it is for my personal Instagram. Liking or knowing who you follow seems to be part of the addictive quality of social media.

Twitter

I was very new to twitter,  didn’t have a large following or followed many people. I only recently downloaded twitter about 6 months ago for my blog as a way to reach more persons but then I realized it’s a very funny platform. I changed my twitter to private and used it for personal reasons. Honestly, the month without twitter makes me wonder why I even signed up in the first place. Twitter is simply distraction for me, there isn’t much productivity that happens there simply a lot of talk. I may just delete my account now.

Snapchat

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DinaIsis246  is no longer on Snapchat. I deactivated my account and 30 days passed which means it’s permanently deleted. Snapchat is a fun concept but I found it dangerous when it comes to privacy and people do used for sexual reasons. I probably posted a story on Snapchat maybe once every 3 months I simply never used it much to connect with others only to see what others were doing with their lives. The Snapchat filters are lit, but I’ll just have to live without them smoothing and lightening my skin in the reach for perfection.

A life with less notifications isn’t so bad. I finally got a charger on Friday. For the rest of the year it seems that I will only use Facebook on my computer. I’m not sure what will happen with my Instagram, I’ll see as the blog continues. Snapchat is gone forever. Twitter? Meh.

I’ve been off the cleanse for over a week and I’ve decided to keep social media apps off my phone. I’m not sure what I’ll decide to do with my actual profiles but for now life is a lot more free.

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