Tuesday, August 14: Day 9
You know when you have one of those weeks where you feel like everything is just falling apart? It's been one of those weeks for me. Randomly, out of the blue, a lot of little things all added up, and I got a little overwhelmed. Let's just say, I balled my eyes out in front of a police officer. It's been great to say the least.
On day nine of my digital detox, I thought it was time to give a brief update. As I mentioned before, I never deleted any of my accounts, I just deleted the apps from my phone. I wasn't completely disconnected, I just had to exercise self control when it came to checking Instagram and Facebook on my laptop. For anyone who knows me, you'll know that I am completely addicted to social media. I LOVE a scroll on Instagram, and checking my Facebook feed for news and yes, even memes.
But with every passing day, the need to check both social media networks seemed to decrease further and further. Originally, I planned on doing the detox for just five days, but after an emotional week and weekend, I thought I'd continue onwards. If you happened to run into me in the past week or so, you'll probably have fallen into conversation with me about it. I cannot rave enough about how good it feels to not constantly be checking my phone. To just be a little less connected, a little less tangled, and a whole lot more free.
Scrolling is probably the biggest waste of your time. You do it in conversation with others, whilst watching movies, over brunch, during lectures, on the bus, waiting for your coffee. It becomes a somewhat security blanket during awkward situations, or situations where you are forced to interact with strangers. In a bid to avoid eye contact and small talk, we scroll on Facebook or Instagram. We send stupid, meaningless Snapchats, and even, as a last resort, check our email app.
This past week or so I have learnt many things, and not one of them has been negative. I have learnt that despite the odd funny video, Snapchat basically serves no purpose, nor does it add anything to your daily life. Don't get me wrong, it is a fun app to use, yes. But in reality, it just adds another pointless form of mindless communication to your life - and I find that the people I snap are normally the ones I am texting - and thus, if I really need to send them a photo, I can do that over message. To sum it up - I probably will never re-download Snapchat.
The lack of social media apps on my phone forces me to either a) actually message people about how they are or b) avoid my phone all together, and actually chat to people whilst waiting for a lecture, or even whip out a book. Your phone acts as a barrier between you and a potential friend, future colleague or even love interest. By keeping it in your pocket, I promise you, you will have so many more conversations, you will observe so many more beautiful things and basically, just experience life first hand, not through your screen.
Instagram is the tricky one for me - I know I have to have it for the blog, so my game plan is to simply just log in when I need on my internet browser, and then log out and be done with it for the day. Facebook would likely be the easiest app to get rid of completely, however, when it comes to work group chats and event invites, you're kind of left in the lurch if you don't have it. So, I am sticking to my original plan, and just checking it at night on my laptop.
If I can detox myself from social media - anyone can. I challenge people who are reading this thinking "that would be good, but I just can't bring myself to do it" to try it for just one day. Or even just for an afternoon. Delete your apps, and gain back time for actually living life. The hardest part is clicking delete, after that, I promise you, you won't look back. In the wise words of Shia LaBeouf, JUST DO IT.