Taking a Break from Social Media

Going 24 hours without social media can be a challenge, but it can also be a relief.

We live in a world that runs on technology. Our generation is dependent upon a notification or a twitter post to maintain our sanity, or so we think. Is it possible that the constant updates and vibrations of our phones are what is driving us crazy? That’s what I decided to find out. Friday night at eight o’clock I gave my Snapchat password to my best friend to keep my streaks, took one final scroll through Instagram, and turned off all of my social media notifications. I was preparing for a networkless weekend. I am a rather busy person and decided that 24 hours would be too easy; we all have our days where we simply forget or don’t have time to check Instagram. I don’t use a ton of social media apps, so I took away the option of texting as well. If anyone needed to get a hold of me, they would have to call me and hope I answered.

The first few hours were the worst. I don’t get home till later on Friday nights so I usually eat dinner alone, seeing as the rest of my family eats dinner at a more reasonable time. Because of this, I had gotten in the habit of scrolling through Instagram while I eat. I took my pizza out of the microwave and sat down at the island with my phone. While eating dinner, I realized how few games I have on my phone. I decided to watch Netflix, which was surprisingly difficult because every time someone came downstairs I had to pause the show so I wouldn’t miss anything. (I have younger siblings that go bed around seven thirty or eight so I couldn’t turn the volume up very loud.) I gave up after a couple of minutes and ate in silence. It was weird, primarily because I’m so used to doing something else while I eat.

I usually send streaks at night before I go to bed. I kept feeling like I was forgetting something as I lay in bed after brushing my teeth and taking out my contacts. I knew my friend was taking care of everything that needed to be taken care of, but I couldn’t help but feeling like something was missing.

In the morning I got ready for my day while feeling like I was uninformed. I felt very out of touch. As my busy day went on, I ended up forgetting about social media. In the evening when I had more time it was very weird to open my phone, and then realize I couldn’t open Snapchat. Usually whenever I have a minute and I’m not doing anything, I will respond to my Snapchats. Waiting in line at the grocery store and sitting in the car with nothing to do but turn on my phone, only to turn it right back off.

On Sunday I had a lot more free time. Instead of sitting on my phone all day, I was able to play with my little brothers and sisters and my dog. I watched some classic Disney movies. I cleaned my room. I wanted to continue the cliches and take a walk, but it was too cold. The idea stays the same though; I was able to focus on small things that I wouldn’t normally pay attention to because I was busy sucked into my phone.

With that said, I didn’t really think taking a social media break was worth it until after the 48 hours were up. I was left with a lot more worries than I would have normally had if I knew I could check social media at any moment. After I turned my notifications back on and logged into my Snapchat on Sunday night I immediately sent a streaks picture, made sure I still had them all, and engaged in all the conversations I had been missing out on. Then I opened Instagram and I realized why this 48 hour break was nice after all.

Instagram is a place filled with gorgeous pictures of coffee, adorable snaps of puppies, and stunning selfies. It is also a place filled with pictures of that party you weren’t invited to, hatred over silly things like political opinions, and overly scandalous pictures that you don’t really want to see. After taking a break from it, I realized that Instagram isn’t the most positive place. Snapchat is a fun way of talking and sending goofy pictures to your friends. Texting is a very practical way to let your mom know that you’ll be home a couple minutes late from school. Instagram, however, is a way of displaying public hatred. Since I took a break from social media I have not opened Instagram as much as I used to. It feels more like a chore to scroll through and see every single picture posted by my 466 friends. Honestly, I’d prefer to see a nice picture or a goofy picture that I would find on Snapchat, not that scandalous mirror selfie. I would rather not be seduced by the girl I talked to once in eighth grade. I’d prefer not to see my “friends” telling their other friends “Happy birthday” while you forget about mine. I’d prefer not to see the pictures of all my “friends” at that party that I was never invited to. I’d prefer not to see someone’s opinion getting bashed on because they said something about politics or religion. I love to see everyone commenting heart eyed emojis on the pictures of my friends posing in a pumpkin patch. I love to see posts about small acts of kindness. I love to see posts with encouraging stories. I don’t like to see people tearing each other down and posting things that don’t need to be shared. I don’t like to see people posting things just to start drama. I don’t like to see people saying mean things.

In the end, my break from social media had its pros and cons. Some platforms are better than others. Each social network serves its own purpose. Although I don’t think that social media is out to destroy relationships and ruin our generation, I definitely think that we could all check our phones less throughout the day, be mindful of what we post and its possible outcomes, and pay more attention to the world around us.