Ridge Review

I Gave Up Social Media For A Week

Anna Goode

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Let me just start out by saying that this was very difficult for me, for some reason. I never would’ve thought I would be the teen who was addicted to their phone and social media, but I was wrong. While offline I felt like I was missing something really important. I wasn’t able to scroll and see what everyone was up to, so I felt like I was being left out. It’s weird because in the scheme of things, I really wasn’t missing anything. It’s like when you can’t find your keys but you know you just had them, and you feel slightly insane.

A friend of mine, Alex Papworth (a junior at Mountain Ridge), had to quit social media for over a week, “cold turkey.” He said that he felt like he was missing out, too. He was annoyed because he didn’t know what was happening with a big event going on at school and he felt disconnected from his friends.

It seems like some teenagers have an actual addiction to these apps, even though you and the real world will not be affected by the things you like or the memes you post.

“I think they are so dependent on it because there is always something new on it, so the second they get bored they remember that there is something they haven’t seen on social media and they check it out. And it usually ends up in causing a bad habit,” Papworth said.

After hearing about his experience with not having social media for a certain period of time, I decided to try it myself.

 

Day One

It’s weird to be logged out of all of my accounts. I’m so used to clicking on the app when I’m bored or when I want to talk to friends, so not being able to is a really weird feeling. However, I find myself not stressing over the large amount of notifications and drama that comes with social media. I sort of feel like I’m missing out on things though. It’s nighttime now and it’s definitely different. My routine involves going through my accounts before bed, and now I can’t log in or look at anything. Now I’m just playing games or texting people before I sleep. Another thing I’ve noticed is that only a few people text and most people just use social media to communicate. If someone wanted to talk to me, they would contact me via social media, even if they had my number. It was weird to me because if it was so important, why couldn’t they just text me?

 

Day Two

People keep bringing up things they’ve sent me on Snapchat or on Instagram and bring up the fact that I’m not able to see it which really makes me feel like I’m somehow excluded from things. Also I’ve noticed how it’s harder to ask for help with school because I have more people on social media than I have in my contacts. However, I do feel less pressure to respond or do things with socials because I’m not logged in. I end up having better conversations with people over text because I can spend more time putting my thoughts together and sending something better than I usually would.

 

Day Three

It’s still weird to not be able to go on social media because people keep asking me if I’ve seen their Snapchat or Instagram stories, or have seen what they sent me. People also assume that I’m in trouble because I’m not on social media platforms, which must mean there’s something wrong. Although games on your phone are fun, I hate not talking to people or knowing what’s going on the way I do when I’m online.

 

Day Four

I really wanted to log in last night. I was tempted to log in to show my friend a post I saw but I couldn’t just pull it up. People continuously ask me to check something they sent me or ask me to send them something via a social media outlet, but I can’t. I feel like it’s one thing to be grounded from social media but willingly giving it up is hard to explain.

 

Day Five

I thought I could do it. I really did. I was going to make this a seven day experience because I should be strong enough not to go on social media. But after five days of hearing and seeing everyone use it, I just couldn’t stay offline. At around 9 pm, I was talking to my friend Papworth and a few others, and they were talking about how someone we knew ran away and their mom was freaking out on social media. Not being able to see it made me feel lost and I just decided to log back in. I don’t know what it is about my phone and my various social media accounts that makes me addicted but having it makes me feel connected to the world, and without it I just feel weird.

 

Overall, I’m glad that I gave up social media even just for a little bit. It was very difficult but, it gave me time to reflect and spend more time talking to those who I’m closest to. Something I still don’t fully understand is why people didn’t just text me. Everyone who sent me stuff via social media had my phone number but they still chose to send it on Snapchat or Instagram. It really just goes to show how important social media is for teenagers. After having it back for a while, even I find myself texting people on Snapchat, even though I have their number. So I guess the question still stands, why do we find these platforms so important? It seems like if you aren’t on them 24/7 you’re completely out of the loop.

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