A Project for Better Journalism chapter
Follow us on Twitter @LKWDTimes
Top Stories, Top Story

5 Days Without Social Media

MONDAY-  This morning…I realized I had a problem. Each morning I instinctively roll over and reach for my phone–quickly being sucked into the game that is social media. I understand the importance of mornings and how they “set the tone” for the entirety of the day. Yet, each day I fall into the same pattern. Inspiration struck as I challenged myself to a life without social media! For one school week, that is. Within two periods I felt the urge to check my phone each passing moment–realizing how frequently I use social media to fill void moments of boredom. As I result, I replaced the time by interacting with people and was able to proper a new student in my Physics class.

In the evening, my nightly routine was dramatically more productive as I turned my phone off around 9pm and read until I felt drowsy enough to call it a night. As a result, I managed to secure 2 more hours of sleep to my usual bedtime…

TUESDAY- I successfully surpassed the morning ritual of rolling over and spending my first waking moments checking all social networks. On this day, I rose with energy. I have concluded it was strictly due to the fact of not staying up for 2+ hours past bedtime watching YouTube videos. I sprung out of bed, made my usual lemon water, and even squeezed some moments in for yoga. For the first time in a long time, I felt as if I actually had adequate sleep and certainly felt lively (at 5:30am).

Once at school, I felt the itch to check Instagram and Snapchat…curious as to what I have already missed. My government class ended a few minutes before the bell and everyone inevitably pulled out their phones to send their daily snap streaks, refresh feeds, or post photos. But not me. For the first time I was actually bored–forced to finally let my mind wander to places it hasn’t in a while. I looked around at the room of classmates staring at their screens and noticed the few that were actually staring at a book. Immediately, I felt my sense of awareness heightening.

WEDNESDAY- Surprisingly, the third day proved to be the hardest of them off. Wednesday nights are spent at work…where I usually spend the evening on Twitter. Once all my tasks are done, I have freedom to work on what I please on the computer. As the shift went on, I increasingly became bored as it  proved to be a slow night at the salon. A moment of weakness occurred when I found myself logging into Twitter…before I knew it 30 minutes had passed. I was shocked–now feeling the magnitude, the dissatisfaction with wasted time. I closed the browser and took it upon myself to replace my old habits with new ones and actually did my homework at a reasonable hour. This particular night I came to a  realization that social media can involve time wasted but ultimately can be abused as a vehicle to procrastinate away what we don’t want to face.

I ended the evening turning off my phone and delving into the last chapter The Four Agreements–a wisdom book about manifesting good energy into life. I fell into a deep sleep with a smile on my face, grateful for this experience, and finally enjoying a life unconfined to the social paradigm.

THURSDAY- Thursdays are usually my-catch up days during the week that I use to prepare for the weekend. I finish work, run errands, and go to my weekly yoga class in the evening. I knew it wouldn’t a challenge to ignore temptations today. I find that staying busy allows me to 1) get more done in the day 2) stay off my phone! With four days under my belt, I felt more connected to myself and the people I interact with on a daily basis. I had an inclination to say “hello” to every passing person. The fog had finally lifted. During the evening, I experienced the most spiritual yoga practice I’ve had in a while–all credited to my heightened awareness off social media. 

FRIDAY- The last day has finally come. I end my “detox” extremely grateful for the experience of spending a week unattached. For the first time in years, I remembered a sense of freedom that I haven’t felt since childhood. Without social media, I slept soundly, became more mindful internally, and established a sense of gratitude for all the wonderful people that surround me. I felt as if I was ripping shackles off my mind and body–finally able to open my eyes to my feelings and motivations. Ultimately, the greatest realization was that I truly vale taking control of my time. Although I will not be quitting social media forever, I plan to drastically decrease my daily intake to checking 1-2 times per day…and certainly not before bed.

We all care what people think about us. We all want to be accepted. We all want validation. Social media multiplies those feelings without us even realizing it. It is not healthy to constantly be under the knife of criticism. In this digital world, we can all benefit from a break from having our lives judged an commented on.

 

Google+