My name is Ellie, and I’m a social media addict.
So, this week, I decided not to use social media at all! I waste way too much of my life on it, and I was interested to see whether I could cope without it.
As a starting point, I looked at how long I have spent on social media within the last week:
Facebook: 8.1 hours
Messenger: 18 mins= 0.3 hours
Snapchat: 4.5 hours
Instagram: 1.9 hours
TOTAL: 14.8 hours
After doing some calculations, I’ve worked out that that’s about 14% of my waking life. However, this number will be higher as my phone only records how many hours I am using it when it is not charging. Nevertheless, 14% is a lot of my waking hours. I could do a lot more with this time.
I started off by posting on Facebook to make sure my friends don’t think I’ve disappeared or anything and then deleted all my apps.
Here’s how my week went:
Day 1: So today was the first day. Honestly, it was strange to not start the day off by checking social media. However, as I’d woken up a bit before I needed to, I read for a bit, which was a lot more relaxing than being on social media! During the day, I kept automatically going to open the apps, then realising that they were not there. I kept pretty busy today, so I didn’t have a lot of time to spare, but in those quiet moments, I really missed having something to look at. However, today was a little bit easier than I thought it would be. Hopefully tomorrow will be too!
Day 2: Again, today I was busy. I spent most of the day with a friend, so I didn’t feel the need, or have the time to sit on social media. Later on, I went to the cinema, where, of course, you have to have your phone switched off anyway. However, I normally like to check myself in on Facebook and tell people what film I’m watching, so it felt strange not to. I’ve also kept feeling the urge to snap things as I keep seeing things I want to add to my story. No one is seeing my cats enough! When I got home, I read more than I normally would have done because I didn’t have anything to distract me. However, I was feeling like going to bed at half past 9! I’m a little bit nervous as I don’t have much on tomorrow to distract me.
Day 3: Today went much better than I expected. I think that I am now just getting used to not having social media. I had a lot more time to get on with jobs without distraction. However, I am checking things like my emails more often, just because it makes me feel better to check something. Is this a sign of addiction? Hopefully this good progress will continue tomorrow.
Day 4: Today, I hardly noticed that I wasn’t on social media. I’ve been enjoying the peace of not thinking about what others are doing. I also wasn’t checking anything much today, so that’s even better. I’m achieving more, and so because of that I’m feeling more tired tonight. I was properly considering going to bed at 9! This whole thing feels so much easier now.
Day 5: I can’t believe that its only Friday and there’s only 2 more days to go! I’ve been writing a lot today, so I haven’t had any time to even think about social media. I’ve also been reading a book about a girl who gives up all technology that wasn’t available before 1962 after her boyfriend cheats on her online. I don’t think I could manage going that far! However, I’m part of the way there as I’m so used to not having social media, even if I did really want to snap my kitten doing something cute at one point today!
Day 6: It feels weird, only 1 more day to go. Although I haven’t been missing social media, I am looking forward to having it back. I’m learning that not having it doesn’t make a massive difference to my life, just that I have some more time. It’s strange to think that there’s all this stuff going on, but that it doesn’t really matter that I don’t know about it. This week has been a lot easier than I thought it would be.
Day 7: So today has been the last da. I’ve been feeling a bit nervous about going back to social media. I’m worried that I will have either missed something big and important, or I won’t have any notifications at all. the wait to find out is killing me. Today has been one of the worst days for missing social media. I’ve felt quite restless today and I’ve been wanting check social media a lot more than I have been recently. I think this is because I’m so close to the finish line. I can’t wait to get back to it.
Day 8: So I have just been back on social media and I have enough notifications and messages for me to be convinced I’m not a loser!
Final Thoughts: I’m really glad I did this. Although it was difficult at first, it was good for me to have a break. I didn’t realise how much I enjoyed not being on there until I was plunged back into the social media drama that I’d managed to avoid. It was enough to make me wish I was still off of it! I really recommend everyone who is, like me, addicted to social media to do this. It really helped me to get a sense of perspective on how much I use it and how much of an impact it has on my life. However, I would not want to give up social media all together. I like the connectedness too much. All in all, an enlightening experience, I’m practically Gandhi now!