Two weeks ago, Essena O’Neill, an Instagram celebrity, quit social media. In the process of quitting, she deleted hundreds of her posts, only keeping a few to change the captions and explain what really went into creating the photos. Her decision to quit and expose herself in her posts has been widely talked and blogged about. I even wrote about it in my blog. Yet I haven’t seen very many people taking the challenge that O’Neill threw at us. She challenged everyone to go social media free for a week like she did. She said to delete the apps off your phone and use it only for texting. All apps that allowed you to view what others were posting online were supposed to be deleted. I decided to take this challenge, not because I wanted to blog about it or be in that 1%, but because I felt doing this as a personal experiment was a good idea.
Deleting social media apps/accounts is not something new to me. While I was really depressed earlier in 2015 I would periodically deactivate my Facebook, and I even went a good amount of time without Snapchat. Why? Because I didn’t want to see everyone’s look at me, I’m so happy, I’m having so much fun posts they were putting up. People only post pictures/videos/Snapchats that make their lives look glorious and I didn’t want to see them.
Earlier this year, I also came across the story of Madison Holleran and it changed the way I saw and posted on social media. I won’t go into her story, but if you have the time, PLEASE click the link and check it out. It’s worth every minute of it.
So last Sunday, I began my challenge. No Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat. All apps were deleted off my phone and I logged out on all of the computers I access daily. Here’s a day-to-day recap of life social media free.
Sunday, Day 1
After deleting my social media apps, I felt weird and anxious. My phone was so plain and looked empty without any apps there. Of course, I was watching football and wanted to tweet about Tom Brady’s butt and other things but I couldn’t. I usually read Twitter a lot during sporting events and I couldn’t do that. Again, it just felt weird because I wasn’t allowed to do what I normally do. As the day went on, I noticed I stopped opening my phone and sliding to the page as if I were going to look at Twitter or Instagram.
Monday, Day 2
Being busy at work helped a lot to distract me. I did have to go on Instagram for work related purposes, but it was a quick on and off. NO ONE KNEW UNTIL NOW.
Tuesday, Day 3
Another busy day made it easier. Except that day, I didn’t even feel the need to open my phone and look at the page where I usually keep my social media apps. The only time I looked at that page was to answer GroupMe. While busy at work though, apparently everyone was going crazy over the Starbucks cups? SO #BLESSED I didn’t have to see that.
Wednesday, Day 4
I can only imagine how many dumb 11:11 posts were made (it was Nov. 11). How annoying. I had this day off from work so it was difficult not to just scroll through my social media accounts as I lay on the couch like a POS. Instead, I had to watch hours of the stupid Kardashian show. My IQ has now dropped 75% from watching it all day. I regretfully turned it off right before Kim lost her diamond in Bora Bora AKA the best episode ever. #uglycry
Thursday, Day 5
I went to the airport that day. LET ME TELL YOU ALL THE THINGS I WANTED TO TWEET AND TELL EVERYONE ABOUT BUT I COULDN’T. It wasn’t a burning sensation, though. I just felt a need to tell the world how stupid people at the airport are. Instead I ate french fries. That seems like a promising way to stop yourself from using social media, right? #eyerollemoji #amIfatyet
I also really wanted everyone to see my dogs when I got home, but I instead took 348718 pictures for my phone, HMU if you’d like to see them. Sorry Snapchatters, no doggie photos for you.
Also, sadly (not really sad), I was not able to see any TBTs I may have been tagged in. I was about to spend the weekend in Columbia for a reunion with college friends. That’s when the real test would come.
Friday, Day 6
Yup, I may have been worried but I felt nothing. No need to tweet about my friends. No need to show everyone on Instagram or Snapchat and make them jealous that I was with my besties in the best place in America.
Saturday, Day 7
I didn’t even wanna get on social media that day. I just wanted to drink beer and watch football with my friends. And that was what I did. No social media, even though I had 3476023 pictures I wanted to post to Insta because they were cute. Instead, a majority of them will go on my walls. Party @ my house for everyone to see my weekend in photos.
All in all, going social media free is something I believe everyone should do for a week. It made me realize most of the stuff that I tweet is not needed. Did I want to tell you about the stupid people at the airport? Yes. Did I really need to? No, not at all. As the week progressed I realized how much I not only go on social media but how much I didn’t need to. I like to say I use it for news and to check up on my friends’ lives, but I can also do the mature thing and text or call them to ask how things are. I can also just read a news article by a professional journalist on the USA Today app.
We don’t need social media to be happy. We don’t need to post pictures or Snapchats or tweet about the things going on in our lives every day. Sharing is okay, but posting every day is really not necessary for anyone. We lived our lives perfectly fine before the Internet turned us into monsters who spend our lives trying not only to impress others, but also feel the need to seek out what others are doing constantly.
Take the challenge. Go social media free for a week. You’ll live, I promise.