We all have guilty pleasures. You know, those things we absolutely love but are completely ashamed to admit to anyone. These secret loves (such as eating cookies in bed) aren’t exactly the most healthy and wise activities that we can make in our young adult lives. I am certainly one to procrastinate because my favorite trashy reality TV show is on. Heck, I’ve spent the whole day in bed watching an entire TV series beginning to end without seeing the light of day. It’s hard to turn away from the little things that make us happy. And I never turn down a late night pizza outing when I should be cramming for a midterm. In college, there are distractions at every turn. It’s okay to love reality TV or fast food, but when does it become too much? When do the little guilty pleasures turn into bad habits?
This month I decided to cross off another item from Ready U’s Conquer This List: #14 – Test Your Willpower. If you don’t already know, ReadyU is an awesome resource for college students, such as myself, who are looking for help conquering college life beyond the classroom.
There are definitely way too many things that I probably love too much (including my cellphone, shopping, and Netflix), but for this task, I really wanted to go all out with something that has been a steady and (usually) unhealthy habit in my life—Facebook.
If you don’t have a Facebook account while in college, people look at you like you’re from Mars. Social networking sites such as Facebook help us all keep in contact with our loved ones and friends. We post links, pictures, and statuses updating 500 of our friends about what is happening in our lives. I have been an active participant in the Facebook obsession for over 6 years now. I check it constantly throughout the day and would definitely consider myself to be an addict, not to mention an expert creeper. For this task, I decided to omit one bad habit from my life and see how long I could go without it.
After going through the long process of deactivating my account, I was officially Facebook-less. It felt weird. It felt liberating. It seriously felt like I was disconnected from the rest of the world. Where did all my friends go? Where did all those engagement announcements and baby photos go? (Actually, those were two things I was okay with not seeing for a few days. Sorry, engaged and pregnant friends.) The first couple of days were not easy. I couldn’t help but wonder what I was missing out on. Going online and checking my Facebook was such an integral part of my daily routine. I suddenly found myself with more time in my day. I had extra time to enjoy my coffee in the morning. I got more sleep. I felt better!
The only problem with not having a Facebook (and not telling people you were going away for a little bit) is that people believe you fell off the face of the earth. I received texts and calls from many of my friends wondering why I had “deleted” my account. I found this to be bittersweet. On the sweet side, it was nice to see that people missed me (aww!), and it was cool to see who actually cared—my real ten friends out of those five hundred.
The bitter part of that is to see how essential Facebook and social media is to my generation. We are addicted to being in-the-know. We are addicted to updating our status. When did this website become such an addiction? I know it’s not an unhealthy habit for every single user, but for a lot of us, we can’t live without it. I went a week without it (and to be perfectly honest, I could have gone for longer, but it’s an inconvenience!) and I think everyone should do a bad habit cleanse. Whether you get rid of Facebook for a week, quit online shopping or stop eating Halloween candy, I think you’ll be better for it. You’ll learn that you can live without it, and maybe you’ll appreciate your time and health more! I know I did!
Keep following along as I continue to conquer all the tasks on ReadyU’s Conquer This List, and I dare you to try conquering some of the tasks yourself before the school year is over!