Surviving Without Social Media: One Month Challenge, Week 1

Is good news real if I don’t post a Facebook status about it? Is a cup of tea truly enjoyed without first being Instagrammed? If a hilarious joke runs through my mind and I don’t tweet it, does anyone hear it? I guess I’m about to find out.

I’m not afraid to admit that I’m heavily dependent on social media. I love it. The first thing I do in the morning is check my Instagram and Twitter feeds for ten minutes, scrolling through is my preparation for making the brave leap out from under my duvet. I check Twitter on every bus journey, I’m an expert Facebook stalker — there is nothing posted on my feeds that I don’t see. It’s a crutch, used to pass every spare minute of the day from waiting for my lecture to start to waiting in line at Starbucks.
I don’t just use social media on its own, either. I’m constantly multi-tasking. I scroll twitter as I watch TV in the background and check Instagram with one hand while I eat with the other.
My social media use has reached its pressure point, and I need something drastic to make me stop. My boyfriend is infuriated every time I pull out my phone, and incessantly scrolling has seriously injured my wrist.

So it’s time to go cold turkey, for the ENTIRE MONTH of June. I’ve half done this before, deactivating my Facebook over exam periods or when I’m just not in the mood to have an online presence. But I’ve never given up Twitter and Instagram, and definitely haven’t tried all three. At once. The last time I was really social media free was a month in Tanzania back in 2009.
I’m approaching this month with a mixture of terror, curiosity and a tiny bit of relief. I’m so worried, to an irrational degree, that I’ll miss some important information that I NEED to know, or miss out on some cool event that I would have loved. What if my favorite writer comes for a one-time visit to London and I have no idea? What if a distant friend who I don’t really talk to gets engaged?

I think it will be kind of nice, though. I’ll get a lot more reading done, as my daily bus journey will be accompanied by a book rather than a flurry of tweets. It’ll be relaxing to not be checking three different sites every few minutes. My wrist will thank me for this month.
I think I can survive a month social media free without having a complete emotional breakdown. I hope so, anyway. Let’s wait and see.
[Images via/via/via/via]

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