Surviving Without Social Media: One Month Challenge, Week 2

Okay, so a week without social media was significantly harder than anticipated. It was tough. But even one week has made me take a serious look at my relationship with social media: and it isn’t pretty.
I found myself constantly typing Twitter into my search bar absent mindedly, only realising what I was doing after scrolling past 5 tweets. I kept thinking in tweets, every mildly witty thought I had diluted into 140 characters as I reached for my phone. Until now, I was never conscious of how much social media has shaped the way I think. I kept wanting to share things, feeling an intense need to tweet out my thoughts or something funny I saw. Resisting that urge made me slow down and actually ask myself why I needed to share each thought – was it so everyone would know that I was funny and smart? So that everyone knew about the cool things I was doing? Why do I care what other people think of my daily activities and feelings? And why do I think they care enough to justify me posting a tweet?
Giving up social media this month was a pretty bad decision, timing-wise. June is when I finished my final ever university exams, I went to a Summer of Love themed end of year party, I went to my first festival. There were so many Instagram-worthy moments, and I found myself feeling kind of sad that I couldn’t slap a filter on top of photos and share them out with the world. Knowing that I couldn’t share them made me lose any desire to take photos. I told myself that I could just update my Instagram after the month was over, but that just seemed dumb. It’s pretty sad that sharing photos is my main motivation for taking them, but my Instagram withdrawal symptoms did come with the handy side effect of me putting my phone away and actually just enjoying my surroundings, no filter necessary.
I really didn’t miss Facebook much this week, which is good, but it did miss me, apparently. My friends are finding it pretty annoying that I’m not part of the group Facebook chat we have going. It’s significantly harder to organise a meet-up when you have to keep texting one person. On multiple occasions people would ask if I had seen someone’s Facebook message, or would assume that I knew something because it was posted in the group. I worried that I would miss out on essential information about a change of meeting time or place, but that never actually happened. I feel like Facebook isn’t necessarily something I need, but it’s such a hassle for everyone else if I don’t have it.
I have been reading a lot more, but have also been spending more time on non-prohibited websites – I’m basically refreshing Buzzfeed and Tumblr in the same way I used to obsessively scroll through Twitter and Facebook. This week, I’m going to try and get rid of these online nicotine patches and really go cold turkey. Having finished university now, I have no clue how I’m going to use all that free time. I’m a little scared.
Wish me luck.

Click here to read Week 1 of this month’s challenge!

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