Last week, I stopped using Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat, but here’s the catch: I didn’t do it on purpose. My college schedule just became so action-packed that I honestly forgot to check any of my apps, and by the time I did remember, I didn’t feel like checking anymore. I spent the week focusing on my schoolwork, studying for my second wave of midterms, and cultivating my relationships with my friends here at Boston University. Most importantly, I just took the time to listen to my head and focus on what I enjoyed. I realized that social media just didn’t fit into that equation.
Now don’t get me wrong, I still opened Snapchat to maintain my streaks with my friends from back home, and I still answered all my text messages and calls. I just didn’t waste my time scrolling through the abyss of social media: the endless feed of Instagram posts, the complaints on my Twitter timeline, the Facebook statuses about the recent election or the just plain annoying stories on Snapchat. I no longer felt like keeping up with everything anymore, so I just didn’t. And you know what happened? I actually felt better because of it.
I wouldn’t label myself as someone who is obsessed with social media. I tweet sometimes, but not constantly. I only go on Facebook to update my parents with links to my blog articles. I scroll through Instagram just to fulfill the obligation of keeping up
with everyone’s adventures. And I only open Snapchat to answer someone’s snap to me. But last week, I basically disregarded all of that, and a few days later it suddenly hit me how much lighter I felt. The obligation to check up on social media had disappeared, and it felt amazing. I actually felt more fulfilled after not checking my social media apps, and I realized that I’m better off not knowing what everyone else is up to because it allows me more time to focus on what I want to be up to instead.
It’s only been a week and I’m so much happier now. I’m really curious to see how this social media fast will pay off in the future. I enjoy seeing my friends in person rather than paying so much attention to the people I follow on social media. There’s some that I don’t talk to anymore, and some I’ve never talked to in the first place.
So what’s my message? If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed by school work overload or underwhelmed by a deflated social life, just exit out of your social media. Sure, Saturdays may be “for the boys,” as every single guy’s Saturday night Instagram post may claim, but does that apply to you? No, it doesn’t. So go out and spend some time with friends, spend a night in and watch Netflix and catch up on the sleep you’ve been lacking since September. Social media should enhance your life, not dictate it. Cut it out for a few days, and see how much better you feel afterward. I promise, it’s worth it.