What I Learned From My Five-Day Social Media Break

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In the spirit of the new year and resolutions I decided to try something for a school week: giving up social media.

From Monday January 6 to Friday January 10, I turned off my notifications and stopped using both my Instagram and Snapchat accounts. On the first day, I felt really tempted to tap on Snapchat as it is usually something I go on when I am bored or as a reflex.

Social media is something that I have personally used to stay in contact with my friends near and far. In general though, there are a lot of negative connotations to using these apps, and there are a lot of different reasons that people use them.

Forbes magazine said, “The motivation for people’s excessive use of social networks differs depending on certain traits—introverts and extroverts use it for different reasons, as do people with narcissistic traits.” To be narcissistic means that one has an inflated view of their self-importance and demonstrates cocky, patronizing, selfish, or manipulative behavior.

As the rest of the week went on, I didn’t think about using Instagram or Snapchat as much. Normally I would check both apps few times a day, but I have gotten used to putting them aside.

Another thing I noticed is that my overall usage of my phone has gone down just by avoiding two apps. Since I started my social media break, I have only been going on my phone if I get a text or call from somebody.

In the settings on an iPhone there is a place that tracks your overall screen time. From Monday to Friday my screen time progressively decreased, from Sunday with three hours of screen time, to an hour-and-a-half on Friday (Jan. 10).

Some people rely on social media as a distraction or a way to escape reality. However, this doesn’t work: the second you put the phone down or close the computer, the world outside of technology will not change.

I don’t feel like I rely on social media like this. I usually use it everyday, but I don’t use it every second. When I need to or want to, I can take a break without difficulty. However, I did lose all my Snapchat streaks. I’m not truly upset about it, but some of them were 200 days.

To be completely honest, I did open Snapchat probably 10 times over the course of the five days that I stepped back from social media. I never sent a Snap in those days, but one time I did look at one story and then remembered, and kicked myself for doing it without even realizing.

It may just be me this happens to, but it’s funny; one minute I will be texting a friend and the next, without even thinking, I am on Snapchat and I just replied to three people. It’s that much of a reflex.

Last night (Jan. 10) I went back to Snapchat and Instagram. I know that I will be on them again, but hopefully I will still be able to watch how much time I spend on social media.