by Samantha V '18

Reflecting on a Social Media-Free Month

From November 8th to December 8th, I decided to try a little social media experiment. I decided to cut myself off from all social media that I had to see what effect it would have on my grades and my daily life. The three main social media apps I used the most were Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. For the span of one month, I deleted all apps relating to social media from my phone and I was not allowed to use my computer to check anything either. Here is a summary of my experience and how this experiment affected my views on social media:

The app I missed the most was Snapchat. Prior to starting this experiment, I had been using Snapchat an awful lot and it was definitely a big distraction for me while doing homework. I would snap people constantly as a form of procrastination and it eventually led to me finishing my homework in the very early hours of the morning. Snapchat also kept me occupied at times when I should’ve been socializing or actually spending time with my friends and family. I would be constantly checking my phone rather than actually enjoying what was really around me. I definitely wanted to see how much my studying habits would change without Snapchat.

Taking a break from made a significant difference in my everyday life. This was mainly because I didn’t really talk to many people because I was either too lazy to text them or Snapchat was the only way I could communicate with them. I also wouldn’t check my phone as much because I knew that there wasn’t anything for me to check. Not having Snapchat seemed to have made me more productive because I wasn’t as distracted by my friends or the need to check my phone. I finished homework a lot earlier than usual and I spent more time actually talking to people in person rather than relying on Snapchat to communicate with people.

Another app I wasn’t willing to give up was Instagram. This is because Instagram was one of the main apps I used to procrastinate. I could spend hours on Instagram just looking at funny posts and just liking random pictures. This would distract me a lot and would lead to me finishing homework a lot later than usual. I wouldn’t really post that much on Instagram, so not being able to post anything didn’t really affect me.

Like Snapchat, taking a break from Instagram was definitely beneficial because it took another form of procrastination away from me. I couldn’t take my usual, frequent breaks from my homework to stare at pictures of people I didn’t really care about. This allowed me to complete my homework quicker and sooner. I also started to care less about what other people did and posted. I don’t mean this in a bad way, but it helped me not to get caught up in other people’s lives and to focus more on myself and my priorities.

My third most used app was Twitter. I don’t really use it much, but I depended on Twitter for band notifications and any updates relating to music. Many bands use Twitter as a platform to announce tours or pop-up shows. It also gives fans an insight on the everyday lives of band members and allows fans to connect with each other.

While on my social-media hiatus, I missed the announcements of a few tours and the announcement of one of my favorite bands breaking up. This may not seem important to many, but it was quite important to me. Being such a large fan of many bands, these bands have become a part of who I am, and not being updated made me feel secluded from everything.

After one month, I found that my social media hiatus had an overall positive impact on my studying habits and my life, in general. I was also more focused and felt less compelled to check my phone every few minutes. I finished homework earlier than usual and I wouldn’t spend as much time on my phone before going to sleep. Therefore, I got more sleep than usual. Lastly, I think that I was more connected with my family and friends in the sense that I wasn’t on my phone every minute that I was bored or had nothing to do. I spent more time having actual conversations with my parents and my friends and overall had a positive impact on me and them.

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