I deleted all social media for a week and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made
How will my fans cope?
I don't consider myself addicted to social media. Sure, I take more pride in my 500 Instagram followers than I do my own degree, but don't we all?
However, after finding out that I spent 8.5 hours on Instagram, 6.6 hours on Twitter, and 4 hours on Facebook (not taking into account how long I spent on my laptop on these platforms), all in the space of a mere week, I decided to go on a "Digital Detox".
For the last seven days, I deleted all of my social media apps (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Messenger, Timehop), leaving me with only the Messages app to speak to my friends. Here's what happened:
Monday: If I didn't tweet it, did it even happen?
Waking up this morning to natural light rather than the blinding bright blue twitter homescreen was something I am unaccustomed to. Coming out of my lecture, my initial instinct was to check my apps, yet the social section of my phone is barren, with only the Messages app mocking me.
I went to a gym class, but did I REALLY go to the gym if I didn't post it on my Instagram story with the caption "Zumba KILLED me?" Likewise, I did my laundry today but didn't post an angry Tweet about my contempt for Circuit Laundry, so did I even do my laundry?
Honestly going on a social media detox this week has been detrimental like I’ve replaced social media with the Made in Chelsea app
— Annabelle Ⓥ? (@annabellepenha) January 28, 2018
Tuesday: Detoxes are expensive
I have far too much time and have replaced scrolling on Instagram with scrolling on ASOS, making my social media detox a costly one.
I was not enjoying being cut off from the world.
Wednesday: A trip to London but no Instagram
Coming from a county so rural that a boy drives his tractor to college, spending a day in London is an exciting prospect.
But I would be unable to spam my Instagram with photos of the big city and I despaired as I missed out on posting a Boomerang of the journey. I found myself constantly reaching for my phone to show my friends old photos, but could not, as Facebook was absent from my apps.
Equally, I had an entire meal in Pret and DIDN'T Instagram it. Oh, brave new world.
Thursday: A night out and no drunken videos of me loudly singing along to the Spice Girls
I managed to still be late to my 9am lecture despite not having the distraction of social media.
Not only did I have to get my friend to put a message on the group chat on my behalf as we planned a night out, I also was unable to post any drunken videos or hungover Tweets.
Perhaps, this was a blessing?
Friday: The detox is a way of life, you wouldn't understand
I am beginning to realise, albeit stubbornly, that I don't actually need Instagram or Twitter. I am struggling without Facebook and Messenger as I just rely on them so much for reminding me of events and objectives to complete.
However, these are the apps I use the least and I am wondering how I spend a combined 15 hours a week on Twitter and Instagram. I also now watch shows intently rather than half-watching, half-scrolling.
Saturday: I have too much spare time and have completed the Made in Chelsea game
It would appear that I am, shockingly, more productive with my reading and assignments without the distraction of social media. I'm finding other ways to procrastinate, however, having downloaded the Made In Chelsea game onto my phone for hours of enjoyment.
Additionally, when drama kicks off at pre drinks and I'm unable to stalk said person's Facebook, I can't help but consider using the last of my 4G just to redownload Facebook for a quick look.
Sunday: IS IT OVER YET?
My coping mechanism seems to be waking up later so I can spend less time conscious in a social media-less world. This week has been a challenge purely because I have found myself with so much spare time.
I have spent longer doing uni work and reading, and it's actually made me less inclined to return to social media.
Will I be quitting social media for good? No. But I know that I will be making a more conscious effort to spend less time scrolling after this week.