Going to the library as someone who is addicted to social media

What would you give to check your phone?

Being a millennial, I am constantly lectured about how addicting social media is. We are told that we are addicted to our phones and that we cannot go a day without them. We all deny it and say it is not true. We are all so wrong. No addict ever admits to their addiction at first; not until something makes them.

So I am admitting it. I am addicted to social media.

I went to the library to study at nine at night, alone. It wasn't until I found the last available table did I realize I forgot my phone charger. My phone was on 20 percent. If all went well with my studying and I had the focus to make a dent in my microeconomics lectures, I would not be leaving the library until a dark hour.

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The "logical" thing to do would be to put my phone across the table on do not disturb and not touch it until I am due to leave. For the most part, that is what I did. I sent one mass Snapchat announcing my retreat from social media for the night and turned it over. Then I got an answer. I thought, โ€œWell, I will just answer this one guy.โ€ Then he answered me again, and before you know it my farewell to social media led to a conversation.

Now my phone is at 15 percent.

The conversation ends and it cost me five percent. Was it worth it? What is the real value of that five percent? Is it equal to the phone call that I could have made to make me feel more safe on my walk home? Is it equal to the battery that could have been the five percent that I called an Uber home with? What did that five percent mean to me? I knew I should have left my phone far away, but I needed the constant stimulation and activity. I needed it.

Before you know it I am an hour into my work, which may feel significant, but if I intend to stay for several hours then it is just a small part. I know I should not drain my battery, yet I touch my phone anyways. I know that just by opening my Snapchat I will lose minimally three percent. I cannot help it though. I do not know if it is the curiosity or the urge or the satisfaction of being aware of what is going on outside the library, but I needed to check my Snapchat. Just checking my Snapchat for a minute would be the push to get me through the next hour. Just a quick minute.

Now my phone is at 10 percent.

That is five percent stolen by Snapchat. That is a quarter of the battery I came to the library with. That is the battery that I needed to get me home safely and securely, yet I gave it away to Snapchat because I could not stay away. I was robbed of that five percent, but I gave it up without a fight.

It is 12:14 a.m. I have six percent on my phone.

I do not know what I am more worried about โ€” whether I may be leaving the library at night with no phone battery or the hours in the library I will spend with it not giving me attention.

A study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, states that an average teenage girl spends minimally 3.3 hours a day on social media. That is about 23 hours a week. Just the average girl spends almost one of seven precious days a week completely entrenched in social media. If that is the average, how much have we addicts surrendered to social media?

We spend so much time trying to capture the moment and let it live on forever, that we do not live in the moment. I am losing a seventh of my life just to my Snapchat and Instagram. I need my phone to get through even my studying.

Hi, my name is Shayna and I am addicted to social media.

*Crowd speaks in monotone* "Hi Shayna"

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