What I learned from deleting Social Media for One Week (So Far…)

Social media is the new driving force in our lives. Constantly, we are staring at our phones, seeing what’s the latest in pop culture, our favourite celebrities lives and what our friends are doing. It’s endless scrolling to stay constantly updated and entertained. One of the main driving forces behind social media is FOMO (the fear of missing out). We need to know what is happening at all times in order to feel included.

I have a serious case of FOMO. Rather had. Being a 19- years-old university student, I constantly wanted to know about what is going on, where the latest party was at, what's happening on campus, who is doing what, who is doing who. For some reason, this was important to know. I was on social media during class, after class, before class, on the bus to class and before I would head to bed. When I was studying, I would always get lost on Instagram rather than being productive with my time. And then I would end up getting marks that I was not happy with and wondering why.

The intent of social media was keeping people connected. Communicating through text, videos, thoughts, ideas, photos. Now, it turned into a distraction. It went from “Oh what is my old high school buddy up to?” to “What celebrity drama is happening now?”. At the end of the day, it gives us something to do. Nobody likes to do nothing anymore. We always have to remain busy and needs to be focused on something. I like to think that we have a fear of our own thoughts. Our mind is something powerful and constantly thinking, saying things that we don’t want to hear more often than we do. It never shuts up. I am no psychologist so I can’t explain why this happens, but for me, it does. Another thing is that sometimes, I feel that it could be toxic too. I’d share something and someone would always have something to say about it. It didn’t need to be said or anything, but it was just something unnecessary and judgy. Simply because they can say something.

About a week ago, I was getting tired of social media. I felt that I was wasting my time. I could have been using this time reading and learning about things that interest me, getting some work done, doing things that I said I want to do, but never got around too (like writing) and talking to people I really care about. So I got rid of my Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Messenger (was never really into Twitter). This was my first time off of all social media since creating my Facebook account when I was 13-years-old.

First, I finally started doing things that I have been meaning to do. Reading is one of my favourite things. Everyone says that “Oh I wish I could read more, but I don’t have the time.” This is one very effective way to make time. When I am bored, I read. When I am waiting for someone, I read. Water is boiling, I read. Can’t sleep? Read. To add, I started writing here. Now, I know I am not the best writer, and I’ve still got my ways to go, but I finally started. I had no excuses, nothing holding me back, nothing distracting me, I am finally able to be productive and work on things that I have been wanting to do. In addition, I have some time to focus on myself. Whenever I was feeling sad or down about something, I would distract myself using social media. Don’t really have that option anymore. So its given me time to just calm the fuck down, realize that I am being overdramatic and move on.

What about FOMO? That’s the biggest reason why I’ve never done this before and kept my social media for so long. Once deleting everything, I missed not knowing what was going on for about half a day. When I woke up the next morning, I didn’t really care. I don’t care about what is going on in my favourite YouTuber’s life, who is up to what. Essentially, I only care about those who I really want to care for. My friends and family. Dedicating more time to talk to those I love and not so much for the fake friends. I do miss how easy it is to simply connect with people and see what is going on in their lives, but then I realized that every person I truly care about, I’ve got their phone number. If I want to talk to them and they want to talk to me, Its as easy as giving a phone call or texting me. I am able to still talk to those I really want to keep in touch with.

A week has now past and I don’t think I would want to have social media on my phone again. I find that it becomes too much of a distraction. I still would like to keep my Instagram and Facebook account as I do have friends on these platforms that I would like to keep in touch with, but I do not want it on my phone as it is a major distraction for me. I have already deleted my entire Snapchat account because I didn’t really have a use for it. The people that I have on Snapchat, I have on my phone so didn’t serve a purpose for me anymore. I really enjoy the peace and quiet that I have and would like to keep it that way for as long as I can.

A young University student very curious about many things and here to share his thinking. Interested in Photography, Technology and sharing stories.

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