Instagramless Katie

Junior gives up all social media for a month

Story by Katie Dusek, staff writer

Anxiety. Fatigue. Sweating. Vomiting. Depression. Seizures. People expect teenagers to be faced with the symptoms of withdrawal without their social media. Adults expect us to be drooling out of our mouths if we don’t have our phones in our hands.

I decided to put the myth to test and delete all of the social media off of my phone for a month. I was expecting the month to be awful and leave me with a feeling of exclusion. However, I learned how easy it really was to not constantly see everyone posting about their lives.

The first week was the hardest. My thumb would subconsciously go straight for my Instagram app whenever I became bored. I always wanted to check my phone even though I knew there were no notifications. I didn’t realize how much time I was spending on my social media apps before.

The second week left me feeling like I was being left out. People were talking about a new joke online, but I had no clue what it was. There were parties that people kept posting about, and I couldn’t look at the pictures. I hadn’t begun to see the positive side to it all.

The feeling of being excluded left when the third week came. I no longer missed my social media. I even forgot that I was off of it in the first place. A huge wave of relief came over me when I realized that I was no longer worrying about what was happening on the Twittersphere.

By the fourth week, I was an expert. I was almost reluctant to download all of the apps again. It was refreshing to not constantly see the stream of people’s personal lives on my phone screen. Instead of focusing on what picture from a party I was going to post, or Snapchatting the entire event, I found myself actually enjoying experiences more.

It seemed like I had more free time to read and get all of my homework done. I didn’t keep getting distracted by a new Snapchat or someone liking my Instagram picture. The whole experience gave me a new outlook on how unimportant someone’s feed really is.   

So, no, a month without social media didn’t leave me kicking and screaming. It granted me the ability to put into perspective how social media isn’t the most important thing in my life.