One weekend in April, I was trying to do homework at my desk, but I did not feel like I was accomplishing anything. The reason was not that I was tired or hungry, it was because I was continuously getting distracted by my phone. New Instagram photos and Facebook updates kept capturing my attention to the point where I could not put my phone down. At that moment, I felt like there was something wrong. Social media was consuming my life and interfering with my ability to do schoolwork. After coming to this realization, I checked the amount of time I was spending on my phone per day. The amount came to an average of five hours and thirty minutes per day. This statistic blew my mind and influenced me to make a change.
On April 7th, I decided to delete all of the social media apps from my phone. The decision came after realizing how much time I could be spending doing more important tasks. During the weeks following up to this, I had talked to several people about how consuming social media is. I even remember saying that I wish I did not have to be involved with it. For some reason, it did not click in my mind that I could simply delete the apps from my phone. I think I avoided doing this because I was staying in contact with people through social media. For example, I had several Snapchat streaks with people from high school and elementary school that I did not want to part with. I was afraid that I would disconnect from some of my friends if I deleted the app. However, once I reached the point of feeling like I had a social media addiction, I knew I had no other choice but to part from the apps. I messaged the people who I had been staying in contact with to inform them that I was going to delete the apps. I also told them to text me if they wanted to stay in contact. After I sent out the messages, I deleted Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat from my phone. I had set a goal to go thirty days without checking my accounts. I reached my goal today, and quite frankly, I do not feel an urge to check social media.
Although some people may view this as a laughing matter, I feel as though this hiatus has changed my life. I no longer feel like my phone is attached to me. I can go hours on end without checking it or wondering what people are posting on social media. Although I might be out of the loop on some things, I feel like I am able to focus more on my own life. I genuinely feel like I’ve gotten to know myself better because I don’t have a crutch to lean on when I am bored. Instead, I am forced to do other activities that I would have been less likely to do beforehand. I also find myself doing my homework in much less time because I am not faced with as many distractions. After deleting social media, the amount of time I spend on my phone has gone down to an average of one hour and thirty minutes per day. This means that I have given myself an additional four hours a day to be productive. The fact that I used to waste so much time on my phone is mind-boggling to me. In a sense, I am upset at myself for only making this change now. However, I am choosing to look at this as a learning experience. If I had not made the change, I would have been struggling to finish my school assignments in a timely manner. I still would have had pointless Snapchat streaks with people instead of genuine conversations with them over the phone. In addition, I am now more active and willing to take on new adventures. Getting rid of social media has been one of the best decisions I have made in recent months. As of now, I do not plan on re-downloading the apps because of the amount of time they were causing me to waste. It is incredible how much a spur of the moment decision has changed my life. If you feel as though you spend a lot of valuable time on social media, I highly encourage you to delete the apps from your phone. Even if it is just for a week, I guarantee that you will feel better about yourself.