September 29, 2020

Five Reasons to Try a Social Media Purge

Rachael Baldigo (‘20, Staff Reporter)

Photo by Ben Kolde

Earlier this month I deleted my social media apps for fifteen days. Here’s what I learned:

  1. I have an affinity for procrastinating. Any chance I can take to procrastinate, I will. Eliminating social media forced me to get more work done because I wasn’t scrolling through my Instagram feed mindlessly. I also read a book – for enjoyment. Try seeing how much you can do when you stop scrolling.
  2. I reach for my phone ALL the time. When I wake up, when I’m waiting in line in the bistro, any free chance I get. There’s this incessant need to be keeping up and updating. I still grabbed my phone when I deleted my social media apps, but since the detox, I have been checking my social media less frequently.
  3. I care too much about posting. The beauty of social media is knowing what your friends are up to; however, we can get caught up in the comparisons ‘likes’. Recently I went to a concert and spent time with friends. My knee-jerk response used to be to share this event, but now I feel that it’s less necessary to share my day-to-days with the world.
  4. Sometimes I spend time with people with my head down. Have you ever been scrolling on facebook and look up to see your friend sitting right there and think how stupid it is to be on social media while with someone? I have. It is easy to forget how special human interaction is when we have access to so many people online. I want to really focus on the people right here with me.
  5. I was living my life through a camera lens. I love photography, but I’ve realized I am prone to whip out my phone every time I see a sunset, go to a concert, travel, etc.. Taking photos to capture something you think is beautiful or to preserve a memory definitely is not a issue. But if it’s because I want the best angle to share with my followers, I find that I wasn’t savoring the moment. I was looking at my life through the lens of my phone, and it’s disenchanting. I’ve been trying to find a balance of capturing worthwhile photos and living in the moment. I hope you feel inspired to do the same. You won’t regret it.

If you’ve been feeling overly attached to your phone, I highly recommend you spend just a weekend away from social media (or any other apps that you find yourself addicted to). Download apps that limit your screen time or have a friend keep you accountable if necessary. Think of all of the art you can make, movies you can watch, meaningful conversations you can have, or beautiful sunsets and other experiences you might miss by looking down at your phone. Look up! Connect in person. Let social media enhance your life, not take it over.

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