This is what happened when a social media addict went 24 hours without them

The Growing Up Guide

I‘m a 90s kid. If you look up the word “Millennial” on the encyclopaedia, you’ll find a photo of me holding my iPhone and scrolling through my Instagram feed.

I love social media and I am not ashamed of it, not even one bit. I hate when I have to justify myself to people who say I spend too much time on it. Having to explain I do have a life, I do enjoy a lot of things, but I also enjoy condensing my life in 280 character and taking Boomerangs when I do simple things like making coffee.

It does not make me less of a real person, nor it makes me any dumber.

I absolutely love social media, with a passion, so it makes perfectly sense to go a period of time without them to write a piece about the experience.

I went without Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat and YouTube for 24 hours, 12am to 12am on a week day.

I’m usually a very determined person, I do not like failing but I felt this challenge was going to be one of those times when failure would have been inevitable.

First of all I did some research to understand what I was cutting out: are iMessage, Whatsapp and Messenger social media or are they just messaging apps?

Now, from general understanding (i.e. my flatmates), iMessage is not really considered a social media, Messenger is and Whatsapp is a bit of an hybrid.

So I decided to definitely cut out Messenger, but kept the other two, mostly because I don’t really see a difference between iMessage and Whatsapp when it comes to the use I make of them.

Research done, at 11:58pm I logged out of all of the ones mentioned above – to be fair I did not log out of Messenger and still have no idea on how to do it, but I did set it on Do Not Disturb.

I also removed Facebook and Twitter from my Firefox Bookmark Toolbar.

I woke up in the morning and as I had company, I did not struggle one bit.

Throughout the day I realised the more people I had around and the busier I was, the easier it was to avoid social media.

I went for my lectures, shopping and for coffee with a friend and didn’t once go to open any of the apps, not even out of habit as I thought I would.

The real struggle occurred as I got home to find out all of my five flatmates were on shift.

Out of all the days and against all the odds, I was left in my kitchen by myself, with very little to watch and without anyone to talk to.

So I cooked, and juggled one of the many footballs we have in our lounge.

Out of boredom, but mostly out of habit, I opened Instagram just once, before quickly realising I was not supposed to and threw my phone away from me in despair.

I went to bed at 10:30pm, mostly because I knew I was set to fail if I didn’t do otherwise. I woke up at 2am for some reason,

I picked up my phone to look at the time and as I failed to fall asleep again, logged back into every single social media I own, still picturing that photo of me on the encyclopaedia – I am the poster child of this generation.

Am I #addicted? Maybe, but I won’t lie and say going 24 hours without social media made me appreciate life or the people around me more. I appreciate greatly every single moment I live, with or without a phone in my hand.

There is absolutely nothing wrong in liking social media, but please, please, please do not go out for dinner with someone spending most of your time looking at your phone. That is too much… Even for me.



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