I spent a weekend without social media

Cameron Shandrow, Staff Reporter

According to a 2016 study by Mediakix, the average person spends 5 years and 4 months of their life on social media. That averages out to forty minutes of YouTube per day, thirty-five minutes of Facebook, twenty-five minutes of Snapchat, one minute of Twitter and fifteen minutes of Instagram per day.

I know for a fact that I spend way more than fifteen minutes on Instagram per day. In fact I’ve spent forty-one minutes on Instagram today alone and it’s only 10:45 am. When I get home from school after a long day, I spend time on Instagram to “vedge out” and relax on an average weeknight.

I decided to see if I was really addicted to social media by eliminating all social media from my phone for a weekend. I still had access to my phone; I just deleted Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. I started on Saturday morning and ended on Monday morning.

On a typical Saturday morning I like to sleep in. Once I get  to the point where I can’t fall asleep anymore, I’ll scroll through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and watch YouTube videos for about an hour.

Since school has started I’ve had fewer Saturdays just to relax, which means less time to sleep in. This Saturday I had a choir clinic from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm to fill up my day off. I definitely didn’t have as much free time to fill with social media.

While I was at the choir clinic, I really didn’t miss my phone because I was with my friends and I was doing something I enjoyed. But when I got home, I really missed social media. I was bored. My boredom ended up turning into productivity. I cleaned and vacuumed my room, once I finished that I redecorated my room by moving around different posters and art. My room has never been more clean and it only took me forty five minutes to get it all done.

While I was a lot more productive, I felt anxious. I was really worried that I was missing out on something fun or that someone was trying to contact me about school work. For example, Kanye West went on a rant about Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live and I didn’t find out about it until Sunday evening from my dad. If I had had social media, I would’ve gotten a notification from Twitter five minutes after it happened.

I felt a sense of relief because I didn’t have to worry about who was trying to contact me over Instagram. When I’m active on Instagram it opens a door for pretty much anyone I know to contact me whenever they want. Which means I’m never not talking to people, unless I’m sleeping. I enjoyed that I wasn’t talking to people all the time. I truly got to be alone.

When I sat down to do my homework, I got it done significantly faster and with a lot less stress. I didn’t have my phone to distract me from my work. I also read 100 pages of Harry Potter: The Order of the Phoenix in one day. On a day with social media I usually only get 30 pages read at most.

Monday morning my social media fast was over. I was really excited to get back onto Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Before I did anything else that morning, I downloaded all of my social media apps. I was actually disappointed when I got back on Instagram, I was really unsatisfied with what I came back to. There wasn’t anything new or that exciting for me to consume. I don’t really know what I expected to come back to, It was the same app I had looked at every day before. It left me feeling almost sad.

I’ve definitely had to  re-evaluate how much time I spend on social media per day. It distracts me from being productive and takes me out of the moment. Social media is not a bad thing, I love how I can connect and share things with my friends in a quick and convenient way, but too much of it became a problem for me. I highly recommend taking a social media break every once in a while and I would definitely do this over again.