I wonder where you are reading this. Whether it’s on our paper copy, or whether you are reading this online. How did you find out about StudentLife? Did you stumble across it by accident? Did we come to your school? Either way, social media connects one dot to another.
But this is about the Social Media Switch Off. I know, today we are more connected than ever. And trust me when I say that I could not be more thankful for this fact, otherwise I would not have met the most important person in my life. With the good, comes the bad, and there is such thing as too much.
How many hours go by until you realise you’ve been on your phone this entire time? Do you get the sleep you need? How much of your life is spent scrolling, watching, commenting? When you’re in an awkward situation, do you sit there and suffocate in it, or do you pull out your phone to distance yourself? If I was to ask you to delete all of your social media for a week, how many of you could actually do it?
I am speaking for myself here when I say that being on social media so much makes me feel icky. This is a topic, I have a lot to say about and have plenty of experience in. The difference between some of you and me, is, I have taken on the Social Media Switch Off. I realised I was reliant on it. When the Wi-Fi was down, it felt like the end of the world, and it’s definitely not just because I’m half a drama Queen.
Before my exams last year, I took it upon myself to delete Snapchat and Instagram, my most used social apps. Friends stayed in contact with me through texting, and that was it. I was barely on my phone, and it felt so good. I actually looked up!
I took a break, because my mood would switch the second I saw someone read my message and ignored it.
Because seeing some people active and choosing not to respond really irked me. That’s when it clicked that this was kinda becoming ridiculous and it had to stop.
I’m not saying delete the apps. I’m just saying, be conscious of it. Nothing is wrong with scrolling through Instagram when you’re bored. Our generation is technology this, technology that, and with moderation, nothing bad comes out of it. If half of your day is spent on social media, I would genuinely stop and look around. Ask yourself whether it is really necessary, or whether you’re just trying to kill time. If it’s the latter, reconsider. Time flies, and the older you get, the faster it goes by.
Make the most of what you have in front of you right now, because it might not be there tomorrow, or the day after that. Your phone? Those posts? The messages? They are on the internet forever; you can put them off.
But how? Easy. Control. Kidding, that’s not easy. Limit yourself. I’m sure there are other things you could be doing. If procrastination is your best friend, make social media the reward. Don’t make social media a daily routine, otherwise it will take over your life. Have ‘you’ time, family time, friends time, heck, go out and do something you’ve always wanted to do. Social media isn’t going anywhere. But there’s only so many hours of sun in the day.
Doesn’t it feel like a wasted day if you’re indoors on your phone, when the entire world is out there?
And if someone laughs because you’re behind on the latest memes, or the newest funny videos circulating around Facebook and Instagram, ignore them. 10 years from now, those won’t matter. They are just temporary pleasures that will be forgotten. Believe it or not, people found a way to stay connected without social media, and it can still be done today.
Deleting Snapchat and Instagram forced me to see that, and I would do it all over again. I know that group chats formed by schools are necessary, and distancing yourself from things like that may have an unwanted result. Social media is, of course, educational at times. But I’m not asking you to disregard it forever. In fact, I’m not asking you to do anything but think about the bigger picture.
Your life is more than a post on Instagram and a story on Snapchat. So, prove it.