Being 21 years old, I very in tune with social media. I enjoyed reading the trending material that is cycled through the different websites every single day. Between looking at trends and keeping up with the lives of my peers, I spent a lot of time on social media. I spent much time scrolling through feeds, liking and commenting on whatever I thought was “cool and trending.” It became a preferred pastime, as I liked, posted and logged in multiple times a day to kill time. I never thought about quitting social media.
My brother, Joel, on the other hand, did not share the same interest in social media as I did. He saw my pastime as being more of an addiction, consuming my time and keeping me from doing more with it. So, in an effort to change my habits for the better, he challenged me to fast from social media for a month in exchange for a new pair of shoes. I gladly accepted. From January 15th to February 15th, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat were all blocked from my phone and computer. The challenge was difficult at first because of my habit of scrolling through my feeds to fill time between classes and work shifts. However, as time went on, I found that the absence of those apps was very therapeutic and enlightening.
What I Learned from Quitting Social Media
Quitting social media helped me in different ways that also bettered my overall health and initiative. First, it allowed me to meet new people and reconnect with my older friends. I was able to have more focused and meaningful conversations without the distraction of social media or the use of my phone in general. Next, the absence of social media as a pastime allowed me to have more time to better maintain healthier habits. I was able to finally create a more direct self-care routine that I engage in on a daily basis. Lastly, the absence of social media enabled me to focus better and have a larger attention span when I am doing school or work tasks. This was supplemented with an appreciation for the time that I can have to myself when the tasks are completed.
I strongly believe that other millennials should think about quitting social media. It can enlighten them in many different ways. The absence can allow them to better see the value of human interaction and conversation. It can give them the opportunity to grow as people in the community. Millennials can also grow in their self-value and outlook. They can look to see the value in themselves as more important than how others perceive them online. Finally, the attention spans of millennials can be facilitated by technology breaks. This can enable them to focus better and have more drive in what they do professionally and scholastically.
Overall, this experience was one that would shape my ideology of social media in general and my presence on it. I can say that I have become less dependent on technology and more intentional about maintaining a healthy and centered mindset. I’m thankful to have a brother that cares about me enough to initiate a change in me for the better.
Scientifically speaking, of course……