A Week Without: Social Media

Joy Greco, Staff Reporter

Clarion is introducing a new series of articles where staff members spend a “week without” different things and reflect upon their experiences. This is the first installment. 

I decided to go a week without checking any of my social media networks. No Snapchat, no Instagram, no Twitter, no Facebook… nothing relating to online communication. Here is what I learned.

First of all, it taught me that I could be way more constructive in terms of schoolwork and helping around the house. It also made me appreciate the good conversations I have with friends when those conversations do not revolve around what is going on online. I also felt that I was more fully engaged with a lot of the activities I did over the week because I wasn’t documenting it all online.

However, I felt disconnected from others pretty much the entire time. I also felt stressed about not knowing what was going on online. I constantly felt like I was missing something important.

Before I started, my friends thought the idea was stupid and not worthwhile, but I was determined to see for myself how my life would change without it.

Monday was great. I felt relieved of the “pressure” of keeping my Snapchat streaks and also realized that I got a lot more homework done in a lot less time. It was also really easy to fall asleep because I was not constantly Snapchatting or scrolling through my Instagram and Twitter accounts. I started to think that the week would be just as simple and rewarding as I thought.

Tuesday was also a pretty decent day. However, I had significantly less homework than I did Monday. Because of this, I realized that I usually was on social media when I did not have much to do. This made me extremely bored, so I decided to help my brother with some of his homework and make lunches for the following day. So, in the end, I actually ended up doing some productive things instead of lying on my bed looking through my social media.

When Wednesday and Thursday rolled around, my uneasiness started to kick in. I was still getting a lot of things done, but I was anything but relaxed. I kept wondering if I was missing anything important. I felt somewhat isolated from everyone, even though I clearly was not.

Friday was pretty rough, too. I’m not really sure why, but this was the day that I almost wanted to cheat and go on social media. My friends at the lunch table had been talking all week about how “he posted this,” and how “she tweeted this about her,” and said things like “did you see his Snapchat story?,”  and so on. It did not really get to me the first couple of days, but I continued to feel very lonely in terms of what was going on online.

Saturday and Sunday were the last two days before I could finally go back to all of my social media. I decided to hang out with my friends. We had a lot of fun together and we also had some great conversations about school and friendships. This was funny to me because our conversations usually centered around what was happening online.

An entire week without any online social communication was a struggle, and I do not think I could have gone any longer. This may seem like the typical teenage attitude, but I honestly feel like social media affects my generation more than people realize. Although I learned more about my appreciation for life without it, I do not think it was very easy to give up.

It is pretty obvious that the virtual aspect of our lives is continuing to overshadow our social interactions. As a teenager in the 21st century, I am very much a part of the world of social media.

It’s a great way to connect with others and appreciate them. Just make sure to understand that taking some time to appreciate actual human interaction can be rewarding in many ways! I strongly encourage you to try this for yourselves!