Social Media Cleanse
December 21, 2018
The whole point of Social Media used to be to share parts of our lives and stay more connected with one another. But lately, it has morphed into something uglier. Studies have shown that it decreases your self-confidence and makes you envious of other peoples lives. Social Media is also really good at taking up your time. Snapchat was actually invented in such a way that makes it addictive. Matt Bice, Sydney Brown, Ché Goracke, Riley Keiter, and Paige Snider collectively decided to not use any social media apps from midnight Monday, Dec. 3, until midnight Friday the 7. The rules were simple, don’t use any apps that Apple classifies as Social Networking, unless you are using it for school or texting. If you cave and use social media before the week is over, you will be disqualified.
Technology. It has invaded every aspect of our lives, and without it, we don’t know how to function. It’s in our watches, our fridges, our cars, soon it may even be a part of us. But most importantly, it’s in our pockets in the form of phones.
The average American adult spends an average of three and a half hours on their phones per day, but the average teen can spend close to nine hours. When I first heard that statistic I was shocked because I figured that it was impossible to go to school for eight hours, sleep for six hours, and then find time to be on your phone for nine hours. That adds up to 23 hours, making it physically possible, but not realistic, as homework does not have a slot reserved in that equation.
On September 19, Apple released iOS 12, and with it came a feature called Screen Time that allows you to track how much time you’re really spending on your phone. It even goes as far as breaking it down by individual apps and groups, as well as telling you how many notifications you receive per day, and how many times you pick up your phone and turn it on.
I was apprehensive about checking my own Screen Time statistics mostly because I was scared as to what I would find there. It turns out that I spend an average of four hours, 40 minutes on my phone per day, with my most used app being YouTube, with a collective time of 10 hours and 40 minutes per week. I also picked my phone up around 129 times per day, with the most being between Friday and Saturday. At this point, I wasn’t too surprised by my numbers, to me they seemed pretty average. But then I reached the category of notifications, and as a very anti-social person, I was taken back by the rather large number I found there. As a person without Snapchat, I had a surprising average of 67 notifications a day.
As a person with little to noself-controll, I still do (what I consider to be) a decently good job of monitoring my phone use. Unfortunately, my parents don’t feel the same way. Once the update came out, they jumped at the chance to finally regulate and monitor the time I spend on my phone. One of the many features of Screen Time is its ability to set restrictions on certain apps or categories of apps.
You can either set these restrictions for yourself or your parents can set them for you from their own devices. My parents chose to set a restriction of four hours of Social Networking and Entertainment, meaning apps like Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, and Tumblr, could not be used collectively for more than four hours. Once you reach the limit, a white screen will appear and give you the option of asking for more time. If you set the limits for yourself, you can always input a code to then give you extra time. But in my case, I have to be very strategic about what apps I spend my time on as at the end of the day, four hours is all I have.
While I may not always agree with my parents and their decisions, after living with Screen Time for a month and a half I have come around to see some of the benefits. I get more of my school work done on time and I am more sociable with my family at home. But I wanted to take it a step further and try to cut out the thing I spend the most time on. Social Media.
8:45 a.m.- This day is already rough and it has just started.
9:20 p.m.- I cannot function without social media please help.
8:45 a.m.- I keep checking for Snapchat.
11:50 a.m.- I just ranted about no social media.
11:52 a.m.- Is Game Pigeon allowed?
11:53 a.m.- I’m going to say yes.
9:02 p.m.- I think I might cave.
9:50 a.m.- I’m checking my phone less than average.
3:30 p.m.- I am so excited that I was not the first to lose.
9:39 a.m.- This day is the easiest so far.
6:21 p.m.- I want Twitter really bad, I am so sore and just wanna relax on my phone.
6:37 p.m.- I might cave.
10:40 a.m.- I’m trying to push through the last 13 hours.
9:18 p.m.- Only 3 hours left until I win.
9:19 p.m.- I don’t know how I did this I am addicted to my phone.
This week was incredibly tough for me to get through as I normally use my social media as a crutch whenever I get bored. I debated caving a few times but I chose to be strong. I would have caved if it was just me attempting this. Having the support of the others helped. I feel as if this week was a positive experience for me.
12:15 p.m.- I am already so bored and don’t know what to do.
3:34 p.m.- I almost clicked on Snapchat it was really close.
The first day was much harder than I assumed it would be. I thought since I had school it would be ok because I had something to do and not be able to get on my phone. It was actually really hard and harder than I thought. It was really hard to resist that urge just to click on the app. You don’t really think about how much you use it until you don’t have it.
9:14 a.m.- I’m honestly dying. I’m trying so hard not to go on Snapchat. It’s only the second day I can’t give up I’m going to get through this.
9:17 a.m.- I’ve come to checking my email.
11:57 a.m.- I’m so bored I feel like I can’t do anything. I’ve decided to try to find games to play so I’m not so bored.
Day 2 is done and I’m happy that it is, today was harder than yesterday my screen time is down two hours today and I thought I would feel more relieved and less stressed from not having social media. I’m kind of feeling like I’m more missing out on things than being less stressed. It can be hard the social expectation where everyone has to keep up with what people are posting and streaks and what not, but it was more like there was stuff happening that I couldn’t know about. I guess I didn’t really get that stressed from keeping up with social media. However, this challenge is still really hard and I still have to resist that urge wanting to click on Instagram.
8:33 a.m.- It’s really hard I’m struggling right now this morning was really hard I almost gave up but I didn’t I’m getting through this.
11:07 a.m.- I feel like I’m saying the same thing but I’m still bored still dying still checking my email.
11:29 a.m.- Update I’m bored so I’m turning off my wifi and playing the dino game brb.
11:35 a.m.- I got a high score of 924.
9:41 p.m.- I’m still bored haha I don’t usually go to bed until late but I got everything done and I don’t really have anything to do so I guess I’m going to bed goodnight everyone.
Day 3 is over and I actually got a lot of work done today. Tomorrow is Thursday and I’m not too worried, however, it’s Friday that I’m scared about because I’m in a car for 5 hours and I’m not looking forward to it. It’s going to be really hard not to be on social media when you’re bored on a bus. I realized it’s been pretty easy except for lunch, right when I get home from school and right before I go to bed are the hardest times. It’s fine but those few times are really really hard and all I want to do is go on VSCO. Hopefully, tomorrow is easy. Now that I say that it will be really hard.
8:37 a.m.- Struggling.
12:14 p.m.- Still struggling.
1:24 p.m.- Still still struggling.
Today was pretty hard. This challenge is really hard but I don’t want to quit. I don’t have too much of that urge. Since I’m at school and have after school stuff it’s much easier because I have something to occupy my time with.
Today I had to ride the bus all day to a cheer competition in Oklahoma and I Snapped. Everyone was posting on Snapchat and other things I just broke. Since it was a five-hour drive it was really hard so I just decided I would just do it. I don’t regret doing this challenge. It was definitely eye-opening to see what it would be like if I had no social media. It definitely felt like I was missing out on a lot of different things when people talk about different people’s stories and what they posted. Overall it was a really fun challenge and I am very happy that I did it.
6:30 a.m.- I woke up this morning, turned off my alarm, and got out of bed. I did not check Instagram. I did not just Snapchat. It felt good.
10:00 a.m.- I keep opening my phone to look for Snapchat and Instagram but neither are there and so I swipe around my phone sadly.
1:30 p.m.- I find myself scrolling through photos a lot. I think It’s because I usually scroll through Instagram photos. I am disappointed in myself.
7:30 p.m.- During the school day it was easier because I had school to focus on, but now that I am home I am very tempted to download my Instagram and Snapchat.
9:30 p.m.- I decided to go to bed early because I’m very tired, but now I can’t sleep and I want to check my phone. I usually spend about ten minutes on social media before I go to bed. This feels weird.
7:00 a.m.- I dressed cute to school today, and I was going to put a picture on my story, but then I remembered I don’t have Snapchat.
3:00 p.m.- There are mini muffins in the vending machine again!!! That is my favorite snack. I pulled out my phone to take a picture and put it on my Snapchat story, but then I remembered again. The mini muffins are a big deal though, I’m very tempted.
5:47 a.m.- I am very close to posting on my finsta.
10:00 p.m.- I finished my homework and went downstairs and finished painting a picture I’ve been working on. I just finished. I don’t know if I would’ve done it this quickly with my phone because usually, I check it every few minutes while painting. Also, I’ve been watching the office while I do things because that’s not social media, HA.
6:30 a.m.- I really might give up on this. I took a really artsy picture and I would very much like to post it on my main. Is that sad? Probably. It’s fine, I’m fine, everything’s fine.
9:00 a.m.- I’m still editing and scrolling through pictures.
3:31 p.m.- I’m out.
4:00 p.m.- I’m disappointed in myself. I’m going to delete the apps and keep trying. I’m still out though.
6:48 a.m.- Woke up this morning and went directly to my phone. Made it all the way to the folder before I realized what I was doing. This isn’t a good sign for the rest of the week.
11:44 a.m.- Power 50 has gotten a lot more boring. I actually studied. It was terrifying.
3:50 p.m.- It seems like there’s so much more time for me to do things now. I keep wondering if that grape surgery meme has died yet. I hope it has.
9:00 a.m.- I did my homework this morning rather than what I usually do. I actually got it done. I’m surprised with myself. I’m also incredibly bored.
1:28 p.m.- My classmates keep referencing their favorite Vines and looking them up to show each other. When they asked me mine, and I explained the cleanse situation, they looked at me like I was insane. I feel like an alien.
4:46 p.m.- I’m so booooooooooorrrreeeedddd. It’s only been two days?!?!
5:01 p.m.- This is awful. Save me.
1:19 p.m.- The thought that I’m now over the halfway point is the only thing keeping me going.
1:20 p.m.- That may have been dramatic. I don’t know anymore. All I know is that when I get back, that stupid grape better have recovered from its stupid surgery and let the meme die. Brandon in science class keeps referencing memes and telling me I’m missing out. I don’t like Brandon.
8:32 a.m.- It has actually gotten a bit easier. I do feel like I’m more on top of things, but I still miss my Pinterest. I almost quit today, but I held strong.
9:10 a.m.- I’m out of school today at the dentist. Without my phone, this is the most boring dentist’s office ever. I’ve reverted to other games on my phone. Nothing compares to what I had to leave behind though.
12:56 p.m.- I keep thinking maybe I should just quit. I mean, what do I really get from this? Someone else in the group already has given up.
7:45 p.m.- We don’t have much longer. Only about a day. I think I can make it! The boredom is stifling.
9:27 a.m.- Less than a day! I can make it, I know it! Maybe everyone else can, too.
7:35 p.m.- Nevermind. I haven’t given up yet, but someone else did. It’s the last stretch. I’m praying to gods I don’t believe in.
11:56 p.m.- I’m so incredibly bored. But I’m nearly there. I can feel it.
12:00 a.m.- I made it! But was it worth it? The answer is no.
It was very difficult in all. I myself do not use social media that much, I don’t even have Snapchat or Instagram, but the parts that I do I need. It was very revelatory. I don’t think I ever want to do that again, but it was very interesting in all.
6:32 a.m.- I almost opened Instagram this morning but I remembered and opened the News app instead. I feel educated now.
10:32 a.m.- I accidentally opened Instagram and saw a picture before I remembered and closed it. I feel bad but it was also a cute picture of someone with their dog.
12:10 p.m.- Power 50 is a lot more boring without Social Media. I am bored and slightly dead inside.
5:12 p.m.- I didn’t think this through fully. I regret a lot of things right now.
7:38 a.m.- An uneventful morning of a lot of homework and no social media.
1:13 p.m.- Kylie showed me an Insta pic and I accidentally looked. The world has ended.
8:19 p.m.- I have invented a new game called “Is That Level?” Using the measuring tool I just see how level random things in my house are.
8:22 p.m.- Turns out my cat is -23 degrees level.
8:25 p.m.- My sister is both -10 degrees level and very mad at me.
10:33 a.m.- It is getting harder every day.
1:12 p.m.- Half. Way. there.
3:07 p.m.- I am about to quit.
9:36 p.m.- I am so bored. But I have a lot of homework to do.
10:03 p.m.- I didn’t do any homework.
11:24 p.m.- I am so stressed that I forgot Social Media existed.
3:12 p.m.- I just want to open Instagram.
4:16 p.m.- I forgot that my recipe was on Pinterest and now I have to find a new one.
10:55 p.m.- I can’t make it to midnight I’m about to fall asleep. All in all it was slightly beneficial in helping me take a break from Social Media, but I had major FOMO the whole time which just made me more stressed.