Last year one of my very good friends decided to give up social media. She deleted her Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat accounts. I asked her why she decided to do this and stated how it seemed like such a crazy decision to make especially for someone who was about to go off to college. After all, how would she stay in touch with all of her friends from home? She told me that she had gotten so used to constantly staring at her phone, refreshing her Instagram feed every couple of minutes waiting for a new post that it made her realize how dependent she, and our entire generation really, was on social media.
Two weeks after the beginning of the fall semester, my friend called me to catch up. She asked me questions like who my new group of friends were, what they were like, and what I’ve been doing at college I replied by saying “Haven’t you seen any of my Instagram posts? Or my Snapchat stories?” She stayed silent and finally laughed, then I realized that she still wasn’t back on social media. The fact that she really did give it up still surprised me. I was so sure that she would eventually get bored or go crazy but she didn’t. In fact, she seemed happier. She told me that she had started calling all of her close friends and had actually had conversations with them instead of finding out about their lives through pictures or tweets. She said she felt much more connected than she ever did before.
After our two hour conversation, I came to the realization that in this day and age, social media has become such a huge part of our lives. At least it has for me. I can never get through the day without checking my Instagram or Snapchat. I don’t even know why I check social media so many times throughout the day. Just like my friend used to, I constantly refresh and wait for new pictures to appear. It feels like I’m always waiting for someone to post something new that it has become like a routine to me. I don’t think I would ever be able to do what my friend did, and in some ways that scares me because it makes me realize just how much value I have placed on social media.