A World Without Social Media

Imagine a world without the buzz of social media - the endless scrolling through tweets, the selfie taking and the silly videos for our Snapchat stories. Imagine waking up in the morning, without rolling over to check your phone to see who's posted on Instagram, or if anyone's sent you a Whatsapp. It seems impossible, doesn't it?

Sunday evenings are where we come up with our goals for the following week, or at least I do anyway - how many people have sat down and thought 'I'm going to eat healthy, starting from tomorrow', yet Monday comes around and you find yourself giving into your unhealthy cravings, with no valid reason other than 'I'll start next week' - I know I'm certainly guilty of that. Yet this Sunday was different, I wasn't thinking about parting with my sugary snacks (we're better together, anyway), I was thinking about parting with my equally beloved social media accounts.

To say I'm 'obsessed' with social media would be pushing it a little, but I'm certainly a fan. I carry my phone around with me at all times, and am constantly checking it for updates - worrying what I'll miss if I'm not checking it every 5 minutes. It reached a point where I'd be sat in front of the TV and instead of watching the programme, I'd be scrolling through Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

So, on impulse, I took my phone and deleted all my social media apps from it. (Except from Whatsapp, my group chats definitely hold more importance than my sanity). I have many reasons for doing this - the first one being (boring!) that I do need to focus more on my school work. There have been many occasions where I've sat in the study centre with a massive pile of work in front of me, yet instead have unlocked my phone to see that Jenny on Twitter has got caught in the rain on her way to work (what an awful, awful example).

One of the worst things about me is how easily I can get distracted. Even whilst writing this blog post I have clicked on Spotify countless times and spent time going through old JLS albums to choose the next song (currently playing: one shot). I'm not going to lie and say I've not been on social media at all - yet the amount of time I have spent on it has more than halved. Although it's only been a couple of days, there's definitely been a significant improvement in my mood, my energy levels and also my productivity. Instead of spending half an hour looking through Snapchat stories, I spend that time reading or (even better) REVISING!!!

Social media puts pressure on us, I think everyone can admit that. It puts pressure on us to construct the idea that we all lead perfect lives, to make sure we get the best lighting for that selfie or write the funniest tweet that's going to get us loads of retweets or favourites. We get our validation from the amount of attention our posts get - if someone writes a comment or, better, shares our post then we can finally feel a sense of satisfaction. If someone has a higher number of followers than us, then we assume that they are automatically better at what they do.

I personally struggle to understand why it's called 'Social Media' when it's anything but sociable. You see people walking past you on the street utterly engrossed in their Iphones, or families out in a restaurant  all looking down at their technological devices - here's an idea ... TALK TO EACH OTHER !!! We've become accustomed to thinking 'ahh, I'm bored - Facebook will entertain me' as opposed to thinking 'ahh, I'm bored - let's go and sit with my family'. We no longer need to arrange to meet with our friends when we can talk to them through a computer screen instead, or if there's something that we need to say to someone but are a bit worried to do so we'll hide behind a text or a Whatsapp message instead of addressing them face to face.

I am guilty of all of these examples by the way, I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I'm not. I guess it just takes stepping away from it all to realise all of this. However, although I've just sat here and criticised it, I don't think the concept of social media should be held in an entirely negative light. Without social media, I wouldn't be able to do this blogging malarky that I enjoy so much and I probably wouldn't be looking for a career in the Media industry. (I also wouldn't be able to enjoy constant updates on Benedict Cumberbatch's whereabouts too, but that's another story.)

Social media is a great thing, don't get me wrong, yet I can't help but feel like it offers an alternative to physical human interaction. I'd love to sit in a restaurant and see people talking to each other instead of tweeting or go to a concert where nobody's recording it for Snapchat, yet I know that there's a very slim chance of that happening. Equally, I'd love to spread the messages my blogs contain far and wide, and I can only do this through using platforms like Twitter and Instagram.

It's a tricky one. There's this need for escapism, yet also immediacy - and it's choosing which one you would prefer. So, to end this blog post, I'd like to see whether you can delete all social media apps off your phone for an entire week. Honestly, it does feel weird at first, but it's also quite liberating. I'd love to hear how you find it!

See you next week,

Grace x


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