DUO Magazine Reader Story Competition Winner
Sayonara Social Media
Yes, it is possible to quit social media and still enjoy life. Love it, even.
Georgie Desailly is living proof…
It’s Sunday morning and I’ve just returned home armed with coffee and a handful of the latest monthly magazines. Preparing myself to spend the day in my pyjamas doing absolutely nothing, I settle in and begin my reading marathon. It’s not long before I come across a response to a question that raises my eyebrows. Asking for advice on a topic, the person answers; “They are probably one of those weird people that don’t use social media (apparently they exist).” After reading this I pause for a moment and ask myself, is this what everyone thinks? Has social media become so prominent in our lives that it’s shocking to think that people can’t live without it? Well, I’m your typical young girl, a current Riverdale addict, trying to navigate the real world and last month marked my one-year anniversary of saying goodbye to my good old social media pals and… I’ve never been happier!
As millennials, social media has been a must for most of our lives. Unfortunately, for many, these platforms promote unfair comparisons, the pressure to be larger than life, and the idea of being in others’ lives without really being in their life at all. And let’s be real, none of this information is new to us because we’ve heard it from every second person such as parents, teachers, even statistics that we are being shown daily ever since we downloaded the apps. And the majority of the time we sit there rolling our eyes at them and get on with our lives. The idea of forgetting we even have phones is simply liberating and, likewise, greatly unbelievable. But I’m here to show that it is possible to survive this life without social media and, as outrageous as it sounds, it can be quite rewarding.
You may be thinking, well it’s easy to live life without social media if you’ve never had it, right? Well I did indeed have almost everything ranging from Instagram to Snapchat to Tumblr. Hitting high school just like every other teenager in my grade, I was the biggest social media addict. I snapped up a photo opportunity every chance I got, taking a gazillion selfies just to get the right one in the correct lighting to post. Each morning I would wake up and jump straight on my phone and then repeat this process before bed. Even on the way to school, Dad trying to get a conversation out of me was nearly impossible. Eventually I was spending hours and hours a week obsessing over my feed and trying to come up with new and catchy bios.
I came to the realisation that I had seriously become disconnected from the world. I was online so much that I would only see my family at dinner and, aside from school, would only talk to my friends online. I arrived at school one day and for the first time just saw everything for what it was — everyone with their heads down looking at their phones, texting people that were literally across the room and I thought to myself, is this what I’m like? That day, I decided that I would try a detox from all social media for a few days and see how it went. I was suddenly overcome with a sense of freedom from living without social media and I wanted that feeling to continue. That eventually led me to challenge myself to see how long I could hold off, and throughout this time I found that I was trying new activities that I never would’ve considered making time for before. After a few weeks I decided to let myself back on and over the coming months prided myself in cutting down my daily hours. Until one day I was barely using it and decided to deactivate my accounts, never once looking back.
In today’s modern age, we have bloggers, youtubers, beauty icons, all of whom we watch through the lens of our screens. And, yes, social media is a great way for young people to discover industries such as fashion and businesses through online exposure as well as being able to connect with long-distance family and friends. So don’t get me wrong — I’m not pushing social media into a negative limelight because it’s hard feeling like the last person in the world to find out about Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan’s breakup. But, ultimately, in the long run, it’s so worth it. I’ve found out who my true friends are (even if it’s a pain for them to have to call me when they need something as simple as the answer to a maths question). As cliché as it sounds, I really am just myself now — no smoke, no mirrors. Just me.
I’m not writing this to say to you all ‘hey go and delete all your social media accounts otherwise you won’t be happy’. What I’m saying is why not try a cleanse for a week and see how it goes? No matter your age, you will be surprised what you might discover when logging off for a bit. Why not set yourself a challenge? Even if it’s cutting back on your hours just for a few days or even a single day? If it all gets too much you can just log back on.
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