Living Offline – A Social Media Experiment

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In this age of technology and the social media, we all are well equipped and educated about the social networks like Facebook, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Instagram and so on. Now I don’t know about you, but in my life, these apps have a major role to play, they have their advantages as well as disadvantages. And there are many days when I’m baffled by how much these apps control me and my life.

The first love of my life are dank memes and most of the time I keep scrolling for memes on my Facebook timeline, other than that, I love to express my thoughts in the form of status updates, well, we all do. Then, there are so many amazing people in the virtual world and its so easy to connect with them. Be it a fun senior from college you can’t go up and talk to face to face, or any other friend you have lost touch with. The ease of conversing has increased so much that you can just sit at one place with your phone and internet connection and talk to anyone at the tap of your fingertips! Technology is crazy! So basically, all I mean to say is that these social networks were kind of controlling my life at that point, which was definitely not a good thing for me.

I remember, one night I was lying in bed at around 1 am preparing to sleep and picked up my phone to check my feeds and kept scrolling till 5 in the morning, and the birds started chirping and I realized how messed up I was at that point. These apps had made my procrastination habits even worse. And that was when I decided to shut off all my social networks for a week. In a jiffy, I updated my status saying I’ll be offline for a week and deleted all my networking apps like Facebook, Whatsapp, Snapchat and Instagram. I could already feel a void in my heart, all those memes, oh dear! I was going to miss them so much.

Internet Addiction
Source

THE MAIN MOTIVES OF THIS EXPERIMENT –

  1. To stop procrastinating
  2. To see if I had enough will power to live without social media for a week
  3. To stop unnecessary conversations with people I don’t have much business with
  4. To utilize my time for better things
  5. To see what life is like without social media, would I go towards enlightenment like Lord Buddha?
  6. To see if I can have a good meal without uploading its images on Instagram and Snapchat

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Proof that I actually did it! Check the dates.

 

FIRST DAY –

The first day was all about attention! I was going around college telling people I had left facebook for a week, and to be very honest, nobody cared! Got trolled in real life. On my way to college, I downloaded a news app and started reading the news, which was a good thing.

In college I tried to concentrate on my lectures rather than checking the speed of our college WiFi. And when I came back home, I even cleaned my almirah, this job that had been pending for the last one month! Crazy! Isn’t it? It looked like it was actually working. The day went by pretty smoothly, I kept myself busy so my mind wouldn’t wander off to Whatsapp and Facebook.

The first day it all looked pretty easy, but I knew that as soon as I would be idle, I would feel the need to go on Facebook, so I was just hoping it all goes fine.

 

SECOND DAY –

The second day was pretty similar to the first one, I had a lot of stuff to do that day, had to attend a lot of classes and the whole day I was occupied with travelling and classes. But during my bus rides, my hand would go to my phone to open up my apps, but then I remembered I had deleted all of them. So I had  started missing them, but this day too went by smoothly.

 

THIRD DAY –

This day was pretty stiff and tough, I was missing my sweet memes and I had my practicals going on at that time so it was starting to get difficult for me to communicate with my peers for assignment related discussions. That was when I realized that there were a lot of benefits of WhatsApp and Facebook.  I had to talk to people on call and via Gmail, how ridiculous!

 

FOURTH AND FIFTH DAY –

Was I walking towards enlightenment by then? Nope, I was missing social media and even found new ways of procrastination, like movies, Youtube and staring at the wall! But I figured a lot of things during this time.  I was able to control the urge of checking all those updates, I didn’t care much of what was going on in other people’s lives. And also, I only talked to the people who were really close to me. So yes, it was kind of working because I was able to cut off unnecessary conversations. I noticed that my urge to check Facebook was under control, however I also knew that this experiment wouldn’t have much effect on me as it was only a week long.

 

SIXTH AND SEVENTH DAY –

THE ANTICIPATION OF OPENING MY FACEBOOK AND SEEING WHO WOULD’VE MESSAGED ME ASKING WHY I LEFT IN THE FIRST PLACE WAS REAL DURING THIS TIME. Now I was just eager to open up my social media and see who missed me. These were the toughest days because I couldn’t wait for the week to be over, the anxiety, curiosity and anticipation was real . As soon as the clock ticked twelve on the seventh day, I quickly downloaded back all the apps and hugged my social networks. And all those memes oh, I had missed them so much. And YESSSS! I had a few messages from some people who missed talking to me and my presence on social media. It was an amazing experience to be able to appreciate the internet and social media, to be able to use it again.

 

CONCLUSION-

Now, overall this experiment did help me a bit, but I won’t say that I can live without social media or that I’ll go to the Himalayas and take Sansyas from all the worldly pleasures. But yes, this experiment made me realize the worth of all the technology and facilities that I have. Scrolling through a few memes can brighten up my mood, Whatsapp can make communication easier with anyone I want to talk to. This experiment helped me feel grateful for all the things that I have and this technology is absolutely mind blowing. It can be used for our benefit and  it should be used in that way only! Was my experiment a complete fail or a win? I don’t exactly know, but let’s just tally all the pointers here

 

MOTIVES ACHIEVED

  1. Yes I did it! I had enough will power to live without social media for a week.
  2. Yes I was able to stop unnecessary conversations.
  3. Yes, I was enlightened, but only a tad bit. I now no longer feel the extreme urge to use facebook for 24 hours of the day. I even minimized my use on Snapchat and Instagram after this experiment.
  4. Yes, I can have a good meal without uploading its picture on Instagram and Snapchat. heh

 

MOTIVES NOT ACHIEVED

  1. I couldn’t stop procrastinating. I found new ways to do it.
  2. I wasn’t exactly able to utilize my time for better things, it was kind of a 50-50 situation.

 

Win or Fail? I don’t know, you decide. However I still am the same person, this taught me many different things about the realities of life and social media, and how to utilize it for my benefit. Yes, I still use Facebook, this wasn’t some sort of extreme revelation. It just reminded me of all the things I already knew, and I suppose we all need that little tap on our heads once.

So, I believe everyone who documents their whole life on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Whatsapp should definitely try this once. But moreover, we should take all the advantages we can out of these applications, because technology is for making life easy, not for complicating it!

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