Friday, 21 April 2017

Social Media Ban

For those of you that don't know, I've been brought up in a Christian community, so giving up something for Lent each year is almost like part of my annual routine by this point. When I was younger, it was easy - crisps, chocolate, or other unhealthy foods. But now that I've gotten a bit older, I don't see giving up those things as as much of a challenge as they used to be, so I decided to take a different route this year - I gave up social media.

During the ban, I kept a list of 'semi ironic questions I've asked myself since giving up social media' in the Notes app on my phone:

What am I supposed to do while I'm sat on the loo now?
If you're a male, you might not understand this issue quite as much but I am a serious scroller while on the loo.

How will people know I'm annoyed about being stuck in traffic if I don't post it on my snapchat story?
This is definitely something I was guilty of before the ban, but not something I've done since actually! The over-sharing on Snapchat has definitely died down a bit...

How am I meant to wake myself up in the morning if I can't scroll through social media half-asleep?
One thing I did allow myself to do in place of scrolling through social media, was scrolling through the BBC News app instead. To be fair, I felt more well-informed about current affairs in that 40 day period than I have at any other point in my life, and it has definitely started up a good habit that if I'm just bored and fancy a scroll through something, I'll now open BBC News before Facebook.

Why don't I ever take photos 'just because' anymore? Social media has taken all of the joy out of taking photos now, I only ever capture Instagram-worthy moments
This was not so much a semi ironic question but more of a point of self-reflection. Since this, I've made it a point to take more pictures of the little moments, and not feel the need to post every picture I take to Instagram.

How am I meant to find out about someone new at work if I can't stalk their social medias?
THIS WAS A STRUGGLE. I ended up getting my friend Abi to stalk them for me, I won't lie. Working in a large firm like I do, you come into contact with a lot of people you won't have met before, so social media is really helpful in this regard.

I found out about Noel Fielding taking over GBBO from the R1 Breakfast show?? Really??

There's a lot of people I'd casually snapchat/tweet but would never message them privately, so haven't spoken to them for a while. Is it going to be awkward when we start talking again?
I think this helped me to really realise who was a good friend and who wasn't. Any of the casual acquaintances that I would only talk to via Snapchat etc and actually missed their company, I made the effort to reach out to them via text and have a proper conversation with them, and I think we've become better friends as a result.

Should I have announced what I was doing before going off-radar? Then again, if anyone actually cared enough, they'd just ask...
I actually have this noted down and I did actually have a disagreement with a friend about this. She claimed to have been really upset that I ignored her snapchat. As above, my comment to this was that if she actually cared enough, she could have messaged me or even come to my house to talk about it with me directly. Sometimes, a snapchat is just a snapchat, something our generation tend to forget.

What do I do in awkward situations when everyone else is on their phones?
This was something that did annoy me quite a lot. There would be times where one person gets their phone out, another follows suit, until the whole group are just scrolling through Instagram rather than chatting. It's alright when you're one of the group on your phone but when you're left there with nothing to do, the silence can be deafening.

What if I'm bored and just fancy chatting to some random guys on Tinder?
....No shame.

I do think giving up social media helped me realise how much I use it in my life, and I think I'm now more likely to give it up again if I decide I need to focus, ie. during exam time.

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Maira Gall