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The Poitras Point

Ten days without social media

According+to+USA+Today%2C+58%25+of+adult+Americans+have+Facebook.
According to USA Today, 58% of adult Americans have Facebook.

According to USA Today, 58% of adult Americans have Facebook.

Pixabay

Pixabay

According to USA Today, 58% of adult Americans have Facebook.

Emily Poitras, Staff writer

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With the recent scandal of Facebook scraping users’ accounts of their personal information. I wondered what would happen if I just stopped using social media and sharing my daily life with my 500 Facebook friends and Instagram followers.

So I made the scary decision and put up a post announcing I was deleting my social media for ten days.

Then, because too many people were asking why I made this decision, I had to re-install the apps, update my post and then deleted my apps again.

Here is what I found out.

Days One-Three: I felt slightly panicked because Facebook helped me keep in touch with long distant family and friends as well as what was going on in the organizations I’m part of. A lot of people were panicked too. I got many text messages asking if I was okay and how they could ever keep in touch with me. I told them to do it the old fogey way: call me. I asked my family if they wanted to go out and eat. For the first half hour they were good about staying off Facebook, but soon they pulled out their phones. I think this was when I realized that social media had slowly made its way into the lives of my family members. It’s been there at family gatherings and birthday parties. We’d been “scraped” in a way, by this welcome intruder. I’m not the only one guilty of this, and my family isn’t alone in the habit of being on Facebook during family gatherings. It took three days but I stopped automatically looking for Facebook.

Days Four- Six: On Saturday afternoon I went to get coffee and I talked to many people that I hadn’t seen in awhile. Sunday I spent roughly seven hours cleaning my room. I realized just how much social media had taken up my time. I bet if I had access to social media I wouldn’t have cleaned my room for seven hours. Monday evening was about preparing for the Destination Imagination trip to Global Finals in May. I was pretty bored for the first time in six days.

Days Seven-Nine: I realized one week in that my life didn’t change much if I had social media. My boyfriend came over Wednesday evening and we had a mini movie marathon. It was nice that neither of us were on Facebook. We just enjoyed the time together.

Day Ten: Friday was my last day without social media. I noticed how I wasn’t as stressed as I usually am. All of the terrible things in the world weren’t being shoved down my throat every second of the day. It only happened when I turned on the local or international news. I also slept better, and I attempted to finish the dozen of half read books on my nightstand. I liked not having social media. It felt freeing.

What did I really miss while I was away from Facebook? Some SAT memes and a moose walking down Main Street in Fort Kent.

The only part that felt necessary about going back to Facebook was that I could keep in touch with organizations that I am in. After this experiment, I have stopped using social media as much. Social media is a great tool to use, but it is not the world.

Sometimes it takes a complete break to realize it.

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