Going on a social media detox


Ashley Onzuka

The hardest button to press

By Ashley Onzuka, Staff Writer

During the week of Thanksgiving, I went on a three-day social media detox. From Monday, Nov. 21, to Thursday, Nov. 23, all social media was off limits for a full 72 hours. Believe it or not, I survived.

I know what you’re probably thinking, No social media on Thanksgiving??? But how will your friends know what you’re eating? If you don’t post a picture on Thanksgiving, how will people know that you #atetoomuch or that you’re #thankful or #readyforblackfriday?

The hardest part of the social media detox was based upon my “wants” as opposed to my “needs.” I felt like I wanted to use my social media applications, but I never felt like I needed to use my social media applications. For example, my daily morning routine involves:

  1. Wake up.
  2. Lie in bed and check my phone for any notifications.
  3. Get up and use the bathroom while I scroll through Instagram and Snapchat.
  4. Get ready.

Number three was the hardest of them all. You have no idea how boring it was to sit on the toilet and literally just sit there. It got so boring to point where I started scrolling through my photos. That was the one of the worst substitutes for my social media applications. In the end, I turned into one of those people who go to the bathroom to use it and just leave. Who even does that? On the plus side, I probably cut the time I spend in the bathroom in half. Let’s be real, in the 10 minutes you spend using the bathroom, only one of the 10 minutes is used to actually use the bathroom.

Although boredom was one of the main effects from my social media withdrawals, one incident truly stuck with me. It made me contemplate on how much social media has become a part of my life.

On Tuesday, Nov. 22, at 8:45 a.m., I went to eat breakfast at Koko Head Cafe with a few friends. The food and set up was aesthetically pleasing and extremely Instagram worthy. However, being on the second day of my detox, there was no way I could give in. Out of habit, I immediately picked up my phone to take a picture of my breakfast eggs. But I stopped myself, knowing I was supposed to be on a social media embargo. Then I started to rationalize that I could take the photo now but post it two days later.

That’s when I realized how absurd this habit had become.

Before this incident, I felt that this detox was going to be a measly inconvenience, but overall, a fairly easy task. In that moment, I became one of those people who, if I didn’t post it on social media, it never happened.

I closed the camera application and placed my phone down. I sat, ate and conversed with my friends. In that moment, the only people who mattered were the people in front of me, not my Instagram followers, not my Snapchat friends.

Throughout the rest of that day and the final day of my detox, it became easier to live without social media. On the final day, I re-downloaded my Instagram app and Snapchat app and logged in to see how many notifications I missed in the past three days. There were a good amount of notifications, but nothing I could say I got excited for.

From this experience, I realized how big of a role social media plays in my daily life.

Before the detox, I would diagnose myself with an extremely mild case of a social media addiction. Honestly, my habits are pretty much back to my pre-detox ways. This detox took me back to a time where a cell phone was used for calling and (sometimes) texting. I can confidently say that I can survive without social media, I just choose not to. Not yet, anyway. #thankful #readyforchristmas