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A Month Without Social Media

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A Month Without Social Media

Photo illustration of a teen looking through social media.

Photo illustration of a teen looking through social media.

Photo by Sydney Shinkle

Photo illustration of a teen looking through social media.

Photo by Sydney Shinkle

Photo by Sydney Shinkle

Photo illustration of a teen looking through social media.

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On Sep. 10, Bent Tree Bible Fellowship challenged its youth ministry to participate in a 31-day fast from all social media. While the fast was optional, many students decided to take part in the fast with the intentions of cleansing themselves and replacing the time spent on social media with time reading the Bible or strengthening their relationship with God.

I challenged myself to partake in this event outside of the religious purposes for the sole reason to see if it would be difficult for me. I’m not an avid social media user, so I didn’t think it would be too difficult.

Week 1: This was officially my first week without social media. Instagram and Snapchat are completely deleted. The withdrawals haven’t kicked in or anything. Everything is the same.

Week 2: I would assume that before deleting social media I spent roughly two hours a day total just looking at pointless things on Instagram or reading about tragic life stories on Quora.

I’ve now got a lot of free time on my hands and I’m not really sure what to do with myself. I’m not a big TV watcher, so I’ve been reading a bunch just to fill my time. My mother thinks I need a job.

Week 3: By next week, I’ll have downloaded Snapchat and Instagram back onto my phone, and I’m sure I’ll immediately become overwhelmed with trivial notifications and I’ll be bombarded with pictures my friends have taken from the past month that I really don’t seem to care about.

Week 4: I’m pretty much done with this whole challenge. I followed up with some other students who were doing the fast and they seem to be doing fine. I probably should also admit that my phone has become relatively useless now compared to my laptop.

I wouldn’t really call social media an addiction. It’s definitely a habit, but it’s not like I was having withdrawal symptoms from not seeing what vacations celebrities were taking or who random people I see in the hallway are dating.

Final Thoughts: Deleting social media really DID free up a lot of time, and so as far as the religious purposes go, I would hope that the participants achieved what they were hoping.

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