Another Round

I Spent a Week in Lockdown Without Social Media

Quarantine

I Spent a Week in Lockdown Without Social Media

It’s no secret that social media can be detrimental to your mental health. I’m not the first to say that, and I certainly won’t be the last. Being exposed day in, day out to the lives of other people can take its toll since we inevitably end up comparing our lives to the lives of other people who are richer, more attractive, and more famous than we are. “Ugh, I wish I was in the Bahamas right now”, “ugh, I wish I could afford Gucci”, “ugh, I wish I could meet Joe Rogan and spend two hours talking about gender politics.” Okay, maybe that last one was a bit niche, but you get my point. It’s for these reasons that I find social media exhausting at the best of times, but in lockdown, my phone has truly become my enemy. Too many times I’ve caught myself just scrolling, and scrolling, and scrolling, so I thought it was time for a little experiment. 

Instagram 

Look, I spend as much time scrolling through memes and jealousy lusting over Instagram models as the next person, but when I caught myself just infinitely scrolling without even looking at the posts, I knew it was time for a change. I felt like I was just constantly comparing my lockdown experience with other people’s – why aren’t I cooking banquets for my family? Why haven’t I learnt to paint? Removing this constant instinct to compare myself to everyone I follow really helped me relax, and I ended up with a much greater appreciation for the people I have around me.  

Desire to re-install: 2/5 (could take it or leave)

Facebook/Facebook Messenger 

Like most of my friends, I barely use Facebook for its intended purpose anymore. I never look at my news feed, and I can’t even remember the last time I posted a status. However, a quick glance at my phone’s Digital Wellbeing app (if you don’t have this on your phone, I highly recommended downloading a similar alternative) tells me that I spend around an hour a day on Facebook Messenger. I’ll hold my hands up here. I missed the hell out of talking to my friends this week. It turns out there’s only so many times I can ironically ask my Spaniel “what’s up dog?” before it gets contrived.   

Desire to re-install: 5/5 (crying Kim K gif) 

TikTok

I’ll be honest, I’d forgot I had this one on my phone before taking this challenge. I guess TikTok wasn’t really adding much to my life.  

Desire to re-install: 0/5 (I can’t do any of the dances)

YouTube

This one is another lockdown must-have in my book. I guess I don’t really think of it as social media, but it was connecting me to the outside world, so it counts. Like Messenger, I did miss not having YouTube, but using the app can lead me to succumb to the same habit of endless scrolling as I do on Instagram, so not having YouTube in my phone meant that I was more likely to pick up a book or crack on with something productive. I’m glad I have it back (these back-catalogue David Dobrik vlogs aren’t going to watch themselves), but I also think it was good to take a break. 

Desire to re-install: 3/5 (God I wish I was a rich kid in LA) 

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