Why I’m Spending 2018 Without Social Media

One of the things that has been consuming my time for years is my cell phone. I grew up when the internet was just getting started. I remember the good ol’ Dial-Up days when it took several hours to load a 3 minute Youtube video. Now at 20 years old, I have instant access to Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or anything else on the internet. However, it was time for this to change.

Social media is extremely addicting. One of the things that we, as the human race, thrive off of is knowledge. Everything we have has come from learning and knowing. This is where we become fueled by social media. We’ve begun to feed off of knowing what other people are doing and saying. It’s something that we subconsciously crave. And why? Well, the internet is easy. Social media has turned into something so simple that even a child could navigate it.

So, why did I decide to erase my online presence and why do I think other people should too? The same reason people do detoxes, face masks, and the like. We like to feel cleansed and new. That’s how deleting social media makes you feel. At first, you experience withdraw. You pick up your cellphone and stare at a blank screen. Then you start to think, “Why am I just staring at this blank phone screen?” That’s when it hits you. You have an addiction. When the symptoms of withdraw pass, you’ll start to feel blissful. You have hours in a day that you never knew existed.

In the mornings, I would spend 15–30 minutes on Twitter scrolling aimlessly. It not only made me late, but also affected my diet. I never had enough time in the morning to make a proper lunch for work, which led to microwave meals becoming a staple. This would make me feel tired and sluggish every day at work. It also affected my mood and caused more bad attitudes. This was a huge problem for me as I work in hospitality and have to maintain a positive attitude.

In the evenings, I almost never ate dinner. My most popular evening meal was a bag of potato chips or buttery popcorn because these types of foods can be made quickly or grabbed right off the shelf. The more I recognized my problem, the more I wanted to fix it. I tried just deleting my social media apps, but my fingers always found a way to the Safari app where I logged into Twitter and continued as normal. It inevitably came to the point where I decided to delete my accounts and not use social media for all of 2018.

With my newfound time, I plan to read and write a lot more than I have been. I want to spend more of this time with friends and family, building closer, better relationships. I won’t have a bunch of apps that hold me back any longer.

Today is Day 1 of no social media for a whole year.

Marnie is an LGBTQ poet and storyteller from North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Follow Marnie on tumblr for unpublished poems, prose, and short stories. Purchase Marnie’s poetry book “a black and white rainbow” about love, loss, and coming out here.