I gave up Snapchat for lent and it has been a rollercoaster of emotions. Some may ask if this was really the hardest thing to give up for 40 days…sadly yes. I am a millennial who is addicted to social media and I have no shame about saying that.
40 days of giving up something that means something to me…and I decided to drop Snapchat from my life. To give a little background- the reason why I chose to delete snapchat for these 40 days was to give myself a challenge and also to learn how to use it in a healthy way. I caught myself looking at people’s stories to see where they were, who they were with, and how much fun they were having. It became a bad habit instead of a fun way to catch up with friends and to stay in touch with old acquaintances. It has been 28 days and there are many times where I think it was the greatest decision ever, but then there are times where I feel completely left out. There have been a few life lessons during this process:
Does your battery drain throughout the day? It’s probably your excessive snapchat use…
I used to run through 70% of my battery by the time I was done with classes but now I only use about 30-40% during the day. My snapchat drains my battery when the app is just open and then count extensive snapchat conversations and aimless story stalking, it drops dramatically. My roommate uses 19% of her weekly battery life on Snapchat where she looses 3.6 hours of her week using the app and then 5.4 hours of background battery use. She spends 50 minutes of her daily routine on snapchat where she could use doing something productive- like napping.
No one knows about every detail of my weekend plans anymore
Since I no longer capture moments of my days, no one automatically knows what I did on the weekends. There is no longer an expectation when talking to someone because if I want them to know something I have to actually tell them about it. Snapchat was the most revealing social media for me and I don’t post about my life nearly as much on other social medias. My everyday thoughts and experiences used to be documented through pictures and videos…now I have to wait to tell the people I know about some crazy experience I had over the weekend until we are actually together. It has pushed me to actually communicating with my friends and texting them or telling that when I saw something funny or scary.
No one actually cares about what you do…
This seems harsh, but I learned how to detach myself from my phone and enjoy the moment. There are some adventures that I want to document and tell other people about but then I realize other people probably won’t care or my other friends probably documented the same moment and everyone will see 10 pictures of the same sunset view of Boston. I have learned to just enjoy the moment and while everyone tries capturing the perfect snapchat to send, I can just actually embrace my surroundings and experience it in a different way. I’ve noticed myself pulling out my phone less and actually talking with my friends.
I was pushed to use “stories” on Instagram out of desperation
There were some desperate moments where I really wanted people to know what I was doing because it was too cool to not document… my life can be interesting sometimes. However, I didn’t know where to post it…wasn’t cool enough for an Instagram post or a Facebook tag, so what did I turn to? Instagram Stories. I posted my first story this past month and some may say that is cheating but NOPE it is not Snapchat. I then realized that even though every college student has Snapchat and we question why every other social media uses stories too, not everyone in the world is as invested in Snapchat as we are. Snapchat has 300 million users meanwhile Facebook has 1,871 million users and Instagram has 600 million users. I find it annoying that all these social medias have the same features but not everyone has every single form. (Statista)
I was very dependent on Snapchat
I started getting FOMO when my friends chatting on Snapchat and sending pictures back and forth and I would feel out of the loop. I realized that this platform was a completely other form of staying in communication with friends. My friends would post stories about a new job or plan for the weekend and I would not hear about them until my roommate told me. I felt behind somehow and that things were happening that I did not know about. My friends always forget I deleted snapchat so they would have conversations about things they saw on someone’s story and I would have to be explained the background information. It is so cool to see how Snapchat has grown and intertwined itself into people’s daily routines, but I definitely relied on it in a bad way and like any drug I needed a detox in order to remember how to use it appropriately.
I am over the hump of missing snapchat and hopefully the next two weeks I won’t even think about using it. My goal after this experience is to remember how great this feeling was of not having it and to use it more sparingly. I hope to use it to send fun pictures with friends but not update everyone about my whereabouts and seeing how much more fun everyone else is supposedly is having. Because as we have discussed this year people’s lives are very different in reality than on their social media accounts.