I Gave Up Snapchat for Lent

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.

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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

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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)

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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.

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https://www.statista.com/statistics/272014/global-social-networks-ranked-by-number-of-users/

 

10 comments

  1. erinfitzpatrick123 · ·

    Really interesting post! Some of my roommates have also given up Snapchat for lent, and I think they definitely feel the FOMO when they are not included on the inside joke, or don’t know where we all are, etc. However, I think it is probably refreshing to not be constantly needing to know what everyone is eating, doing, or watching. Because truth is- you can just ask them if you really need to know. I think I would struggle with the FOMO of giving up Snapchat, especially here at school where I feel looped in to social media 24/7, but when I’m home or farther removed, I can go days without updating my story, so it really is a weird balance. I wish I wasn’t, but I think I am also addicted.

  2. laurenmsantilli · ·

    I really enjoyed reading this post! Good for you for being able to give up Snapchat for 40 days. Looking through my Snapchat stories on Saturday was funny to me – literally 70% of the stories were of the snow with some sort of April Fools caption. I stopped going through them, realizing that I wasn’t really doing anything with my time but clicking thru the same thing over and over again. I don’t take myself on Snapchat very seriously, but I started to think more about whether or not people really care what I’m posting. Now that Snapchat has formed groups, it’s much simpler for me to send a funny video of my friends to the specific group that will care/think it’s funny rather than for my entire list of friends to see.

  3. viquezj · ·

    I can really relate to this post. I don’t know if I would be able to abandon snapchat for 40 days but I can definitely imagine that difficulty of the challenge. As more people use social media to record and broadcast their lives, it becomes more addictive to stay on the platform watching what others are doing. In a sense, snapchat has become a competition of who has the best plan with friends or family members. I only use the platform to check other people stories and not so much to post my own, but I agree that it is a habit that consumes a large portion of your time and doesn’t really gives great benefit in return. As you pointed out in your blog, I realized that when you don’t snapchat everything, your conversations become more interesting and you can actually tell people what you were up to this weekend.

  4. laurencondon23 · ·

    Thanks for sharing your experience giving up Snapchat! This wasn’t something I considered giving up for lent but I would imagine if I had my experience would be much like yours. Similar to your stance, I believe that Snapchat is a fun way to communicate with friends but also that it has even greater potential than Facebook or Instagram to evoke feelings of jealousy because the stories people post are typically more candid shots of the interesting things they are doing or how much fun they are having on a night out. Snapchat posts to me seem like a more effortless highlight reel, which makes them all the more enviable. I feel like the creation of Snapchat groups would cause me to have even more FOMO if I gave up the app for an extended period because often times my friends will use the Snap group as somewhat of a group chat as well. I hope your break from Snapchat helps you get back to the original way you intended to use the app!

  5. As much as I love Snapchat, my presence on it goes through phases of hyperactive and forgotten by rest of the world. And like you said, it is surprising how easy it is to not attend to it once you actually do it, as well as how no one really cares about what you’re doing because a lot of the times, we look through stories when we’re bored. I just tweeted about the shift I noticed in the same users that create a different kind of profile for each platform; since Instagram offers features like location check-in and user tags while Snapchat is much more interactive with entertaining face recognition filters, people have found a way to traverse the two as they find what they want in each. I’m glad you shared this story and that you found the room for meaningful realizations in your experience!

  6. diiorion · ·

    This is definitely a real issue with, I would say, most people our age. The worst part about it is that the only true way to break the cycle is to quit cold turkey for awhile but then it is so easy to get sucked back in (at least a little bit). My phone broke a couple summers ago and I went about a week and a half without a phone all together. While it was difficult to communicate and I had crippling anxiety the first couple days, I actually found it refreshing. I didn’t feel any pressure to be checking any social media and if I REALLY needed to get in touch with someone, I could figure out a way to do so. It was a great experience and really made me realize how dependent people in general have become on their phones. I now make a concerted effort to enjoy moments more, such as concerts or games, without having to pull out my phone to document them.

  7. Really interesting post. I laughed at the Excel 2017 stories! I didn’t know you could check which apps are using the most battery life, that’s pretty cool. I found it really interesting when you said that friends don’t automatically know what you did over the weekend. I honestly find that I can go months without seeing friends and not feel like I’m really out of the loop with what is going on in their life. I can imagine that there is a lot of FOMO, especially if you normally use Snapchat a lot and your friends expect you to be posting/viewing!

  8. Great post. It sounds like your experiment has led to some interesting reflections. Nice work!

  9. jordanpanza29 · ·

    I relate to this post so much as I too gave up Snapchat for lent. I had not even thought of the battery benefit until you brought it up in your post. Now that it is mentioned, I have realized that my phone does last so much longer. I used to not be able to get through my day without recharging my phone. One thing I have noticed is there are some people who I only communicated via snapchat. I used to consider these people my good friends as I felt like I talked to them everyday but it actually was just a snap everyday. I never realized that I had solely snapchat friends before this. One of the main things I miss about snapchat is that filters. I loved being able to see what special holiday, event or just fun filter was for use every day. I want to say that I will not be as attached to Snapchat once Lent is over but I have a feeling I’m going to go right back to my old ways.

  10. dcardito13 · ·

    This blog post is definitely something that most people can relate to, especially me! I give you so much credit for being able to completely eliminate Snapchat from your life during Lent. I probably click snapchat at least 100 times a day to view other peoples’ stories to see what’s going on. I have to say, however, that recently I haven’t sent out as many Snapchats/posted as many stories; I’ve used it more so to see what others are doing. It’s really crazy to see how much time people waste sitting on their phones, flipping through different social media platforms just to feel “connected” with others. People should really take the time out to have real conversations with other people, just like you have been doing in the past few weeks. Great post!

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