Life During a Social Media Detox


Atticus Picardo

Sophomore Carissa Dawson reads instead of wasting time on social media. This is one example of all the things students could be doing instead of scrolling through TikTok.


Currently, we live in a society that is incredibly reliant on social media and technology. We constantly check our sources of media to entertain ourselves. Teenagers often rely on cellular devices to speak to their friends, keep up with their favorite celebrities, and post about what they were doing. So, what happened when I, a 16-year-old girl, did away with all my social media for a week?

TikTok is a popular app that Gen Z spends much of its time on. For those that don’t know, it’s an app to watch short videos made by anyone. It’s very easy to get distracted by TikTok. (Carissa Dawson)

Friday, April 16, 2022

I started this in third period today. When I began I proceeded to delete Instagram, Snapchat, Tik Tok, and YouTube, along with a few others. At first, it just felt like I was deleting another app that I don’t use. Then I began to have some rough experiences. Today was probably the hardest adjustment because I kept forgetting and reaching for my phone. I reached out for social media 19 times in the span of three 30-minute class periods, as it was during Fast Friday. As I was doing this I would get frustrated and put my phone back. Every time I would look back at my friend, Leah, and make a face and she would just laugh at me. Then, I went to play rehearsal, which was full of teenagers on their phones. It was really hard to be the only one without social media. The show is coming up so this is the time that everyone is promoting, taking pictures, and posting. Therefore it wasn’t very easy being unable to do all those things.

Saturday, April 17, 2022

I worked most of the day, so this wasn’t as hard for me. I did have to clock in using my phone, but other than that, for most of the day I was alright. I did break one of the rules on this day though. I went onto Facebook around 11:00 PM due to a cast list being posted from Junior Civics Theatre. I knew going into this week that I was planning on breaking the rule for this. As someone who does theatre it’s something that you can’t wait for. It’s incredibly important to everyone in the show, and I’d much rather find out myself than from someone else who saw it first.

Sunday, April 18, 2022

Today is Easter, and personally not having social media helped me become more aware of everything. I was truly present with my family and it was really nice. I was really able to experience a holiday without the distraction of everybody else. Looking at a holiday through a phone is way different from truly getting to experience it. In past years I’ve been very absorbed in what everyone else is doing that I forgot to experience it myself. My family and I got to talk a lot about things that have been going on and before I was a bit disconnected from the conversations.

Instagram is an app where to share pictures, and communicate with friends. Lots of students choose to use Instagram to talk to friend over regular text messaging. (Carissa Dawson)

Monday, April 19, 2022

The Swing Choir toured the schools today. It was pretty easy to stay off my phone due to being very busy. We performed a 30-minute show seven different times. The hardest part of today was when my friend was talking about something she posted on her Instagram story, and I wasn’t able to understand completely because I missed the post. She posted about a development in a relationship that I had been talking to her about previously. It was put that she finally started dating this boy that she had been talking to. They were talking about it and I was confused. I asked what had happened and she told me to look at the post. Once I told her I couldn’t, I was enlightened on the matter. It was difficult to experience because I felt like everyone else knew but I was unable to look and see.

Tuesday, April 20, 2022

As the week without my phone proceeded, it did get easier. I started to open my phone and look for social media a lot less around this point in the week. I think as it continues it gets to the point where I’m a little less reliant. I read a lot more, which is something I love to do but I have dropped off from reading this year. Then, I played games rather than scrolling through social media. As well as everything else I spent time working on homework and lines for the play.

Wednesday, April 21, 2022

Like Tuesday, I had very little trouble with this day. It’s been easy because I’ve spent a lot of time at school. “Puffs” is coming up, so I haven’t had a whole lot of time to be on social media, but it is nice to be away from all the standards social media pushes onto people. Social media has a way of dragging you down and feeling bad about yourself. It’s full of a bunch of beautiful people and numbers. Constantly checking things like follower counts and so on, it can’t be good for our mental health.

Snapchat is an app used to talk to friends directly. You send pictures back and forth with your friends. Sometimes Snapchat can be really good to communicate with everyone, but in reality, it ends up being time-consuming. (Carissa Dawson)

Thursday, April 22, 2022

It’s getting close to the time I get all social media back, and I think that is getting to me. I looked up Snapchat and Instagram out of habit. I was trying to get ahold of someone and trying to find someone. Instead, I had to get someone’s number because I only had their social media. It makes it difficult to reach people without social media. Obviously, you have options such as phone numbers but nobody uses those very often. I just out of habit would go to social media outlets, sometimes I just honestly forget that numbers are an option.

Friday, April 23, 2022

Honestly, this was the hardest day. I was just ready to have it all back. I was doing well, but it was difficult because I got excited. I was full of anticipation, so it was interesting to see everything I had missed over the last week. Honestly, when I got my social media back it was a huge relief. I felt like a normal teenager again, I was able to see everything and be involved again. I opened all the missed snaps and saw all the missed posts. It was a nice experience and was interesting but either way, it was exciting to get full access to social media again.

The hardest part was that I just felt rather disconnected from everyone around me. Also, interestingly enough, my screen time went up this week. I downloaded a couple of dumb games, and I was playing those whenever I would’ve been on social media. Staying away from social media was good for my mental being I think, but it was hard to contact people I talk to almost daily. Overall, I’m happy I had this experience, and I see social media in a different light now. I get to see it as a part of my life that is unnecessary but nice to have. Before this, it was an addiction but I think now I realize that I can survive without it. It’s okay to use it and enjoy having it but it wouldn’t be the end of the world to lose it.