Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Believe it or not, I have drastically cut back on my use of social media recently! It feels really good to be less glued to my virtual world. It started back in December when I would literally get headaches from watching Snapchat story after Snapchat story. All. Day. Long. Before finals week, I deleted the app from my phone in addition to Twitter. I haven’t re-downloaded them since! I’ve never utilized the Facebook app a whole lot of my phone and am trying to reduce the amount of time I’m on the first social media site I started using in middle school. Most recently, I deleted the Instagram app to minimize my scroll time as soon as I wake up, right before I go to bed, and in between classes. I am still going to post pictures every so often, but I plan on being less obsessive with the whole social media scene.
Traveling and living in Europe has taught me to rely less on technology. Italians don’t appear to have the same addiction to their phones as Americans do (especially American teenagers and young adults). You don’t see people around a dinner table looking at their phones in an Italian restaurant. Italians consider it rude not to give people your full attention when sharing a meal.
I also have learned that social media and technology take away from the raw moments throughout the abroad experience. Snapchatting pictures of the Acropolis to post on your story isn’t going to prolong the moment. Instead, it’s distracting to the beauty surrounding you. Yes, it’s important to document and take photos to commemorate your journeys. However, constantly snapping away to get a big amount of likes on Instagram is certainly not the purpose. I’ve witnessed how consumed us abroad students tend to get with our cellular devices; it’s a shame.
I feel as though I’m moving in the right direction with getting rid of some social media apps. I’m doing my reading and writing, walking, and living in the present with my awareness. I can always work on spending less time staring at a screen, but like any addiction, it takes baby steps to reach the ultimate goal. Who knows, maybe I’ll switch to a flip phone one of these days! xo ~ e.