COLUMN: Detox yourself from social media

Marielle Decena Opinions Editor

Marielle Decena

Opinions Editor

A few months ago, after a couple of drinks, I somehow lost sight of my phone within the jungle of Wrigleyville bars. Dejected, my Uber ride home consisted of staring blankly outside the car window, hoping that some good soul turned in what practically held my life. 

For 48 hours, I was free of smartphone technology, a feat that is seldom accomplished by most of us.

I could only describe the experience as similar to tossing aside an umbrella to embrace torrential rain. I felt naked, inconvenienced, and vulnerable, yet free.

While I believe that smartphones are pocket-sized portals that revolutionized the way in which the world is connected, we have become overly reliant and attached to their convenience.

Initially, I grew uncomfortable of the weightlessness of my hand, having nothing to fumble with and keep my mind occupied. With no means of navigation, internet access, and communication, I grew to realize how dependent I was on technology and how so much of our lives are dictated by such a small device.

While I believe that smartphones are pocket-sized portals that revolutionized the way in which the world is connected, we have become overly reliant and attached to their convenience.

On the brighter side of things, the 10 minute morning ritual of scrolling through social media ceased to exist. Days felt longer, my mind was less occupied by the miniscule details of other people’s drama, and more aware of the vibrancy of the events going on around me. 

Having no excuse to multi-task and scroll through notifications, I became more in tune with the conversations I held with other human beings. While this may seem like an exaggerated depiction, everything seemed more tangible and I felt myself becoming a better and happier person. 

Like a nicotine addict quitting cold turkey, it is perhaps more challenging than it seems to completely wean one’s self from social media all together.

It had not dawned on me that the countless hours in which my face was plastered to a small screen may have been an underlying factor of my procrastination, my social anxieties, and other negative habits.

Completely abandoning smartphone technology might never be achieved in this day in age and it most likely will proliferate with time. However, I have come to a realization that abandoning all forms of social media might just be the cure to our seemingly incurable addiction to technology.

I constantly fiend for a quick peak into my social media notifications. Yet, slowly but surely, there will come a time where I must learn to live without its existence and to live a more genuine life, free of the hassles of generating likes and knowing about the unnecessary personal details of my fellow social media friends.

Delete all your social media apps on a week of exams, set aside the smartphone during times that are spent with friends and loved ones, and lastly, acknowledge that your real life exists beyond that small screen. 

Like a nicotine addict quitting cold turkey, it is perhaps more challenging than it seems to completely wean one’s self from social media all together.

Thus, I have come up with a checklist of more achievable goals that will hopefully steer us to a better direction, one in which we aren’t spiraling down a path of total dependency.  Delete all your social media apps on a week of exams, set aside the smartphone during times that are spent with friends and loved ones, and lastly, acknowledge that your real life exists beyond that small screen.