My Five-Day Experiment

The Media That Raised UsAwesome Moments

Scrolling through all kinds of social media such as Instagram, Tiktok, and Snapchat has become a crucial aspect to most of us, or at least most of the people around me.

Whether it is to communicate with others through text or to simply voice and articulate different ideas, these interactive technologies have a huge amount of influence on our everyday life. However, the addiction that social media causes is beginning to turn technology and media into something indispensable when, in fact, they are merely tools for entertainment and communication. Many of us deem the excessive use of these technologies something essential without thinking about how their profound impacts can damage our perspectives and the way we think. For instance, they promote and define the standards of beauty, such as how people should dress or what kinds of appearances are considered good-looking. Since we are exposed to those ideal beauty types, we tend to compare ourselves to unrealistic standards, which can be harmful to our mental health. This then led me to a sudden idea: to self-initiate an experiment during the period of my quarantine.

Going through a phase of quarantine as I travelled back to my hometown to visit my family, I decided to do a five-day challenge where I had to delete all of my social media and record my thoughts on how I felt about their absence. Before I began, I made myself a list of tasks I wanted to complete. Hoping to stay productive and motivated, I directly started off the challenge the first day. Since I was locked up alone in a hotel during quarantine, every single interaction that I had to perform with others had to be done virtually. Without these mobile apps that enable communication and entertainment, I instantly felt an unfamiliarity and detachment from the world. Suffering from dread, I instantly became bored and felt that the first day went longer than any other day I ever experienced. Every minute seemed like hours. Not knowing what to do to kill time, I spent half of my day sleeping.

My second day began just like the first day did. Watching the turned-off TV monitor’s black screen that reflected my exhausted face, I suddenly realized how influential social media has been to my everyday life since I was young. Social media has always been a distraction. I recalled the days when I could not stop texting people, checking my notifications, and liking posts. Therefore, I thought that none of these would lead to the lessening of procrastination, which has always been my biggest issue. I guess I was wrong. I did not do anything productive at all. Instead, the second day ended up just like how the first day did. Boredom took over my entire day as I wasted another day doing absolutely nothing at all.

As time went by, I felt like I was gradually adjusting to a life without the presence of social media. Hence, I started to realize one thing. Those apps that I once found essential in my life were no longer something I could not live without. During the third day, boredom did not appear to engulf me, but rather, curiosity did. I was clueless about the things going on around the world and in other people’s lives. Without social media, I could not catch up with what was currently happening in the world. However, I somehow felt a tiny sense of relief as I was already halfway through the challenge. Unlike other days when I immediately checked my phone the minute I woke up, the fourth day felt refreshing to me when I did not check my phone at all. I started reading my book as soon as I finished breakfast. I usually spend an hour reading approximately 30 pages. Unexpectedly, I was so focused I did not realize the fact that I had already read a hundred pages in less than an hour. I felt extremely productive without being able to access any outside information from my phone.

On the last day, I was able to experience a full day without any distraction and comprehend what it was like to live a life without any social media influence. I was able to complete many tasks: from cleaning my room to reading books to greeting the hotel lady who had brought my lunch and dinner throughout the past four days. Although it took a while for me to become accustomed to living without my phone, I was finally motivated to achieve things other than solely scrolling through social media.

This five-day challenge finally came to an end. It was way more difficult than I thought it would be. Not only did I get to experience a completely different life with no social media, I also came to numerous realizations. Social media acted like a drug that altered my life completely. I would never have been able to realize how awfully addicted I was if I did not go through this short but eye-opening challenge. Procrastination is no longer an issue I have to deal with. I can effectively devote my free time to meaningful activities, such as studying, instead of social media, which is something I was not capable of doing in the past. I felt independent without the need to rely on social media in order to kill time. Most importantly, the days without social networks made me step out of the smokescreen and discern how we are all too immersed in the social media world or, to me, the “unrealistic world,” where we simply forget about reality. We live in a generation where the social media industry is prosperous and ubiquitous. Albeit social media enables easier connection between people, it can still be perilous. As humans with a conscious mindset, we should not let technologies control our lives and alter the way we view our world.

Clio Leung is a 13 year-old living in Taipei, Taiwan. She enjoys drawing and playing games during her free time.

Like what you're reading?

Sign up for the KidSpirit newsletter!

Let's make sure you'll get the best content for you:

Thanks for Signing Up!

You'll receive the next issue of our newsletter in your inbox