I Tried Social Media For A Week…

41% of teens that they spend too much
time on social media. Although social media provides countless opportunities
for communication and social interaction, there’s also a negative aspect to at all.
Distressing thoughts painful experiences and wild highs and lows aren’t an
unusual thing for adolescents but studies have shown that these feelings
can seem to be growing in accordance with the prominence of social media.
So this time on social media necessary? And how does it really affect you? Now
I’ve got to be honest I do use YouTube fairly often and check Twitter now and
then, but I think what really gives me a differing perspective is that I don’t
have Instagram or snapchat, so for the next week I put myself behind the
curtains to see what really goes on not only outside on the platforms but inside
in me as well. I used snapchat Instagram for that one week recording my thoughts
feelings and experiences to see how it affected me. So let’s explain my
challenge. I thought it’ll be interesting to record the effects of making myself
you social media for seven days. Now I think we can all assume that snapchat
and Instagram are the two most popular social media platforms. So for seven days
I used Instagram and snapchat I added as many peers that are recognized and tried
to create as much activity as I possibly could. I was required to make at least
one post on each platform daily and I would record my irritation excitement
and resistance on a scale of 1 to 10. Now I do have to acknowledge my bias I did
go into this experience expecting it to be bad and you can definitely say I’m in
the minority for that. A study done by Pew Research Center suggests that only
24% of teens say that social media has a overall negative effect. Just opening the
official web sites to start the challenge gave me a tingle in my stomach.
Looking at the vibrant colors by catching slogans promising these
seemingly perfect social interaction and happy emotions give me an uncanny
feeling of excitement and satisfaction of social desire.
All the while they’re still being a voice in my head convincing me that what
I’m seeing is the equivalent of propaganda now wait that’s a strong word
so let me back it up real quick when you look up the definition of the word
propaganda it says information especially of biased or misleading
nature used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of
view so in the case of snapchat the very first thing that it shows on the
homepage is real friends as if they were promising you to acquire new friends and
develop real relationships now it is obvious that social media brings a lot
of positives to people greater interconnectedness ease of communication
and higher social awareness but because of the freedom and opportunity it
presents to the user it isn’t difficult to create bad habits outside of the
benefits on top of my challenge I conducted a survey at my school we
collected data from 46 participants ranging from ages 14 to 17 out of the 46
participants only five so they didn’t have social media 12 also said that it
had a negative influence on their life and the average time spent on just
Instagram and snapchat daily for the entire group was 3 hours and 13 minutes
and a study by ABC News done at a group of 5 teenage girls they shared the
constant use of social media brings with a constant pressure competition and
anxiety as recited from their interview they feel as though there’s a constant
unattainable standard that they feel forced to follow all the girls said that
the stress delivered from social media carries on with the rest of their life
and the main victim of this added stress is your precious sleep sleep is
definitely something to take notice of exposure to screens before bed holds to
the production of melatonin our body’s hormone for initiating sleep this delays
our state of calmness and keeps your head filled with thoughts these general
thoughts and anxiety keep you up – I personally had this experience on the
3rd day where I checked Instagram and went on a complete guilt trip to the
recommended section the results were mainly the best and most puffed up
pictures of the popular kids in my school once I escaped I knew 100% that
this was going to keep you up and I began to sweat and toss and turn and not
even be able to close my eyes how come these kids are so much
better-looking than I am how do they have so many popular friends look at all
the places they’ve been how can I get like that the thoughts went on and on
this spark that triggers a sense of competition among peers online causes a
snowball effect of stress and low self-esteem they make it seem as if for
a platform for new ideas and the empowering self-expression which no
doubt is but the way it works most times isn’t like that what is right under what
you post comments likes views this is a judgment and the pursuit of social
approval that was something I not only saw but
experienced the more I looked at perfect pictures of others the more I noticed
and criticized myself and my imperfections so all this I had in mind
throughout the experiment every day I recorded those three factors and on top
of that I wrote a short paragraph highlighting any significant thoughts or
feelings explaining the effects social media had on me on the first day the
morning when I woke up I had a bad feeling not realizing the challenge had
started I was seriously contemplating whether or not I should do it I did not
like the feeling of allowing my phone to take control of my attention but at the
same time I had the determination to put forth the efforts accomplish this goal
this gave me a serious desire to make the experiment the best I can so that my
effort would all be worth it I started to add kids from school in the process I
discovered a lot of people’s pages and I had to say and maybe feel annoyed that I
was on a platform with so much fake positivity and pictures of glamorous
lifestyles now obviously not everything was fake or overly exaggerated but my
bias did make it seem that way going into this challenge I had already
created a pessimistic outlook on it after the whole day of having social
media in the back of my head if anything I started to feel a little disconnected
from my peers because all the things I was seeing them doing and not me now one
thing I realize is that I hadn’t actually connected with anyone message
anyone or anything related which is something that everyone else is
constantly doing one part of it was that I was new when everyone knew it so
reaching out to me was a little bit weird
my buddy Nathan who helped me in this experiment suggested I go two weeks to
get really authentic results but already having feelings of regret I decided
there to be able to do two weeks so I decided
instead to make up for only participating for one week I would
simply try to do as much as I possibly could in the time that I had one person
was having a huge get together at school and they all sent me a very friendly
video saying hello it was extremely nice of them and it
honestly kind of made me feel better I was just gonna leave anything of the
week there was no Monday and school started back home in the morning it was
we are getting back together of my peers giving them based just in their social
media experiences getting back to reality was an odd change besides that
it kind of grew on me though although I still had a post daily I didn’t feel as
though a was nagging on me my resistance was good and it did not
distract me from school snapchat definitely started to seem more like a
communication and social network not focused on just the best moments in
one’s life but rather fun highlights that sparked conversation and engagement
between peers now the question I had asked myself was if I was really
benefiting from this extra social interaction and the answer in my mind
was really no as I used to Instagram more and more I began to feel a strong
satisfaction with each new post I made as each for gaining more and more
attention and reactions and attracting more people to my page I felt a sense of
confidence in each new addition and it made me eager to post more and better
content for the goal of making myself seem closer to perfection but when I
take a step back and really look at it I could have put it that way but in
reality I was just trying to be fake and trying to manipulate others to think
what I wanted them to think about myself and pretty much playing the exact role
I’d been criticizing this entire time looking at my page in the success of
each post give me a ping of guilt for having
created such a desire in myself to compete in this fake pointless
competition creating a cleaner more smoothed out perfected image of myself
based solely on what most projected to my audience is becoming more and more of
a factor in my self-esteem and egotistical thoughts as much as I hate
to admit it the quantity of attention and more importantly the quality is what
really mattered by quality I mean who and their importance relative to others
no one they were around school and the higher their social standard led to a
higher level of self-acceptance I felt so I was regretful of those feelings
because I was setting others aside and judging them and ignoring their kindness
then I would only take my feelings of appreciation from those who I thought
were better but why was I feeling this seemingly fake self acceptance why did
it cause me to desire it the more I didn’t get successful post and why had
it all of a sudden become more important than when I was actually physically
around others the better I made myself seem online gave me more self-confidence
where if you really come down to it are from mere pixels on a screen after those
successful posts while I obviously felt rewarded and more connected to my peers
it’s such a little time I felt even further away than before they determined
why we need constant reminders of how much better others are than us how much
more are they doing than us and why we aren’t achieving that standard the
answer is we don’t we were completely fine with evaluating ourselves and
living the best life we believe we can be not what we perceived others think
and these seemingly perfect worlds others living are simply a distraction
preventing us from achieving our potential these two episodes I’ve had
really made myself consider quitting this entire idea but I plod right
through and finish it off with the termination because if I’m being honest
I profession it so much and put off so many video ideas I just couldn’t let
this one go so by the last day I was so glad to have completed this challenge
and proved to myself that I can resist the attachment to my phone and free
myself from self-pity once I had deleted everything my
accounts and both applications on my phone it gave me a chance to take a step
back and look at how I had dealt with everything on screen is some data that I
collected throughout the experiment showing my feelings although I was such
a short experiment I think I was still able to give myself great insight into
the world of social media if I had to tell you the biggest problem it was
probably the anxiety that grows from constant impulsive checks to your views
likes and other people’s attention it definitely stems far greater into the
confines of the app even the first few posts I made gave me a feeling of
anxiety before I went to bed and believe it or not this carried on for the
majority of the next morning I would realize my temper was shorter and I was
compulsively getting caught an insignificant thoughts and worries all
in all I can say that I got more negative
out of this experience and I did positive now I’m a sophomore in high
school so I can safely say that I have seen just how much social media can
enslave you but that’s not to say that this was a 100% bad and that also isn’t
to say that social media is inherently negative I did recognize a lot of
positivity on both platforms nice comments were widely spread and easy to
spot on top of that a strong sense of community was created among groups
organizations and events this was cool to see because the encouragement and
appreciation for people going out of their way to make something happen
whether it be a garbage pickup a sports event or a simple get-together
expressing gratitude for these events is always good moreover being able to
message your friends and easily connect with peers was definitely something I
could see is it benefit for teens here are a few quotes from my surfing social
media allowed me to make a lot more friends I made some of my best friends
from a different school because of social media I stay in contact with more
people where I wouldn’t be able to when I was in Africa I met someone with
snapchat and after that we stayed in touch there’s a sense of freedom and
then you can express yourself whichever way you want and you can establish
friendships through similarities as well with strong self control social
awareness and smart decisions social media can certainly provide a positive
influence online but I didn’t really have that kind of discipline and maybe
not everyone else has it either one very nice feeling after my challenge but the
appreciation for doing something without any regard to taking a picture every
social media living life on your own that much thought to what other people
might think is something I’ve done for pretty much my whole life and now it’s
just realizing how meaningful it is detaching yourself from the grasp of
social media really gives you the power to be above your desire it’s almost a
Buddhistic way of living as Siddhartha Gautama aka the Buddha said in the Four
Noble Truths that all life is suffering until they’re free from suffering is to
rid yourself from desire the true ideology of this attachment really stems
from the core beliefs of all the world’s early religions it is the action of
removing yourself from an instinctive impulse and allowing freedom in your
mind it is this freedom that gives you the power power to live freely to think
freely and to grow freely my distractions but religious or not
it’s hard to deny the importance that this can have on one’s life I hope
you’ll got something from my challenge research and my survey if you enjoyed
this video consider taking the time to see what effect getting rid of social
media might have on your life who knows and if you want to start a discussion
feel free to in the comment section below I’ll see you in the next video

  1. Very well done! I really enjoy the style of this new video. Filming and editing was really nice and I've noticed many improvements. Loved the idea of the topic too. I believe that you should stick with this style honestly. Keep it up, and I look forward to watching more!

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