I Deleted Social Media To Escape Negative News, Here’s What I Learned

I’ll admit it: I’m addicted to social media. I love knowing what’s going on in my world, both with my own friends and in the rest of the world. But lately, all I’ve seen on my feed is negativity. After seeing tweet after tweet after tweet of negativity, I felt overwhelmed.

So last week, in an attempt to escape the hold that news had on me, I deleted all my social media.

Shocking, I know.

While my self-imposed ban only lasted five days, I learned a lot about myself and about our world. Here’s a few of the lessons I took away from this experience.

Staring at social media all day isn’t productive
I’ll be honest, the first day I kept checking my phone. Constantly. After looking at old pictures and refreshing my bank account (which was terrifying, would not recommend) got boring, I put my phone down. And y’all, I got sooo much done. My homework for the next two weeks got done in less time than I anticipated, I sent some emails I had been meaning to write, and I even got my actual work done for work (and my phone battery was amazing). It’s amazing how much you can get done when you’re not checking Twitter for updates every five minutes.

Having the world at your fingertips isn’t always the best thing
Negative news makes you sad. It’s true and you know it. So living in a world of blissful ignorance was kind of wonderful. Sure, I got upset about other stuff (tests, car troubles, and everything else that comes with life), but there seemed to be a tremendous amount of stress missing from my life. Not knowing everything isn’t the worst, and that’s hard for me to say.

Cutting out negative news means cutting out all news
Initially, I only wanted to avoid negative news, so I told my friends to tell me if anything good in the world happened. Tragically, no one told me anything. Maybe it was because my friends aren’t good at keeping up with the news, or maybe it was because nothing good was in the news. We focus so much on the negative things that are happening that that ends up being all of our news, which sucks.

People exist outside of Instagram
Without Instagram stories and Twitter updates, I didn’t know what my friends were doing all the time. This forced me to actually talk to them and find out what was going on in their lives instead of seeing what pictures they were tagged in on Facebook. Because of this, I paid more attention in conversations and even found out new things about people I don’t usually talk to. People are super cool, and it was great to get to talk to them without social media in the way.

Sara Beth Bolin

Editorial Contributor, University of Alabama | Majors: Journalism, Anthropology, and Political Science | Her heart belongs to: dogs, democracy, and a good dark roast | Her guilty pleasures: crispy M&Ms, 30 Rock, and autobiographies by female comedians

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