While social media is a huge part of our world it is important to question whether or not it makes us happy. The problem is not with the app itself but with the usage that people dedicate to it. Social media, specifically Snapchat, portrays a seemingly perfect life when in fact that is probably not the case. One of our peers here at SJU, Gabriela Proietti has unplugged and reset with her use of social media. She has found that with giving up Snapchat she, “gained time, clarity, understanding and humility.” In an article from The Guardian, people were asked if quitting social media made them happier. Many of the young people answered with yes and feeling less anxious, having a more positive mindset, less pressure to live a certain way, and found themselves engaging more in face to face conversations. We decided to put it to the test when three of us abstained from Snapchat and here is what we found:
“After giving up SnapChat for 3 days I found myself in real life communication. During these past 3 days instead of Snapchatting I decided to facetime my friends from home when I was walking to class or had any down time. I was able to become more aware of what went on in their lives while we were all away at school. It felt more meaningful to talk on the phone and see their faces and have a real conversation instead of sending a 3 second ugly face photo, a picture of what I am eating, me sitting and doing homework, and I think you get the point. It felt nice to know what was going on in my friends’ life who goes to school all the way in Arizona. Taking a break from Snapchat for a few days left me with more time to catch up with friends and have meaningful conversations.”- Grace Rosenblatt
“Just from the three days I went without Snapchat I noticed how much more productive I was. Instead of picking up my phone every twenty minutes to look at what people were doing I invested myself into my studying and homework. I cared less about what other people were doing and just in these three days I was able to finish my homework earlier and get a good night sleep.”-Peyton Drift
“Normally, the first thing I do in the morning is check my Snapchat feed. Given that we gave up using Snapchat for the past couple of days, it was a difficult transition to not use it. I look at Snapchat with two different perspectives. In one way, I missed using Snapchat because I felt like I was missing out by either not being able to see my friends stories, or not being able to post my own. In the opposite way, I felt kind of liberated, and somewhat unrestricted by not having to check my apps, and especially Snapchat. It sometimes makes me anxious to look at other people’s lives through a phone camera and then almost compare their lives to my own. When you look at Snapchat it’s often easy to think that other people are having a better time than you are and that can be detrimental to your own happiness and expectations of your social life. I’m sure that I will eventually redownload the app, but hopefully after this experience I can use it more appropriately.”-Joe Panichelli
While we do not plan on giving up Snapchat forever, we realized how important it was to monitor the time I spent on it. It was nice to be able to give up Snapchat and see how we were able to go on with our days without it consuming every second of our lives. The outcomes were beneficial in that we reconnected with friends through real conversations, were more productive in our studies, and realized that it isn’t always healthy to be so invested in what everyone else is doing.