Sporadically Satirical: The pain of social media detox


Sarah Seif

Dear Diary:

With the entire world focused on meaningless events on social media, it can be hard to concentrate on things that are really important. Therefore, I have bravely decided to take on the overwhelming task of a social-media cleanse, I voluntarily choose not to use social media apps on my phone for as long as possible and instead socialize in person. After leaving my phone number on every app possible so that others can contact me in case of an emergency, I decided to begin my journey. 

It has been a solid two minutes and 35 seconds since I deleted my Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat apps. I have to say, I am feeling amazing! Without the constant notifications from my phone, I am now forced to focus on things that matter, such as improving my English by writing and talking to my family, both activities I never would have thought to do if it wasn’t for this enlightening cleanse. Being away from social media for such a long time has also greatly reduced my feelings of anxiety. 

An excruciating ten minutes has passed since the last time I updated my diary, and I take back what I said about the reduced feelings of anxiety. Missing human connection, I picked up my first newspaper since middle school, but I was horrified to discover that our beloved Barack Obama was no longer our president. Instead it was this man named Donald Trump, and although I had just learned about him serving as the U.S. president, it seemed that he was already halfway through his presidential term. 

It has been 15 minutes since the start of my social media detox, and I can already feel the end approaching. I received a few important emergency texts and calls from friends asking to hang out. Although my cleanse is doing its job by forcing me to meet up and have face-to-face conversations with people  instead of depending on FaceTime, I had to say no to their invitations. I mean, what is the point of hanging out with anyone if you can’t post a cute photo or Instagram boomerang to your story?

It’s almost as if I can’t be happy with myself or continue living my life without all the online validation I receive through likes and comments from fellow peers.

It has been one minute since I last updated my diary, and I am slowly realizing that my life has absolutely no purpose without social media. I mean, why am I even persevering with this cleanse for so long if I can’t post about it on my Snapchat story and relay to the entire world how brave I am for carrying through? What is the point of this detox if I am not encouraging other avid social media users online to do the same? I can’t believe I gave up hours of endless and humorous scrolling on TikTok for face-to-face conversations with my family. This is so not worth it.

After a painful 20 minutes, I have decided that it is time to end my social media cleanse challenge. I am proud of myself for pushing through such an excruciatingly long and tedious period of my life in order to rediscover myself and my thoughts without the influences of social media. I feel rejuvenated and am learning to appreciate myself without validation from others (at least for the first half of my cleanse before the anxiety kicked in). So long detox, maybe I’ll see you again when I need to take another serious break from social media.