Let’s face it: social media dominates today’s culture.
Our phones are, in many ways, an extension of ourselves. Have you ever noticed the anxiety creeping into your stomach when it’s missing from your pockets? That feeling that you might be missing out on something important?
You are welcome now.
We are in a digital age where TikTok memes and Snapchat streaks are the ways to navigate our social landscape.
But what is it like to live without a plug?
I’ve basically been outside the social media network – Twitter aside (for professional purposes) – for a number of years now. With some occasions where I’m making a return for two months due to FOMO (fear of missing out), I choose to spend my days with Instagram likes out of my life. Lately, I’ve been wondering if this is a good idea.
See, campus life these days relies heavily on social media. Clubs and organizations on campus promote their events through them. Provides quick ways to connect with people in the classroom or in your dorm – a quick way to make new friends. If you want to find the closest party on a weird Saturday night, search for your Snapmap and see where your friends gather.
I found it very difficult to get involved in the so-called “social sphere” because I have withdrawn from most social media. There’s this fear in me: I’ve lost the best years of my life—some LED-lit games in Logan or a lifetime of romance. While everyone is out, I’m alone in my dorm watching Spirited Away for the tenth time.
This is how it feels at its worst.
However, I think my quality of life has improved greatly though.
First, I have a lot of free time. I don’t have to worry about managing TikTok swipe or constant notifications, I have more space in my life to fill my time with productivity and positivity.
Moreover, I feel that my personal life is more private. I enjoy having the mystery on my side. There is a lack of constant comparison with others. I don’t feel like I have to prove my life is interesting enough to earn over 200 likes. Validating half of strangers and friends who are long gone has never added much to my life, and I feel so much stronger than being seen and loved by those who are truly present in your life.
There’s also that element of surprise in everything. I can just throw myself into all that day or night has to offer without knowing what’s coming. By putting my faith in the universe, I often let the inspiration take me where it goes.
One could argue that the biggest downside is losing all those potential connections. Getting a chance to respond to posts or swipe up on someone’s story can really lead to an interesting conversation – and maybe even spark a new friendship.
Certainly, this is a valid criticism.
However, I have found that the most rewarding relationships in my life have come from personal and organic interactions. Gonzaga offers a plethora of communities to roam in, each with its own unique and colorful personalities. There is something really great about investing in those friendships around you rather than sending frivolous lines to a million strangers, wondering if it would make something stick.
What I’m trying to say is that I’m more determined now.
I value time and communication more, and there is much less noise going on in my head. Instead of following trends, I find things out through word of mouth, cultivate my own aesthetics, etc. I feel like it’s good to spend my time with things.
And don’t get me started on how much energy I save on pointless political debate.
If there’s anything I hope readers can take away from this, I hope this serves as an invitation:
Come tattoo the roses with me!
I know it sounds like a scary leap, breaking away from a world that takes itself as the center of the world. Trust me, I’ve been there.
But oh my gosh, the grass is greener on the other side.
Even if you feel like there’s a million things you could miss, think about how much it would pass you by if you were to be between the text on your screen.
And who knows… you might find that thing when you finally look for it.
Alexandre Prevost is a sports editor. Follow him on Twitter: alexanderprvst.