Saturday, May 24, 2014

Social Media Challenge - class assignment

Introduction: I decided to go for this challenge because my friends and I agree that I am a social media addict. I post at least 10 status updates on my Facebook and Twitter every day, and I never logout from both accounts. My mornings are spent checking Facebook at the waking hour. I’ve also had multiple social media accounts. I was hoping that going 7 days without social media would help cure me of this addiction and hopefully teach me how to use social media in moderation, as well as gain some form of insight.

Report and reflection: 7 days of going without social media for me drove me into an existential crisis. Well, no, that’s exaggerating it a little bit, but the impact was felt because I was so used of having social media being an integral part of my daily routines as well as my interaction with people. It gets kind of frustrating when I can’t get the updates I want really fast and when I watch a funny video, or thought up of something interesting and I couldn’t share it with people. Haha. I’ve only had Facebook for about 4 years, and Twitter for two years, and Instagram for only a year, but within that short time, the two social media became so intertwined with how I live my life and communicate, or relate to others. I decided to go off Facebook, primarily, along with Twitter, Instagram, DeviantArt, Blogspot, Skype, imessage, google+, linkedIn, as well as texting from Sept 14, 2013 at 12:01 am to Sept 21, 2013 at 12:01 am. I didn’t put the cap on emails and calls because I still needed those for school work, but I tried my best to limit interaction as possible, only emailing or making calls for really important matters. What I realized was that I had so much free time without having those time spent on social media. I was more productive in getting things done; I stayed on task because there were less distractions. However, after I was finally done, I’d get bored out of my mind, and I didn’t know what to do on my own. On the downside, my time spent on youtube watching cat videos increased, and left me to wonder if I should have included youtube as social media. I stopped going on youtube the next day, but due to the free time I have, I started to actually hang out with some of my friends and talk, and I also signed up for stuff to do after school, like attending extracurricular meetings. I started on SELECT Tier 1 on Tuesday evening. I felt that I don’t really need social media to interact with some friends that I could actually see on campus. Face-to-face interactions made it feel more personal, although energy-draining for an introvert like me. However, it’s kind of bothersome when I couldn’t send a quick text to someone as I didn’t want to call them in the middle of a class, and I kind of had to go without Facebook to contact home, which is, Malaysia, but I tell myself, it’s only for a week. Overall, although I felt inconvenienced over some aspect of not having a really quick and easy way to communicate, I like the fact that I stayed on task and filled up my time by doing meaningful things. I also realize that some of the things that I post or do on social media aren’t really a necessity, but it’s more out of habit and for the sake of spending time on social media. I also spend a lot less time hung up on the laptop, so it spends a longer time being switched off, saving electricity. Social media is a relatively new thing, as I went through high school without any social media activity, it was only recently when I started Grade 12 and started university that it became so integrated in my life that it’s hard to imagine life without it, although I did actually live without it in my earlier years. It’s not so much that I can’t use social media in moderation, but it’s just a matter of mind over matter. If I set my mind to it, I could do it.

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