I deleted my Snapchat and here is what happened…

Helen Rogalski, Managing Editor

Social media rocks. I have always appreciated the way it allows me to keep up with my friends and what they are doing no matter how far away they may be. Snapchat goes even further with this idea, showing me exactly what they are doing and where.

Constantly adding new features and changes, Snapchat has become larger and more in demand throughout the past few years. Fortune Magazine has reported that Snapchat is worth approximately $19 billion.

With the introduction of news outlets available such as the Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan and Vice, there is always something to read. With the existence of geotags, there is always an event or place to post about. With the entertainment of several faces and filters, there is always something new to try.

Everyone I know avidly uses Snapchat, and that is part of its appeal. Whenever there is something exciting happening, someone snapchats it. Whenever something funny happens, someone snapchats it. Whenever someone is bored, they snapchat. This is totally understandable because it is fun, easy and entertaining.

So, this begs the question: why give it up? I kept it for so long because I had the excuse of it keeping me connected to my friends. Then I realized, how much was it limiting my life? To what extent was I doing things for the ability to post about them? What would happen if I were to delete it?

I thought about this idea and possibility for a few weeks, afraid of what I would miss out on if I were to leave this form of social media. I’ll admit I was a little afraid that people would not care enough to see what I was up to if it was not right in front of them on their phones.

Then, late one night, I just deleted it. While it was hard at first, it was also empowering. I began to notice how often I would check my phone and send a snap or two. Walking from class to class, I began looking around me rather than down at my phone. When something funny would happen, I would enjoy it rather than take a picture or video. While I was waiting for class to start, I would read an article on Twitter rather than send a photo of me throwing up a rainbow.

Without having something easily entertaining and always available to me, I began to put effort into other things. I would text my friends about their days or what they were doing. People who wanted to know what I was up to would ask, and some wouldn’t. Surprisingly or not, everything was okay.

It’s true that you miss out on some things when you’re not on social media. I left snapchat right before “Seahawk Stories” got super popular. People would always bring it up in conversation, talking about pictures and videos of all types of things going down on campus.

My friends would ask, “Did you get my Snapchat?” or “Have you seen that video?” and would quickly follow with, “Oh wait, nevermind.” This was actually liberating. If something happened that was significant enough, someone would show me. And if it wasn’t, no one would. Day by day, I cared a lot less about it.

I am aware of how melancholy this may sound. I get it! It’s social media. What’s the big deal? It’s fun and easy and enjoyable. While I agree, I am also painfully aware of the amount of time I spent on it before. The truth is that life is more enjoyable through your eyes and not a screen.

There is such a pressure in present day society to be on all forms of social media, and to be well represented on them. They can be fun and they can be toxic. Either way, if you are looking to make a change or challenge yourself in a tiny way, try cutting out some form of technology or social media. You’ll be amazed by your new found time.