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My Social Media Diet

The story of how a social media guru cut out social media for three days. How did she do it? I still have no idea.

My note: “Things I Wish I Could Have Tweeted” @uhohitzhannah

“Today I was sweating in a t-shirt outside. Really, Cuse? It’s almost February.”

“My clean white jordans make me so happy #thelittlethings

“It’s such a nice day out! It makes the walk to class worth it”

“2 years ago, my new sisters and I gathered at the Duke game. Today, the new babies start their own journey”

“Just went to the gym for the first time in … Forever. It hurts so good”

“I never dot my i’s – what is that?

“Dear kid in the Duke sweatshirt, Why?”

I am a girl who enjoys her daily routine. Checking my social media sites often is part of that routine. That being said, I have never been good at dieting – of any kind. My idea of a diet is refraining from eating chocolate at every meal and then consistently checking the mirror to see if abs have appeared. Unfortunately, I was compelled to go on a “social media diet” for three days in hopes of achieving an A on my class assignment. For a 24 hour period, on Sunday January 31st, I began to kept track of all my social media use. This was sorority bid day, which is like the sorority super bowl of sorority events. The day contained excessive amounts of social media use. It was eye opening to see how often I used my phone that day. For the next three days, I abstained from using social media. This blog post was my motivation to stick with the diet, or else I wouldn’t have had any will power to abstain. Through these four days, I realized that I use social media to keep my memories alive, there by creating my own legacy.

It seems self centered to say that I use the instant connection to thousands and millions of other individuals for my own benefit. When it comes down to it, I post for one individual: me. I spent the most time on Instagram and Facebook, but a lot of the time I spent scrolling through my own pictures. “A picture’s worth a thousand words”, isn’t it? Each post has a memory associated with it, a memory that I want to remember. I posted a photo on Sunday because I was grinning ear to ear. I wanted to share the photo of me hugging one of my best friends on her Bid Day, so when I looked back at that photo, I was reminded of that moment – the happiness and the excitement. The Facebook album of 30 photos that I uploaded? Those albums are for me to keep my memories organized on a platform that I easily have access to. If the platform was private and I had 0 followers, I would still post.

While I was abstaining, I came to realize that I didn’t have the convenience of uploading my memories onto the internet. I had to manually put them on my computer or write them down in a note (featured below). I can’t access that media from anywhere, anytime. I was not able to add to my personal profiles; they were at a standstill. Each post takes a private thought or memory and makes it public. This online persona is my legacy. These are my memories. It’s a legacy that I have complete control over – deciding what to post and what to share. I’m sharing my happiness and thoughts with the world. Isn’t that what we’re all doing? Creating a persona online in order to have a forever-lasting footprint? My legacy was then halted for three days while I abstained from social media. This three-day window will forever be blank in my timeline.

When a moment is frozen in time and placed on the internet, it lives on forever. The moment I was hugging my best friend will now live on long after the memory fades from my brain. My memories can now be found by my friends, my family, my grand kids and my great-grandkids for decades to come. I am making a legacy for myself, something more intricate then an artifact found in the ground. Whether it’s through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or my very own website, I post often to remember. When I am old and grey looking through my old Instagram account, my content will still be there. The idea of an online profile is so the memory lives on forever and can never be erased. My online persona will live on much longer than I. The images and words that I post, I never want forgotten. Social media gives us the power to create our own legacy.