Opinion: The benefits of ditching social media

Contact CU Independent Opinion Staff Writer William Witt at william.witt@colorado.edu.

Opinions do not necessarily represent CUIndependent.com or any of its sponsors.

I thoroughly enjoy the game of solitaire. You don’t need anyone else to play with. You can sit down, shuffle a deck and have an intellectually stimulating game with no one else but your own company. Being alone is something I have become accustomed to. So I play a lot of solitaire, and I’ve gotten pretty good at it, if I do say so myself.

Over the past few months, I’ve seen the constraints that technology and my social media accounts have put on my life. As a result, I decided to delete all of them. All 6,000 of my Instagram followers are now gone; I no longer have the option to poke a friend on Facebook. But I don’t feel lonely. I’m not depressed at my declining list of “friends.”

I’m sure at some point you have had the same thought I did — if you were to delete all your social media, who would really still be there for you? Five thousand five hundred ninety of my previous followers have no contact with me whatsoever. If you think that hundreds of your followers are friends who you just couldn’t live your life without — though I’m sure you’re still quite a catch — you’re fooling yourself. As much as I’d like to think the good-looking Jennifer I met at a frat party would be willing to drop what she’s doing to respond to my Instagram direct message call for help, I know it’s not the case.

It’s a frightening thing to get rid of all of your technology. Just imagine meeting someone for the first time and wanting to know about them. Instead of having to stalk their Facebook account, you’re going to have to actually ask them what their life is all about. This might be a strange nuance, but it’s quite rewarding, and it’s not even that hard. Just pick up that phone and give them a call, or, if they’re a good looking someone, maybe save up a little money and take them on a date that consists of more than staring at a computer screen and hooking up. I don’t know, just an idea.

Have you ever seen that one little kid at the grocery store, or at a movie, with a brand new iPhone 6S, playing Angry Birds and texting his friends? His mother tries to get the his attention, but he is so consumed with the newest level he just unlocked that he won’t move. The mom is then forced to take the phone away from the child, resulting in a temper tantrum and forcing the embarrassed mother to give the phone back. This is what our world is coming to. People are turning into mindless zombies who are unable to think for themselves. We base our every action off of the effect that technology and social media will have on other people’s perception of us.

We are the most insecure and judgmental generation, posting pictures on social media to try and garner likes to make us feel better about ourselves, instead of doing things that actually benefit our growth as a society. We believe a clever tweet with seven favorites equals status; the more followers you have is what popularity feels like.

This may be old news to most, and you’re probably thinking that this is common knowledge. So if you’re thinking you know this already while you simultaneously scroll through your Instagram feed, why not do something about it? It took a lot of courage to delete all of my social media and stray away from temporary pleasures that plague our society, but it’s all been worth it. I may never be able to find Jennifer and scroll through her feed to see what ridiculous costume she wore on Halloween, but I’m perfectly content with that. Maybe I’ll see her again and just ask her what it was.

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