My Experience of Having No Social Media

Detoxing from social media is honestly one of the best things you can do for yourself.

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Detoxing from social media is honestly one of the best things you can do for yourself.

Arya Banerjee, Photo Journalist

One of my most distinctive memories is sitting on a bus with my teammates in 8th grade on our way to a league basketball game. I was so jealous the whole bus ride because my friends were sending snaps and gossiping about this embarrassing Instagram story someone posted about one of our classmates. 


My feeling of jealousy was only natural. My dad hadn’t let me download social media because working in IT, he knew how detrimental it was to a growing mind. He wasn’t malicious about it either; he just told me very honestly what he’d seen working in the tech space and told me that when I got older I’d be able to decide for myself. So a year later I entered my freshman year and decided I was ready, so I downloaded TikTok. To be fully transparent, I did feel guilty about downloading it.  I knew deep down my dad was right and only wanted what was best for me, but my curiosity got the best of me. 


COVID hit towards the end of my 8th-grade year, so I had Titkok for about 6 months thereafter during the chaos of COVID and the start of high school. My true opinion of it at the time was that it was great. It was cool to see other high schoolers and how they were coping with COVID, and it was a great way to stay connected to the world during quarantine. But then, I decided I wanted to learn guitar and I knew that if I had a guitar and the Tiktok app sitting before me, I would choose Tiktok. I deleted it that evening and never went back. It wasn’t terribly hard for me to not have it around because I was used to not being on social media. 


Detoxing from social media was amazing. Everyone has heard at least one story of how their friend deleted social media and it changed their life, so I’m not going to rehash that same story. But,  I will share my experience as someone who’s never really been on social media in her 16 years of life, only gotten a taste of it. 


As an outsider observing my peers on social media, herd mentality is obviously a huge thing. It’s a well-known concept in which people are influenced by what the majority thinks. Herd mentality limits individuality because everyone listens to and almost mimics the influencer they’re following. This blurs people’s unique interests and thoughts because they’re constantly fed what other people think and what other people are doing. This doesn’t give people a breath to look up from their phone and discover what they think and what they want, instead of blindly following another person’s agenda. 


Also, because I’m not interested in or even aware of certain trends, the time and energy I would’ve spent worrying about it is instead used to embrace my own interests and do my own thing. “I feel the same way,” shares Anjani Bodar (11), “there was a period of time when I didn’t have social media and I felt so much more aligned with my interests and opinions.” True happiness comes from allowing yourself to be your most genuine self and embracing all the qualities that make you unique. Those who fall for herd mentality have a hard time experiencing this.  


Another defining part of not being on social media is that I make every effort to talk to people when I see them because there’s no other way to stay connected to what they’re up to. This way of socializing has helped me filter out my fake friends from my real ones. The friends who make an effort to stay connected to me despite me not being on social media are the people who genuinely want to know how I’m doing. The ones who look me up on Instagram, can’t find me, then never make an effort to talk to me again fake friends. 


My dad restricting me from downloading social media is one of the best decisions he’s ever made for me. I am a much better person without it and you most likely would bear too. Deleting it will feel like a weight lifted off your shoulders and you’ll never want to go back.