Chloe Welch MyTurn Column

My Turn: Chloe Welch
My Turn: Chloe Welch

I received my first smartphone in sixth grade. This phone was a big jump from the flip phone I had owned since the fourth grade, which I could only use to make phone calls. With the earliest version of my Samsung Galaxy, I could finally have social media. However, I didn’t expect to be sucked into the black hole of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

After years of being glued to my phone screen, I finally realized how disconnected I’ve been from real human interaction. Not only has my phone screen made it so that I don’t listen to the people around me, I also use it rather than doing homework. It was time for a real change, so I decided to delete all of my social media for a week.

I’ll be honest, the pain was similar to a breakup at first. Going from missing conversations at my dinner table because of the latest Twitter fight to not being able to post on Instagram was really difficult for me. I realized how much people around me are really on their phones. I thought it was just me, but even my mom was guilty of scrolling through her Facebook and ignoring my voice.

Every day got easier. I didn’t worry about my streaks on Snapchat, I could focus more on my homework, and I never caught myself checking my phone at work. I started caring more about myself and the people around me more than the likes on my latest tweet.

Now that I have social media back, I found that I’m not on my phone as much as before. I can do my homework and get through the school day without worrying about texting someone back. Through the experience, I learned the most about myself. I got to search my likes and dislikes, connect with myself, and I started writing again. I got better sleep because my phone wasn’t constantly going off.

I recommend that everybody takes a week without social media. It’s not the easiest thing to do, I missed seeing Snapchat stories a lot, but disconnecting from your screen leads to reconnecting with the real world.

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