Social Silence

A necessary break from constant updating and mindless scrolling

More stories from Hailey Novak



As I sat on the floor of my friends bedroom complaining of boredom, I tapped the Instagram icon on my phone for what I realized was probably the fifth time in the last ten minutes.

When the app opened displaying (to no surprise) no new content since the last time I checked, I realized how much time a day I waste doing exactly this.

Social media is undoubtedly a huge part of how my generation in particular communicates, but also in my case, wastes time. I can personally attest to many class lectures spent mindlessly scrolling through Pinterest with a blank notebook and untouched pen in front of me.

Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat are the ways I avoid awkward situations in public, kill time in waiting rooms and essentially disengage myself from my surrounding environment. There have been too many walks to class spent with my head down staring at my iPhone as everyone walked by me in a blur.

I got to thinking about just how much I need these applications in my life. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of social media apps are great resources for promoting and networking and I’m not looking to eliminate them for good.

For the sake of my productivity, self esteem, sleep habits and grades I decided to abstain from Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat for the fall semester. As much as I wish Facebook could be a part of that list it will remain active for the sake of this job.

By removing these apps from my life for the next four months I’m hoping that my dependance on them lessens if not disappears.

When I contemplated this idea I was quick to change my mind, and that’s when I really knew I needed to follow through with it.

I’m a lover (if not addict) of Social Media but I’m starting to believe there really can be too much of a good thing.

It’s one thing to use social media to keep in touch with family and friends but it’s another thing completely when you find yourself weeks deep in your friend’s boyfriend’s older sister’s Instagram photos, because curiosity turned into a creep session (don’t act like you haven’t been there.)

Most of us are avid users of these apps but it’s come to the point where we are constantly updating our friends (and in some cases strangers) on every trivial aspect of our lives.

What is privacy at this point? We take our phones into the bathroom, we sleep with them at night and we’re glued to them during class.

I think it’s safe to say that the whole reason the acronym FOMO (fear of missing out) exists in the first place is because of social media (more to come on that later.)

By the end of these next four months I’m hoping to better understand that experiencing moments fully in the present is more important than capturing them only to spend an embarrassing amount of time editing them later.

With that said, I’m looking forward to catching up on the twitter fights, insta’s of your daily starbucks fix and the 200-second-long “MyStory” of your nights out when I return in December.