Social Silence

Productivity and Social Media usage may not have a direct correlation as originally perceived

More stories from Hailey Novak

Social Silence

To some extent, when I gave up social media this fall, I expected my productivity to magically increase.

I figured if I wasn’t spending so much time scrolling through Twitter and looking at everyone’s Snapchat stories, I would find myself having more time to prioritize school-related tasks.

As much as I would love to say my hypothesis was correct, I was pretty far off.

For some reason, all the “free” time I have now (because what college student actually has free time) that I would have otherwise spent pursuing social media, has been spent browsing Elite Daily articles or making unnecessarily elaborate asian cuisine late at night to avoid writing papers. (Sad but true statement.)

This semester I’ve learned that if I want to procrastinate, I will find a way; social media be damned.

I didn’t immediately just give up and say to hell with my productivity, though. Entering the semester I had really high hopes that a lack of social media would do my study habits and next-level procrastination some good.

I started off on a positive note. After deleting Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, I downloaded an app called Duolingo which helps you learn other languages for free.

Not only was this app already a more productive way to spend my time in general, but I downloaded it with the intent to start learning some basic Italian before my study abroad excursion this spring. I thought I would be killing two birds with one stone.

So far I am one percent fluent in Italian after downloading the app over a month ago. Clearly I haven’t spent as much time becoming bilingual as I had hoped.

After thinking about how it’s possible I feel just as unproductive now as I did when I had social media distracting me, I came to a realization.

College life just gets too real sometimes. We have a million things to juggle all at once and to make it better, all of those things have to come before our basic needs like food and sleep.

Sometimes when all of these obligations pile up into a to-do list that seems mountainous, the only thing we can possibly do is nap, take Buzzfeed quizzes or even just stare at our bedroom wall. Pretty much anything else will do.

Adults may assume social media is rotting our brains and consuming our generation (which may be partially true) but as far as productivity goes, I wouldn’t personally say it’s the number one culprit.

Frankly, adulting is hard. College most often seems to be one big phenomenon where we feel like we never do our homework but somehow it gets turned in by the due date and by some act of God we don’t end up failing our classes.

Or at least that’s how it seems to be going for me lately, and I get the feeling from my peers that I’m not alone.

On top of that we have to worry about things like paying bills on time, remembering to shower before class and maybe even trying to balance some semblance of a love life.

All I can say to this is: social media, I’m sorry I blamed you for my procrastinative nature and my inability to get things done on Sunday’s.