Ben Leander Willgruber | Visual Designer and Writer

A Week without Social Media | Part 1

I wanna see for myself if I’m happier when I force myself to not use social media for a week. Read how I have planned it and join me in this experiment!

Since I published some of the findings of my master thesis – suggesting that we’re better off without social media – I wanted to write about the real-life effects of not being connected 24/7. I just couldn’t get myself to do it yet. But now my phone is giving up on me as the battery is damaged. It’s been degraded to a landline as I can only use it for ten minutes unplugged. My phone mixes the technology of a personal computer with the battery power of an old Tamagotchi, so this is the perfect time!

I don’t want to do this alone (I will… but I don’t want to!). I wanna motivate other people, especially bloggers, to join me and write about it. If you read this and feel like you’re not gonna die when fasting on photos of Avocado bread, why don’t you join me?

Here is how I have planned to do it, but honestly, I don’t care how strict you are with yourself:

  • Do not use social media (d’uh!), especially Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat
  • Still use WhatsApp and Youtube because we’re not cave animals
  • Every day I will be online for 5-10 minutes as I sometimes receive business opportunities online I should see in time
  • Use dating apps as little as possible
  • Write about the process!

Let’s find out together if we’re happier using social media less! My time frame is March 5th to March 11th but you can do it whenever and it doesn’t have to be a whole week! I’m looking forward to hearing from you – please tag/link me in any related posts 🙂


0 thoughts on “A Week without Social Media | Part 1

  1. I often go weeks on end without opening my social media apps. I never real understood the appeal of showing everyone what I am about to eat or asking random internet people for their opinions or following the hive mind that tends to develop with masses on social media. I still don\’t understand why people talk anything on social media all that seriously…Who cares if so-and so didn\’t like your post or picture….. and if I\’m not procrastinating…or i legit have nothing else to do for a few minutes (waiting for things to happen in my lab…etc) the most I spend is 10 minutes a day anyways…So I guess I live your challenge mostly?

    1. Yeah seems like you\’ve never been part of the hype. I realized I\’m kinda addicted to scrolling through the feed… although I don\’t even enjoy it. I won\’t quit social media because I also use it to inform myself… But I feel this week being good to me 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

      1. Your welcome! and I can understand that I use twitter more often than not just to see some of the big and new science studies that are coming out and to facebook is memes and keeping me up to date on production times and release dates of my favourite shows… and with the cleanse it is remarkable of just how much time is sunk into something that isn\’t productive or lead to anything with an enjoyment value

  2. \”Still use WhatsApp and Youtube because we’re not cave animals…\” haha, I can totally relate to that – Facebook, all fine, you can take that away from me for a week – but YouTube – no way 😀

      1. Forget that I said anything 🙂 I need Facebook for my job, sure, that\’s a good excuse 😀 in all fairness, I have a specific working schedule so sometimes I don\’t open social networks for two weeks,or even a month because I\’m constantly working 24×7 but than I have two weeks of free time which I couldn\’t survive without FB and YouTube 😀

        1. Too late! You\’re already on the list and have to participate 😉
          You can exclude work time from it. I couldn\’t survive without Youtube anyways cause I often listen to music on there. I wouldn\’t consider that social media though.

          1. I\’ll do my best and let you know how it went. So – starting from March 5th, I will limit FB; Twitter and Instagram to 10 minutes a day for all: I have my company\’s Facebook page which I will have to check if I get notifications/messages, but all other personal activity will not be permitted 🙂 Instagram and Twitter same thing,

            1. Wow, you\’re awesome! Didn\’t think I would actually be able to convince you! I hope it works well for you. I wonder how it will go for me and if I will have similar experiences as other people doing this experiment :))

              1. well, I wasn\’t a big fan of social media in general before, I opened Twitter and Instagram very recently, but in recent months I caught myself spending hours on Facebook for no reason at all and getting fat or opening it on my phone even when I\’m out with real people. so it\’s good to have that kind of a challenge.

                1. That’s exactly what I’d like to try. Press the reset button, live a little like it’s the early 2000s and see how I feel. Glad you too think it’s a good idea 🙂

  3. As part of my little arrangement to stay out of jail, I\’m not allowed on social media. I\’m going on almost four years without Facebook and Twitter and have never used Instagram and Snapchat. I\’ve got to tell you, once my deal with the nice people in the Maine Department of Probation and Parole is over, I\’m not going back except for professional purposes. I can still text, read news, etc. and have to tell you, I actually kind of feel bad for people who NEED to be on social media, including several members of my immediate family. When you can\’t get 8 people together around a table in a restaurant for conversation without somebody needing to check how many likes they have on something, it\’s kind of sad. You\’re right. We would better off without it.

    1. Oh wow, thanks for being so open about it, I never thought of that. I would like to know however, why social media is forbidden for you. I can\’t for the life of god understand why some people are so extreme with social media. Sometimes I expect something important and I\’m so annoyed when it\’s just stupid notifications of how many likes I have. I feel like social media is supposed to make us feel closer and in reality we\’re drifitng apart.
      Even though you cannot social media detox like I\’m trying to motivate people with this post, I\’d love it if you wrote about your experiences of going 4+ years without social media. It\’s just a suggestion but I\’d really like to start an open conversation about all this 🙂

      1. I can draw many patterns to the signs of addiction that I had with alcohol and porn and that others have with social media, but who would never believe it. Looking back, after all of these years without it, I know what I used it for…validation of my stupid life. I didn\’t really care what other people were doing, but I wanted everybody else cared about me, and when I\’d get a like, or two or 30, it validated me. The same for my business. Social media isn\’t about connecting people, it\’s about scoring people\’s connections. It\’s about people wanting to kiss your ass and get in your favor, or be associated with you, or show the rest of the world they stand in direct opposition of you. It\’s about feeding the need for attention. I mean, we created the Kardashians, for good or bad, not the producers of that show.
        I think social media has done more to divide people than slanted political news or talk radio. Not only does everybody now think their voice matters, they think that their voice matters to other people and that something is wrong with other people when they are not taking their voice very seriously…yet like I was years ago, not really caring what the other voices have to say.
        It blows my mind when people say very extreme things, regardless of the issue or being ultra conservative or ultra liberal. Being a journalist for 20+ years, I kind of trained myself to be very moderate and see both sides of things when it comes to politics or other dividing issues, and it seems like many are open to fighting to the death to defend whatever today\’s hot topic is…but it\’s forgotten tomorrow.
        The other thing I learned, and if you (plug coming) read my book (plug over) you\’ll see I comment a lot about my treatment on social media during my legal ordeal. People like to take strong stands and as I\’ve learned first-hand, the ones who do the most yelling are often trying to hide the most. Social media is a great way to divert people\’s attention away from who you really are and what you\’re really doing. It\’s like the senator who will stand on the floor of the Senate and fight against gay rights with his last dying breath, then get caught for trying to get a male prostitute in an airport bathroom. Social media allows us to present one version of ourselves to the world, and then actually measure if people are buying it.

        1. Thank you for this comment, it is very interesting to read your point of view on social media and media in general… In Europe, the Kardashians are not a huge phenomenon. TV is kinda unnecessary where I live, people rather talk about Netflix and stuff. But what I do see happening as well as the political impact of social media. Started with Obama but it\’s so much worse with Trump… His constant fights with Merkel, etc. So annoying – and social media is a catalyst, in this case, you\’re absolutely right.
          People seem to be really extreme on social media. I too have noticed that people get angry easily and write things they would never dare to say in real life. To me it\’s really weird to be different online than offline and would make me feel schizophrenic. This really worried me, however, I recently saw a study where hate comments in Austria where analyzed by a computer algorithm. In the end, they found out that only a fraction of the users post hate comments, meaning the ones screaming the loudest are only very few people, possibly using multiple accounts. Reading this restored a little of my all too broken faith in humanity again.

  4. Great idea!! I might join you.

    although, I don\’t access dating apps how about those who do and want to do this challenge that they forgo dating apps as well and try and meet people the old fashion way aka….going outside and conversing with strangers. Flirting in real life rather than flirting via emojis.

    just a suggestion.

    1. It is a great suggestion and I actually wanted to add that as well. But in the end, I didn\’t wanna scare away people to join this challenge because the rules are too strict. Therefore, I decided that classic social media (Facebook, IG, Twitter, Snapchat) should be the focus. And I\’d like everyone to take this challenge and make it their own. We\’re all kinda dependent on some social media apps and even if people think they can\’t use any, they can still join and cut down on those they can. (Does this weird sentence even make any sense? lol)

      So please join me, I\’d be thrilled if I\’m not the only one! 🙂

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