Life Without Social Media as a 3rd year Warwick Student: A Beginning
As much as I have been advocating the opposite in my previous blogs, this summer I deleted both my Facebook and my Twitter account and you can use this link to my article for The Boar to gather why I made this crazy decision that I am proud of (although others probably think I’m mad).
There are many benefits of this renunciation of the world of social media. This summer I actually had my moments of boredom; moments when I was craving something to do rather than sit there being absolutely unproductive just scrolling down a feed that is designed to never end (although Facebook fixed that, well done Zuckerberg). Of course summer is the time to switch off but I find that I usually have to be doing something and like to take active breaks in life rather than finding myself not having anything to do. But boredom has a special value in life, I mean there is a reason why we feel it. Thanks to it, I went back to my first/ second year chemistry this summer, got a textbook on coding to read, have read 11 of the 12 books for my this year’s Goodreads summer reading challenge and will hopefully be able to show off to the world how I managed to exceed my super easy challenge. Also, I have now gone back to the world of WordPress and have got myself a personal blog which is about labs. You can check it out here and I include the link because I hope fellow chemists would find it particularly insightful to read, and more importantly because I cannot tweet it or share it on Facebook but I have to share it somewhere, right?
But, I have been struggling with writing for The Boar. Not being on Facebook means that I cannot pick a pitch of my choice and therefore for SciTech have been writing Warwick press releases mainly. The SciTech editor has been particularly kind emailing me any pitches that weren’t taken so I may still continue to write. This has also meant that I have become more creative with my writing trying to actively think of pitches myself. I recently wrote one on how I believe that plastics are not the problem but rather their ill use in terms of the environmental problems our planet is facing today. A WBS press release came out on Brexit so I even wrote an article for Boar Finance this summer that I really proud of because it has been my least edited article for the section! I always feel guilty when my articles are heavily edited because that indicates that I didn’t do my job properly as a writer however I am seeing the improvement.
Seeing that I could no longer tag mates in Facebook memes or retweet my articles for The Boar, I turned to LinkedIn. I understand you may count it as social media as well but was I scared of using it. I never dared to do anything but like posts on it but over summer I was craving to post so I turned to LinkedIn! I’m not saying I’m spamming my connections with articles on the latest research or my lifestyle decisions but I have made two posts. I feel so much better that I am no longer scared of LinkedIn and can use it effectively now. Perhaps all I required was a little more confidence but since Twitter was always more convenient than LinkedIn, I never gave myself the extra time required to figure this out.
I have bookmarked the Warwick Events page so I don’t miss any major events on campus. Also, I have the press releases section of the Warwick website bookmarked making writing for The Boar easier because I can quickly scan for new exciting press releases. I have no group chats at all, not even the ones with mates because they left my life with Messenger but I have figured how nice it can be to randomly message a friend at a time when you’re genuinely thinking about them and find out how they’re doing. There is a lot less noise in my life but my relationahips aren’t weakened by my decision, but rather strengthened.
I will be back on campus next week and I still need to figure out how to keep updated about Bhangra now that I will no longer be able to use Facebook to find out the timings/ venue of their classes. With all the societies I join, I must first find out if they email their society members because no longer is life going to be as simple as giving their Facebook page a like. This makes me feel a little concerned about engaging with university life but I am not going to reverse this decision. It actually feels like I am back to my early teenage years when I hadn’t yet exposed myself to the world of social media and there weren’t many distractions around to waste my time and this is of course a nice feeling given that I am not even a teenager any more.
I may write a follow-up blog based on this in a few months time when I’d either have completely lost touch with the Warwick world or dug my own tunnels connecting me with the various elements of campus life. Nevertheless, I am sure to many this blog is going to be more of a source of entertainment rather than inspiration. I mean, why would you ever do what I did? Regardless, whether you’re a returning student or will be joining Warwick next week, I just want to say that there will be a lot for you at Warwick for you to pick from but if you want ideas of your own as well, boredom is the key. If you don’t believe me, check out this TED Talk.