*for a month (cheeky disclaimer, sorry that was a little click-baity) 

The relationship we have cultivated with a plethora of social media platforms is nothing short of fascinating. I like to conceptualise them as little doorways into alternate realities. 

Hypothesis:

Is there a negative correlation between the deletion of Instagram and increased productivity and over-all focus in a chronic female user over a one month period? 

Clearly, this is an ambitious speculation extrapolated from my tendency of being overly optimistic. 

The following image encapsulates my overly-optimistic attitude towards this. 

Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 4.50.46 PM.png

The divisiveness of the poll... 

reflects a great deal of faith. Or rather the lack of it. 

 

Two Mondays ago, I had finished studying at the State library and decided to peruse what the book store has to offer. It’s like a rabbit hole into little gizmos you don’t need but desire, tons of writing implements and of course, constellations of words woven across 300 pages.  

As I studiously ignored the shiny stationery, I came across a book catchily titled ‘How to break up with your phone?’ The punchy title immediately made me rethink social media in an entirely new light. I don’t think we ever seriously considered the ‘Terms of Conditions’ of Facebook when we were 11. Our constant usage and engagement with such platforms is simply because everyone else indulges in it too! Ah, the power of social influence, hey? 

As I stood there reading the blurb, I pondered about whether I’m obsessed with checking my phone.

It’s one of the first things I check in the morning and the last thing I check at night. 

Uh-oh.

We’ve come to associate phones with social networks, instant gratification, friendship, connection. Truth be told, I love the instantaneous nature of social media. The ability to wave or connect with an old primary school friend on a different continent is a luxury never afforded to my parent’s generation as youths. Furthermore, the inception of platforms has given rise to a starburst of new colloquialisms and slang unique to the millennial experience.

The problem I face is how I unconsciously open certain apps and fall into a rabbit hole of mindless consumption. Perhaps, this chronic habit has been positively reinforced by the (usually) unexpected pop of ‘validation/gratification’ packaged into a chubby red heart. Alas, the self-replicating cycle begins! 

I had a conversation about this very topic a few weeks ago with a friend who chooses not to post anything on Instagram in the last four years of having it. 

Friend: It’s all instant gratification, smart girl.
Me: Yeah! But I’m self-aware!

Looking through a psychological lens, the addictiveness of social media stems from its variable-interval schedule. You never know when something new pops up! As the reward is unpredictable, our brains are primed to be in this state of anticipation. Subconsciously waiting. 

Another reason why I’m extricating myself from this photo-sharing app is because I have a huge assignment to complete by the end of May! I figured that this could be the ideal window of time to have one less distraction. heh. 

Wish me luck*, 

Amanda 

*cos this gal will most definitely need it. 

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