Day One, 1.25AM
I’ve been asleep from roughly 10PM to 1AM. I hear the ping of my WhatsApp notification and reach for my phone, unlocking it before remembering.
The stupid assignment.
I grudgingly flip my mobile data off and turn my attention to my computer. A television marathon ensues for the following three and a half hours. At 3.45AM I am tempted to open Facebook. I type the URL into my browser and stare stonily at the login page. Michelle from a few hours ago knew of temptation well and made certain to log me out of my social networks before the fast had begun.
I take the opportunity for introspection as I study the login page of the Social Networking site. The truth bites. I discover that I am in fact lonely. My residence hall is dead silent. I want to peruse the list of online friends at close to four in the morning and feel a little less lonely by simply recognizing that there are others out there, awake, just like me.
I return to my television marathon.
Day Two, 9.50AM
I am sitting in the JFK Lecture Theatre, with my laptop in front of me, open to somewhat dated slides, attempting to follow along with my lecturer and his indecipherable accent. My eyes and mind wander restlessly. I squint at my lecturer’s face intensely, at first trying to focus more closely on the sounds he makes, perhaps to put some measure of meaning to them. After some moments pass, I realise I am only using him as white noise while my thoughts continue to meander down mountains of personal relationships.
My mind itches for a fix of information.
Just a touch, and I’m there, logging in like no one’s business. Relief flows through my consciousness with a surprising poignancy. I notice that my father has messaged me not ten minutes ago. I congratulate myself on having such a strong telepathic connection to the man who gave me life, despite our typical antagonistic relationship, so many miles away and roll my eyes at the waxing poetry in my thoughts.
What a few hours off of social media does to my otherwise completely unromanticised narrative in order to make myself feel better about my complete lack of willpower.
I converse with my father briefly, being reminded that it is my mother’s birthday and being needled about when next I will visit him convinces me that I’ve cheated enough on this social media fast. I make a hasty exit from Facebook and return to focusing intently on my lecturer’s face.
Day Three: 8:10PM
If ever there was any doubt that a social media break would seriously damage a budding relationship, it was confirmed: it wouldn’t. At least, in my case, it served the exact opposite function. Interest was confirmed with the workarounds to land on more time spent in each other’s physical company rather than on a playground of vague text-based flirtation and emoji and where there was expected to be a frosty halt precipitated by lack of contact, a startling friction was generated by extremely close contact.
I appreciate this assignment much more now.
My phone chimes as it inexplicably connects automatically to WiFi despite me being almost sure I had turned WiFi off entirely. I expect that it is my WhatsApp group for work, wondering why I’m not at the Student Activity Center, covering an event, as I should be. I disconnect manually, determined to remain devoted to living clean of social media in tribute to my newfound appreciation for this assigned constant-connectivity-free lifestyle.
The fact that I just gave myself a loosely supported night off (for school!) doesn’t hurt.
Altogether, I found the assignment to be enlightening, with scarily introspective moments, intriguing findings contrary to expectations and laughable justifications that my mind cooks up in order to satisfy my junkie brain’s needs.
I am extremely happy to get this blogging assignment out of the way as well, so that I may focus my blog on what I had originally intended to write about: my residence hall life at university!
I’m quite excited to make my first post to that effect and as such, you might expect to see my next post right here by tomorrow night!
Peace, love and happy Facebooking,