6th November 2023
Opinion pieces are the view of the author and in no way reflects the view of the Liverpool Guild Student Media or Liverpool Guild of Students
Now, more than ever before, it is so easy to end up on a downward spiral of no return on Instagram. You just clicked on someone you’re followings picture and now you’re accidentally stalking their best friend’s cousin’s step-sister. We’ve all been there, whether we like to admit it or not! With lockdown leaving us with tonnes of free time, it is very easy to spend your days scrolling through your phone, watching your 5000th TikTok of the day. So, I, a media student, wanted to see what a week in lockdown without any social media would be like.
There’s no right or wrong way to spend your days in lockdown. This is a very unsettling and unusual way of life for all of us. So, however you want to spend your days, be that scrolling through the latest memes on Facebook or getting outside on a walk, that is totally fine. Whatever makes you feel happy during lockdown, do it!
Monday came around and I woke up slightly thrown off by the fact I couldn’t lay in bed for an hour (who am I kidding most likely the whole day) catching up on tweets and TikToks. However, I embraced this social media free lifestyle and decided to be productive. I know this time of year is very busy for us all with coursework, assignments and exams. It can be hard to find the motivation to do your uni work during lockdown and if this is something you struggle with I would recommend turning your phone off for a couple of hours whilst you get it done. I found it so much easier to concentrate on my work without the ability to procrastinate by snapchatting my friends.
I then took myself off on a walk. Getting outside, whilst following the government guidelines, is so great for your mental and physical wellbeing. I love going on walks to break up the somewhat monotonous days we are living at the moment.
My friend suggested I spend my free time learning a new language so I downloaded Duolingo and started learning Spanish each day. Duolingo offers a really fun, easy way to learn languages and it’s free! It was my friends birthday so we all joined a zoom call to celebrate in lockdown style. Now since we can’t just go for a ‘couple drinks’ at the pub which we all know turns into going out-out, we’ve had to find alternatives to entertain ourselves at home. We love to play online cards against humanity and the app Psych! Why not give them a try with your friends on a zoom call this week?
The following days I found not being on social media pretty easy. I wasn’t as bothered about not being on social media as I thought I would be. Instead, I found ways to fill my time such as doing a workout (or atleast attempting to). If you’re looking for some easy to follow at home workouts, I like Chloe Ting’s on Youtube (I allowed myself to use Youtube still for fitness ideas). I had some online tutorials to attend which kept me busy along with coursework to complete.
I decided to bake cookies for the first time. Let’s just say I slightly messed up the cooking time. They were more like a very hard biscuit than the gooey goodness I had hoped for. I don’t think I will be applying for the next series of bake off anytime soon, that’s for sure.
I decided to start looking at some bits to decorate my new uni room with for second year. It’s important to think about life after lockdown to give yourself something to look forward to.
By this point I was pretty much fluent in Spanish… Okay, maybe not fluent but I had the travel phrases mastered for when we are allowed to go on our jollies again. Un taxi al aeropuerto, por favor!
I was now scrolling through the BBC News and weather app as if they were Instagram and Twitter. I must admit I was having slight withdrawal symptoms from my favourite apps!
The last two days of my detox were pretty easy, as I was used to not being able to go on social media and I didn’t really think about it. I had a takeaway for a treat and some gins, whilst soaking up the little bit of sun in the garden. I had completed a seven-day streak on Duolingo and I plan to continue learning Spanish.
Now I am back on social media, I feel as though I am spending a lot less time on my phone. I feel better mentally, a lot less reliant on social media. I would recommend a social media detox not only during lockdown but also when life goes back to normal. It’s a great way to clear your mind and try out new things you wouldn’t normally do, whilst having more time to spend with your loved ones.