Over 100 million people use Snapchat on a daily basis and I was one of them until recently.
A few months ago, I deleted my Snapchat. When I say I deleted my Snapchat I don’t mean that I logged out of the app and removed it from my phone. I mean I gave Snapchat my username and password and agreed that I wanted my account permanently removed.
When the app asked if I was sure about my decision I hesitated, but after thinking about it for a few minutes I knew I was making the right decision.
I never really explained to people why I deleted my Snapchat until now. I deleted my account because the app was consuming my life and it started to take a toll on my mental health.
I checked Snapchat 24/7. I used the app to send and receive snaps, but my main usage was to watch stories. I wouldn’t really update my story, but I would watch others’ stories. Checking it to see what my current and former friends were doing as well as checking on some of my ex-boyfriends.
My constant use of the app started paying a toll on my mental health at the beginning of my junior year almost a year ago. Every time I would check the app I found myself down and depressed by the time I closed the app.
Why wasn’t I invited? Maybe they don’t really like me. I guess they forgot about me. Those were all thoughts that would cross my mind when I checked Snapchat.
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It wasn’t until I started comparing myself to others, who I felt replaced me in different aspects of life, that I knew Snapchat was unhealthy for me.
During my five month break from Snapchat, I lived in the moment and selflessly focused on myself. At first it was really hard, I didn’t know what to do in between classes or when I was in bed late at night. But after a while it became easier.
I spent my spare time reading books/newspapers/magazines and journaling about different experiences I was having that could lead to a story for the school newspaper or USFSP Her Campus.
This time was also used to learn more about my anxieties and what was causing me to feel the way I do. After briefly meeting with my school’s psychologist, I started doing a number of exercises that focused on me. By the end of my sessions, I learned tools and tricks that would allow me live with my anxieties without letting them consume my life.
As time passed, I forgot that Snapchat existed. I was happy and healthy. I was living in the moment and not caring what others were doing.
It wasn’t until recently that I redownloaded the Snapchat app, because I am taking a social media class this fall. But because of my break from Snapchat, I am using it in a whole new light. I now use my Snapchat to read stories from Cosmopolitan and Refinery29. And to share with friends and families my senior year adventures.
Because I have found new ways to spend my spare time I don’t have an urge to constantly check the app. I have found a way to have a Snapchat without letting it consume my life again.
I definitely would recommend anyone who feels that Snapchat has taken over their life to disconnect for a little while.
It will be the best decision that you will ever make.