Productivity in Quarantine

I deleted all social media for a week


Emma Kingwell, News Editor


During this time of self-quarantine, people seem to have mainly divided into two groups: those who are striving to be productive, and those who have destroyed their sleep schedules and have had a drastic increase in their screen time. Although there should not be too much pressure to stay productive all the time (especially during this time), it is still important for people to find a balance, to have a decent sleep schedule, and to not ruin their eyes. 

Since it is exam season, and since at home, it is hard to find a clear separation between work and relaxation, I decided to delete social media (YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Pinterest) for a week and see how much of a difference it would make to my lifestyle. 

In the first couple of days, I noticed that I was reaching for my phone when I was bored, and I was reaching for where the social media apps used to be out of habit. I expected that the lack of social media would limit my screen time, but at the beginning, it didn’t change much since I would still pick up my phone so often out of habit and end up just checking irrelevant apps and updates such as mail, weather, changing my wallpaper, etc.

However, after a couple of days, I was able to break my habit. I was willing to stay focused on my homework for longer because I simply didn’t have the option to go on social media or watch YouTube. I usually tend to check social media in the morning, but without it, I realized that I was able to start my day with a clearer mind. 

As I mentioned before, my screen time didn’t change much at first, but after I got used to the fact that I couldn’t go on social media as much, my screen time went down by a lot. The lowest my screen time dropped to during this week was an hour. I mainly used my phone to check the necessary information and to text my friends.

Although social media is an important tool to stay connected with friends and current events, it is just as important to take a break and know when it has become an addiction or simply too toxic. Although I, personally, do not have the habit of going on social media right before I sleep, I predict that for people that do have this habit, their sleep will improve by avoiding social media (and their phone in general) right before sleep. 

I think that rather than avoiding social media forever, it would be more realistic to take a break every so often. For example, one can set the habit of deleting social media for a week every month or when there are exams. 

Overall, I would say that my “experiment” was a success. I was able to avoid wasting time, I got more done, and although I am not going to delete social media forever, I definitely will be deleting it whenever I have exams. 

I think that this experiment was worth trying during this time to better understand where all my time was going and how to get more done.