48-Hour News Blackout -Mackenzie Walker

I found something uncannily relatable in Deresiewicz’s “The End of Solitude.” A sudden realization occurred to me while reading the article: From posting a picture on Instagram to tweeting about The Bachelor, I tend to constantly reopen the apps to check how many likes my post has gotten. If my picture gets fewer likes than normally it would, I start to wonder about my image and my popularity. This culture of celebrity and connectivity is the concept that most struck me while reading. Reading the article, however, made the 48 hour process easier for me in the beginning as I realized how unhealthy these habits are and wanted to make an effort to stop them. From the start, I wanted to stop being so attached to these media and habits. After about 2 hours, though, I found myself biting my nails more. I have always been a nail biter, but once I changed my phone to airplane mode, that was it. I honestly did feel alone. I felt alone because I didn’t have any tweets to go and check. I felt alone because I wasn’t able to visit Facebook or Instagram to see how my friends and my family are doing. I wasn’t able to show everyone what I was doing. I truly felt isolated to an uncomfortable level. I was so nervous about missing a text, missing a notification, or even missing a single snapchat. I had to keep reminding myself “It’s only 48 hours” which made me feel psychotically attached to social media. Needless to say, I identify strongly with the teenage girl whose texting Deresiewicz uses as an example of the absence of solitude. I admittedly did, however, post on my snapchat story that I was going to be out of touch for 48 hours, which made me less anxious about the notifications I imagined piling up. When I’m with my friends, laughing and having a good time, I hardly check my phone. However, when I’m alone, I find myself clicking the unlock button probably 5-10 times per minute. Perhaps this lends evidence to the claim. Obviously, when I’m with y friends I’m not lonely, so I have no need to check social media. But when I’m alone, it’s all I do. This must be the way that I force myself to avoid solitude. I actually found myself walking to my friends’ classes with them during these 48 hours. Instead of walking sitting in my room reading articles or scrolling through social media sites, I would walk to my best friend’s dorm and spend time with her or walk her to class. I slept more. Again, this was a means of avoiding the loneliness, I assume. What I concluded from this 48-hour blackout was that I really am repelled from solitude. Whether it be in the form of likes and retweets or pictures and comments, I do somewhat rely on news media, (1) because I feel that my image is compromised when I fail to achieve above or at my average number of likes, and (2) because when I’m nearly unable to be without twitter gossip, Facebook events, and daily tweets from my friends. It is a frightening thought that I subconsciously validate myself through such an elusive idea.

MACKENZIE, YOU SUBMITTED A 538-WORD PARAGRAPH — UNACCEPTABLE. WE HAVE CAUTIONED YOU ALREADY NOT TO DO THIS.

ALSO, YOU DIDN’T CATEGORIZE YOUR POST, FOR WHICH OFFENSE I DEDUCTED FIVE POINTS. IF I HADN’T SEARCHED, YOUR POST WOULD’VE BEEN LOST FOREVER.

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About walkermackenzie22
FIU Beach Volleyball 2020

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