Title: R29 Features Editor
Detoxing: WhatsApp When I told a couple of friends that I was giving up WhatsApp for a week (over WhatsApp, of course) their first remark was, “So? We can just text you. Or email you. It’s hardly life-changing, is it?” After I responded with an eyeroll emoji followed by the middle finger, I thought about how much a week off the app might actually affect me. As pathetic as it sounds, my main concern was my social life. My evenings and weekends are organised almost entirely through WhatsApp. There’s a nonchalance to making plans over it (“Beer?” or even just "? ?"). I was prepared to be excluded from dinner plans. But what would be really devastating would be a party invitation sitting in my inbox, unticked, my first knowledge of said event being when I saw everyone having a great time at it on Instagram. There's a reason I check in to WhatsApp upwards of 30 times a day.
Sure enough on Friday, an Australian friend Facetimes me asking why I haven’t responded to his Whatsapp. Finally, a little concern
Title: R29 Fashion & Beauty Editor
Is it tragic that the first thing that crossed my mind when the idea of a digital detox was proposed in a New Year, New You-themed editorial meeting was: “Oh god, I wonder how many followers I’ll lose?" Don’t worry, I know the answer is a resounding yes. If ever there was an indication that I have an unhealthy dependency on Instagram, I’m pretty sure that’s it.
Thank heavens I quit Insta a few days after SaltBae broke the Internet, otherwise I’d have been beside myself for missing out on such a crucial pop culture moment
Title: R29 Editor
Detoxing: Facebook I was an early adopter of Facebook. I joined in October 2005 (see my album “Random, 2005”) when it first became available exclusively to 21 UK universities. I had heard of this website where you could see images of people you knew who were at university, and I was sick with desperation to get on it. Not just because I was a giant internet neek, but also because I really really wanted to see what one particular girl was up to. This girl was the best friend of my boyfriend at the time, and he kept going to visit her at uni – and some. If I could just see her photos from university, which I knew he would be in, I thought I’d be able to figure out if they were more than just friends. They were. I found out from a Facebook photo – bear in mind this was really early days Facebook when no one really knew how it worked or who could see what so I may well have been one of the first British witnesses of Facebook adultery. Dumbstruck by this genius piece of socio-technology that solved a huge problem in my personal life, for the last 12 years I’ve blindly followed Facebook everywhere it’s suggested I go. Until last week, when I endured a seven-day hiatus, which was really very inconvenient. After the first morning without Facebook, I was so wracked by millennial FOMO that I logged back on and posted a status saying “Off Facebook for a week – please text or whatsapp me instead” which received 10 likes and one heart emoji comment. That afternoon, I received two texts sincerely asking if I was okay from people who had presumed I’d left Facebook because I was having a mental breakdown.