Letters from the dorm: How I felt living two weeks without Facebook or my phone

By Elaine Leung, Philosophy, Politics and Economics, Durham University
By Elaine Leung, Philosophy, Politics and Economics, Durham University |

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I have always known that I am not the most self-disciplined person on Earth. At the end of February, after all the Lunar New Year celebrations, I decided to deactivate my Facebook account with the intention of focusing on essay-writing for the last two weeks of term.

Coincidentally, my phone also decided to take a break (aka malfunction) as soon as I deactivated my account. So, I lived for two weeks without Facebook or my phone. Though inconvenient at times, overall I did feel free and calm.

It was not the first time I had taken a Facebook hiatus, but it was the first time I'd done so during term time. Despite the fact I had to discuss group presentation ideas through emails instead of Facebook - which was less efficient - I managed to save time elsewhere, by focusing on what is truly important and enjoyable.

I went the old-fashioned way when it came to inviting someone over for dinner: I walked to my friend's place and arranged a date and time to meet face-to-face. During the last week of term, I even received a handwritten invitation letter from a group of friends - that live five minutes away - for a Victorian-style picnic in their kitchen.

I also spent more time getting to know my housemates, the very people I have been living with for seven months.

My relationships improved a lot. I found myself having more quality time with people I truly care about, and I felt more in control of my life as I spent less time attending events that I felt too guilty to say no to.

My phone is now fixed and my Facebook account re-activated, but this won't stop me from continuing to be self-disciplined and in control of my own life.