Posted in Writing

Trying to do the Impossible: YouTube Detox

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From Monday, October 1st to Friday, October 5th I tried to do the impossible. My goal was to not use YouTube for five whole days. Now, for some of you that may be a cakewalk, but for me, it was pretty difficult. In the beginning, at least. I use YouTube for entertainment, news, and for education, so I thought not using it for five days would have been completely impossible. To an extent, I was correct.
The first two days, I was in complete agony. It didn’t help when my favorite YouTubers decided to post multiple videos over the course of those days. It’s like they knew I was taking this detox and they just wanted to torment me. I’M SORRY I DON’T PRESS THE LIKE BUTTON ON ALL OF YOUR VIDEOS, I FORGET SOMETIMES. In hindsight, I probably should have turned off my YouTube notifications. It was like a coke addict being tormented by looking at coke, every time I opened up my laptop and those notifications popped up.

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Monday:
                  It also didn’t help that on day one of my detox I opened up my laptop and the homepage of YouTube was still open from the night before. Just looking at me, mocking me. So I was off to a great start with my detox. Broke it on the first day. Not purposefully, but I still went on YouTube. Curse past me for staying up late watching YouTube. Monday was a bit of a challenge for me, whenever I found myself having some free time, I would always start thinking about YouTube. It was like your first heartbreak. You know it’s not good for you, but you just can’t stop thinking about them. In this case, though, it was YouTube.

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Tuesday:
          The second day was a little better for me. I didn’t think about YouTube as much. I did, however, break the detox twice. Only one of them was my fault but, nonetheless, I did watch two videos via YouTube. The first one came just a little bit after midnight. One of my friends, LAURA, sent me a Snapchat video of a song. Which would’ve been fine, if only the song wasn’t on YouTube! That one is on her, not me. The second time I went on, was entirely my fault and was the only true break (watching a video on YouTube under my own power) of the detox. I was watching Netflix and I wanted to look up one of the actors in the show. In doing so, I saw a video about one of my favorite characters in the show, leaving the show. I, of course being the avid fan I am, had to click on it, to see what was up. Big mistake. It redirected me to YouTube. I didn’t realize I was on YouTube until halfway through the video. I didn’t even finish it, because I felt so ashamed that I couldn’t even last two full days away from it.

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Wednesday:
          I did much better the next two days. Wednesday and Thursday I rarely thought about YouTube. As you can see in the graphic, I only wanted to go on YouTube twice over the course of those days. Once each day. I also didn’t go on YouTube, at all. That’s a lot of improvement from the first two days. I did, however, get bored once, but that’s not that bad. I get bored, even when I’m able to watch YouTube.

Thursday

Thursday:
          The biggest surprise for me, however, was how hard Friday was for me. I attribute that to it being the last day and me getting antsy about being able to go on YouTube in only a few short hours. Friday was by far the day that I thought about YouTube the most. It got very bad near the end of the night. I constantly found myself checking the time to see if I was able to watch YouTube or not. In the graphic, you can see that I wanted to go on YouTube six times that day. Four of those times came after 10 pm. I remember watching TV with my roommate and he kept wanting to show me videos, but they were all on YouTube. He forgot about all of them when the clock struck midnight. I’ll never forget what he told me, “Lou, I’m gonna be the first person to show you a YouTube video when it becomes Saturday”. That’s true friendship right there.

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Friday:
          I watch YouTube almost every single day and going cold turkey for five days seemed like a challenge. It really wasn’t that difficult. Looking back on it, I wish I had given up all streaming services: YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, etc. The time I spent on YouTube in the past, I thought would have turned into productivity. It just turned into me watching more Netflix and Hulu. I’d like to revisit this detox in a couple months and give up all the streaming services. I’ll let you all know how it goes when I complete it again.

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