I like to think I’m not addicted to social media – and if you compare my use of Facebook now to when I was a student, avoiding writing a 3,000 word essay on Middle English literature by desperately hitting refresh every five seconds.
However recently I’ve become aware that I'm spending too many evenings doing little more than sitting on my phone, consuming images and thoughts shared by friends, celebrities and complete strangers on various websites and apps.
This awareness coincided with me reading a couple of interesting and slightly worrying articles (including this Guardian piece) about the amount of time teenagers are now spending on social media - and the impact its having on their interaction with the wider world.
So for the second installment of my 'A Week Of...' series, I thought I'd try giving up Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, Bloglovin', LinkedIn and Timehop . Due to work and holiday, this write-up of my experience is a little late - as will become clear.
I start my social media drought on a Sunday evening, setting myself a challenge by posting one photo on Facebook and another on Instagram - which is the seemingly random image at the top of this blog post.
Usually, within minutes of posting a pic, I’m hitting refresh to see if anyone has liked it or added a comment. This time I’ll have to accept delayed gratification… of seven days.
I worry the crumbling city made of couscous - part of the new Tate Modern exhibitions - is a visual metaphor for my plan....
It’s amazing what form a challenge will appear. On Monday I popped into a well-known supermarket chain to buy a packet of mints, to find one packet would cost me 65p – or for 20p, I could have three packets of the same mints. Crazy pricing!
Immediate reaction? I-must-photograph-this-and-put-it-on-Twitter. Oh wait. I can’t.
Instead I went back to the office and told my colleagues the good news. One of them set out to buy his own mints, another questioned whether I’d be making these kind of fascinating announcements all week.
After work I drive a colleague to the train station to try and locate her lost cycling helmet - for the 10 minutes I wait in the car for her, I'm at a loss of what to do. It's times like this I usually scroll through Instagram, instead I catch up on the news.
Later in the pub, watching the Wales (and England) game, I remember a funny and relevant photo my friend had stuck on Facebook a few days beforehand - I go to take my phone out my bag, then realise my mistake. Instead I describe the photo, badly.
I spend five minutes rearranging all of my social media apps into a folder on my phone, to stop me absent-mindedly opening SnapChat. Putting in a second level of screen tapping actually seems to help break the habit.
A colleague suggests replacing mindless scrolling through Instagram with mindless strolling through the BBC News app is cheating. I vaguely agree.
Facebook is pretty much the only way I communicate with my running club, when I'm not physically with them. They have a great page which keeps members up to date with all kinds of happenings - including what time the Wednesday track session is happening each week.
To find this out I have to text my running friend Charlotte and ask her to check the page for me. In the end I decide to spend my evening elsewhere, but it's a good job she texts back or I could've had an hour long wait on the track.
Having worked away in Oxford all week with the distraction of other people, Thursday sees me working alone at home. It's now I realise how social media has been fuelling my procrastination - without it I have a super productive day, with no online diversions.
Thursday is also referendum voting day. Which becomes much more interesting...
... on Friday, when I wake up to the news that Britain had voted to leave the EU.
I could only imagine how social media had exploded. Instead I was glued to Radio 4 and the BBC News website.
The news is a lot to take in, and weirdly I feel quite relieved to not have an overwhelming avalanche of opinions (in 40 characters or less) to absorb too. Instead I talk in more detail to friends and family through texts, phone and in person.
The reception venue had no phone signal at all - which would be fine if my boyfriend, Paul was not joining the wedding late due to competing at the British Championships (good excuse).
However in order to check the results and arrange picking him up later, I need to get onto the wifi - which required liking the pub's Facebook page! Luckily the barman was happy to bypass this step by tapping in the password for me, thus avoiding social media.
The final day. Nothing much to report - the day is spent having a lie-in, walking my parents dog (and swapping wedding stories with my parents), eating massive chicken sandwiches and listening to The Smiths on repeat.
In the evening I end the social media fast, and realise I've actually missed very little in terms of notifications. I only feel a bit bad that I've seemingly ignored a comment under one of the photos I posted this time last week.
It's been a couple of weeks since my "no social media diet" - and I genuinely think I'm using Facebook and Instagram (my big two) a lot less than before and it took me a good few days to even think about opening Twitter, SnapChat or Time Hop.
I found the week itself a lot easier than I thought, but it did highlight to me how much I'd been using the apps on my phone to procrastinate - a bad habit I'm keen to break.
Having said that, I'm not it up for good. Firstly, it's pretty important to stay connected for my work, but secondly, I think there's people I would genuinely lose contact with - which would be sad.
So I'm planning to focus my social media usage on enhancing my "real" life, while doing less of the procrastinating.
Are you a little bit obsessed with your social media accounts or have you no interest? Let me know in the box below.... (you might need to click right into the post to see it!)