A little over a week ago, I decided to delete all of my non-communication social media apps from my phone. Instagram, gone. Twitter, goodbye! I've never had the Facebook app on my phone, but I logged out of it on safari, too.
I've never been one to post on social media very often, so all I ever did was scroll through tweets or pictures and lose time. Sure, I was able to keep up with friends, and I am partial to all of the dog Twitter accounts that I follow, but overall, I found that I was simply wasting my time.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not against social media. While I think that there are negatives to social media such as the importance of projecting a "perfect life" and the negative associations that can come from that, overall, I think that social media is just that: a way to stay up to date with friends and family. It being a way to stay up to date with pop culture is just another plus.
Twitter and Instagram were the first apps that I saw every time I opened my phone... of course I'm going to gravitate to going to them. I found that each time I opened my phone I would check to see if there was anything new. With the number of times I check my phone in a day, there rarely were more than two or three new posts. That is a problem.
When iPhone came out with its Screen Time app, I used it to limit the time that I was allowed to use each app. I set it at 20 minutes, thinking that that would be plenty of time to get my fix but not be on social media too much. However, while for the first month or two, the limit deterred me from going over 20 minutes, I soon found myself overriding the limit without thinking twice.
The next extreme? Delete the apps altogether. So that's exactly what I did.
So, deciding that I could still access my accounts from my laptop if I really needed to see that one tweet everyone is talking about, I deleted my Instagram and Twitter apps for a week to see what would happen. A week later, and my apps are still deleted.
Within this "experiment," my goal was to see how taking away the accessibility of my accounts affected me. I didn't limit myself from getting on Twitter or Instagram or Facebook on my laptop. I could do that whenever I wanted. But I don't always have my laptop on me like I do my phone, so it wasn't something where I could instantly access the website anytime I wanted.
I still check Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter on my laptop a few times per day. But, I only stay on each for a few minutes because scrolling on your laptop IS NOT the same as scrolling on your phone! They do not provide the same satisfaction. After a few minutes on my laptop, I get bored of scrolling.
On my laptop, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook don't hold the same appeal. And because of this, I've slowly stopped getting on the websites. And that's OK with me.
I have extra time now that I'm not scrolling through my news feeds. While I'm not really sure where that extra time has gone, that's something that I could focus on in the future. I could use it to read more. Or I could use that time to sit and watch what is happening around me. The possibilities are endless, and I can't wait to see how I fill up the extra time I now have.