By: Kayla Pinkerman
Recently, I have almost completely eliminated the thing that has integrated itself into almost all of our daily lives. Social media. The only apps I have left are Pinterest, which I use to help me find healthy recipes and Facebook, which I use to keep up with potential jobs.
I’ve found that many people my age find that these apps are a necessity to their daily life. I have a friend who actually said to me “You can’t just delete Instagram.” When I asked her why. Her response shocked me.
She said, “You need it.”
So to that, I responded, “It’s not a necessity, there are other ways to communicate.”
We would normally message on Instagram because it was convenient. It was my most used app. I used to average at almost 9 hours of screen time that’s way above the recommended amount. Now I average between three and five hours. All I’ve done is deleted 3 or 4 apps.
Many people will say, “I’m going off the grid for a bit- if you need anything, text me.”
However, in my experience, that’s not the way to go about it. If you really want some time to yourself, you shouldn’t post anything. You should already have the people you care about in your contacts or maybe even have their number written down. If you want that time away from the drama, without everyone messaging you asking where you are or why you left, delete it. Delete the app(s) that people can message you on or the ones that you get twenty million notifications for.
I decided to delete my most used social media apps. They were Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Tumblr. If you have an iPhone you can go into settings and see how much time your spending your phone, each app, and how many notifications your getting. Write down your weekly average on the day you delete the apps then wait at least a week, see how your feeling, and check it again. I guarantee you’ll see a difference in your screen time, productivity level, and mood.
Now I will say that if you’re like me and have been using social media for years, it is an addiction. So you will notice withdrawal. It sounds weird to say, “I’m going through social media withdrawal.” It’s real though, I experienced it. If you do this, I can almost guarantee you will experience it too. At first, you’ll be constantly checking your phone, feeling like something’s missing. Then after a day or two of that, you’ll start wanting to re-download the apps. If you can make it past those two and find something to keep you busy in the meantime, you should be good to go.
I think I made it two weeks before re-downloading one of the four apps that I deleted. I re-installed Instagram so I can keep up some advocacy things as well as post about my new dog. It was hard not to be able to share things with everyone at one time. However, it felt nice to get away from the “noise” for a bit and I’m proud of long I was able to go without it. It definitely wasn’t easy, but it was definitely worth it.