Delete Social Apps

Just Delete The Apps

The problem with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is that they offer a never-ending feed of interesting, but low-quality information.

One can either:

  1. Keep up with the flow. (Very time consuming)
  2. Check in periodically without back-reading. (Moderate)

Most people are incapable of #2, and try to consume all of it. I am particularly compulsive in that regard.

I left Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by simply deleting the apps on my iPhone. This freed up at least an hour a day to do real stuff, and made me more present in the real world.

Leaving Facebook

Last year, I decided I wanted to stop using Facebook, because the feed is particularly junky and addictive. I considered deleting my account altogether, but instead broke Facebook into it’s components, and identified where and how I used them.

  1. The feed. (iPhone only, frequent)
  2. The ability to check in on old friends. (Desktop and iPhone, very infrequent)
  3. The ability to message people I didn’t have cell/email contacts for. (iPhone, infrequent)
  4. The ability to sell and give away stuff in my local buy/sell group. (Desktop and iPhone, infrequent)

I realized that I never logged in from my desktop computer to check the feed. That was because the feed was different on desktop vs. mobile, so I had long since gone mobile-only. Additionally, all private messages had been moved to the Messenger app by Facebook, so I didn’t use the Facebook app for that.

So I could keep the tools of Facebook and remove the time consuming addiction by simply deleting the app. It was that simple. I could still log in on the computer to do 2, 3, or 4, which were all infrequent activities, and the Messenger app kept the private message functionality on my phone.

I deleted the app about six months ago, and have probably only logged into Facebook a handful of times since then. No withdrawal symptoms at all.

Going further: Twitter and Instagram

Even after leaving the day-to-day of the Facebook community, I continued to use Twitter, where you are either a Tweeter or a Consumer of Tweet. I was a Consumer, and I found twitter was a good way to keep up with local happenings in my small community. I reduced my reading time to once a day, but it was still about 15-20 minutes to catch up with the feed. This year I’ve decided to try to eye-read more books (I have done plenty of audiobooks), so I decided to delete the twitter app, and take a year off as a trial. I didn’t delete my account, so I can still log in and use twitter as a tool when necessary.

Instagram was the most manageable of the three, taking only about 5 minutes a day to keep up with. When I left Twitter I realized that although I enjoyed seeing friends’ photos on Instagram, it wasn’t really adding any juice to my life. So I’ve left Instagram for the year too.