TikTok has been one of the most popular social media apps within the last decade. But with mindless scrolling and media dependency, I decided to delete TikTok from my phone. Why? Because within the past year, it has become an addiction, a past-time hobby and an unhealthy way of using my time. I learned that how and when I use my phone jeopardizes my health, mental and physical.
Before I did anything though, I wanted to learn how to do it. So, what tips were circulating to help make it easier or what was the push that would get me to follow through with deleting the app?
Of course, there were hundreds of tips and tricks that flooded the internet search list, but one video I found helpful was by Michelle Gia who talked about her experience with deleting all of her socials and being able to maintain her lifestyle.
How I felt before
One of the many reasons I made the decision to delete TikTok was my mental health. Not because of the content on the app, but because of how much time I spent on it and how my time revolved around using TikTok, almost obsessively.
The longer amount of time I spent on TikTok, the worse my mental state deteriorated. I cared more about the number of people who saw the videos I posted, compared myself to others in videos I had liked and, overall, felt overwhelmed with the amount of stimulation my brain got from everything on my ‘for you page’. Admittedly, it wasn’t all from TikTok, but most of my time was spent on that app.
I debated deleting it for a while before committing to the leap.
Honestly, with how much I cared about the followers, views, creators and trends, it was hard to press the delete button on my phone. What defined my decision was the start of my last semester at Hofstra. I wanted to focus more, read more and explore new and old hobbies, yet still be able to get A’s in all my classes. To do that I evaluated my screen time to create a plan and organized my schedule to make it easier.
I could never do it on my own, I have to admit. My friends were on standby to make sure I actually deleted it. Pretty anticlimactic if I do say so myself.
Haven took the leap, the only thing left was after. The challenge. The struggle. The highlight of my personal understanding of how social media addiction works.
So, what happened after I deleted TikTok?
How I felt afterward
Here’s the reality-stricken aftermath that most people would assume. I spent my time on a different app which was true. But that was only for a week or so after the big leap. Quite frankly, I became quite bored of the Instagram reels, Youtube shorts or solitaire games I tried to occupy my mind with.
While I do still use my phone a lot, I see myself using it way less than I used to.
I got back into some of my past hobbies like reading. I have a reading list created now with about three books I want to finish by the end of the year. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to check them all off. I also got back into doodling a lot since I need to be doing something with my hands at all times. I’ve also mastered my cursive through doodling this past month. Writing for a hobby, personally, was very fun. Fanfiction and creative writing are new areas of writing I discovered a secret passion for, weirdly enough. The gym is my new best friend with this free time as well. I developed a gym schedule with strength goals and a new personal best for doing a mile on the treadmill.
It seems a bit boring what I’ve done without TikTok, yet these are the new things I am doing without it. I never really understood how much time I was wasting on the app until I could measure what I am doing now like writing for an hour every-other-day or going to the gym for an hour plus three times a week or even being able to read for an hour before I go to sleep every night to what I used to be doing, sitting in bed on my phone watching TikToks.
Now, this is only after a month of not having the app. My next challenge is to maintain this new change.
My challenge to everyone is to try and delete one social media app for a month and see the consequences, good or bad.