I Deleted Social Media From My Phone For A Week: Here's What Happened

Ever since Apple introduced its screen time monitoring feature, I realised that I spend quite a bit of time on social media. Also, I am aware that social media has negative effects such as causing depression and forming unrealistic expectations for its users. So, to combat the time I have been meaninglessly scrolling through social media apps on my phone, I deleted them. I deleted the apps Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. I still kept Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp on my phone since I use those apps to communicate and also those apps do not fall under the meaningless scrolling category.

The Saturday night of the week before I would try my experiment, I deleted the four apps. On Sunday morning, I did not have the opportunity to waste time scrolling through the apps first thing after waking up in the morning. Instead, I went straight into completing my tasks for the day which involved studying and cleaning my room. Throughout the week, I did not scroll through social media during mealtimes. Instead, as I was eating with my friends, I was more aware of when my friends would quickly take out their phones to look at social media. Also, during the five minutes before my lectures would start, I did not have the chance to look at social media. Instead, I was more alert and readier for each lecture to begin.

I did have a few situations where my experiment could have possibly gone wrong. I went to the Meet and Speak event for international students on Monday night which is hosted by ESN (Erasmus and International Exchange Society) and CityLife. I met people there who wanted to connect with me on social media. Luckily, they were the ones who took out their phone for me to type my name, so I didn’t need to have the app on my phone. The same thing happened when I met up with a friend for coffee and she wanted to connect with me on social media. However, going forward, I shouldn’t rely on other people to have the app and let this be a hindrance from connecting with people.

Although I did delete the apps on my phone, I still allowed myself to log in to the apps on my computer, particularly Facebook since that is where I primarily keep up with meetings for clubs and societies I am involved with on campus. However, I realised that sometimes I’d get carried away and spend a little more time on the app than I had intended to. Still, it limited my usage to when I would intentionally log on to the computer for each app. Also, when using social media on my computer, I would log out after I was done with each session so I wouldn’t be able to easily return to the app while in the middle of completing schoolwork on my computer.

The week after, I slowly added the apps one by one. However, since I had enjoyed not having Facebook and Instagram on my phone, I ended up deleting them again. I do try to check Facebook at least once a day on my computer for information regarding the societies and clubs I am involved in. Currently, I only have Snapchat on my phone out of the four deleted apps I mentioned. I really like not having the apps on my phone because, not only do I save phone battery, I am also not aimlessly wasting time and paying more attention to my surroundings.

I encourage you to delete social media apps from your phone, even if it’s just for one day or a few hours. I’m sure you’ll notice a difference.