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I Deleted All My Extraneous Social Media, and I’m so Much Happier

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Riverside chapter.

This September, I picked up Julio Vincent Gambuto’s book Please Unsubscribe, Thanks!, the second in a series of books I’ve found in the hope of reexamining my own relationship to the internet and how I use it. What resulted was me having a bit of a revelation about just how much time I spend online, and what I can do to stop stressing out about things that ultimately don’t matter.

Although Gambuto suggests going to some extremes, such as buying a Jitterbug phone and intensely analyze every aspect of your inner circle to remove extraneous relationships that don’t bring you joy or value (within reason of course– he does recommend keeping people’s feelings in mind), what resonated most with me was simply thinking about how much bulls***– to use Gambuto’s term– that I deal with online on a daily basis. So, I slashed useless business emails out of my inbox, unsubscribing from all but things I like seeing in my inbox daily. I deleted my extra Instagram account that I tried to make into a Bookstagram, and failed at after three months. I deleted my Reddit account and set up the app Pause to block sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Reddit so that I don’t feel tempted to randomly scroll when I could be doing something else. I even set an hour timer on my Instagram, both the app and on my phone. 

Most of our generation is used to spending a lot of time on our phones and on social media. We all know that social media is designed to keep us engaged and entertained, but many don’t always realize just how much time is spent doom-scrolling or waiting to see who likes our stories and posts. Despite phones having screen time alerts, I felt I was on autopilot, simply checking these apps because it seemed like I was supposed to. If I didn’t, I thought I would be unaware of an important event happening in the world, or my friends shared something that I would find funny. However, taking a step back and evaluating how I spend my time online has opened up my time in ways I didn’t even realize.

By lessening the spam in my life and the constant stream of notifications from social media, I feel comfortable shutting down my laptop at night and using my phone only for the handful of apps that I left on it. My fiancé ended up doing the same, and having that support while working through the weird space of not spending so much time online has been wonderful. 

If you’ve been considering trying to reduce the digital clutter of your life as well, I highly recommend taking the scary plunge and just deleting the things you don’t need. It’s liberating to spend time in the evening with a book I’ve wanted to read rather than getting anxious about what some random people online think about a given topic. Controlling the time you spend online and on social media is especially liberating, and I recommend that everyone give it a try for more peace of mind.

Evelyn Homan

UC Riverside '24

Hiya! I'm Evelyn, and I'm a fourth-year English & Creative Writing double major, as well as an Honors student researching independent studying in the 21st century. I love literature, midwest emo and goth rock, alternative fashion, and talking. A lot.