When spring break was over on April 5, I was immediately hit with a wave of assignments, extracurricular activities and tests. I had so much to do but had so little time. In a bid to increase my productivity levels, I considered deleting all my social media apps. However, I couldn’t do that as I had to run the social media accounts for SGA and monitor the social media accounts for Her Campus at UMKC. I decided to then delete TikTok, as it was the only app that I didn’t necessarily need. Now, it did take a week of me convincing myself this was necessary before actually deleting it. I loved TikTok as it had endless content ranging from humor to even education. However, that also meant that the endless content was a distraction at times as I would be on my phone for quite a while. With this knowledge, I half-heartedly deleted TikTok from my phone.
Frankly speaking, the first few days were slightly hard as I would find myself clicking the space where the TikTok app used to be. However, my sadness after realizing the app was gone only lasted for a minute or two. A week after deleting the app, I received my screen time data analytics and was shocked to find out that my screen time went down by 15% just because I deleted TikTok! It was a huge realization as it truly led me to comprehend that spending time on TikTok was where my potential pockets of productivity were depleting. As for the content, I don’t reminisce about past TikToks or think about how I’m missing out on the ‘latest trend’. After all, trends on TikTok last for about a week or so and are pretty much irrelevant a month later.
When I got my second weekly screen time data that showed my screen time went down again, I knew deleting TikTok off my phone to increase my productivity and decrease my distractions was effective. I couldn’t believe that one app played such a huge portion in my day-to-day activities. Looking back, I did notice that I would spend lesser time on my breaks between studying sessions and wouldn’t even touch my phone throughout the day at times since there was nothing new to look at.
The decrease in screen times definitely inspired me to delete my other social media apps. However, I personally know that it would be more of a significant life change as I would then have no content to stimulate the creative side of my brain. I love using Instagram to connect with my friends back in Singapore and use Twitter to learn more about what is happening around the world from different perspectives. Knowing that my screen time for these two apps did not increase despite the removal of one social media app has led me to believe that the problem might not be all social media apps, but just TikTok.
As of now, TikTok is still deleted from my phone but the other social media apps are still present. At the end of the day, it is important to ensure that you have outlets where you are able to connect with others and learn new things to improve your mental health. This is why I’ve not deleted my other social media apps yet. If you are in a similar situation and would like to decrease your time spent on the phone to increase productivity, I would definitely recommend at least deleting the one you use the most first before deleting the others. Because chances are, you might not even need to delete the others.