I took Facebook and Twitter off of my iPhone.
I also rearranged the icons and folders and removed stuff I haven’t used in a while. But Twitter and Facebook? Removing them was the best move I’ve made in a long time.
Have you ever closed FB and then reopened it without thinking? Yeah, that’s a problem. I knew I would check them less, but one thing I’ve realized is how much anxiety checking those apps was causing.
There’s probably a well-documented behavior with a fancy name for it, but for some reason in the back of my mind my stress level would jump just a little every time I opened the app. Not a lot. Just a little blip. But that blip happened hundreds of times a day. Why? I’m not entirely sure.
I have a few theories.
One, social media isn’t fun for the most part and my subconscious raises the alert every time visit.
Two, with every new social media option there’s a new DM inbox to deal with. Sometimes I miss messages because they are so scattered around different sites. I’ve had a vague sense that bad news or an angry customer or commenter is going to pop up at any moment. Like jump scare in a movie. Even if there isn’t one you wear yourself out from expectation.
Three, just the fact that I’m addicted to opening these stupid apps is stressful in and of itself.
Anyway, it’s been less than a week and I haven’t missed out on anything. My mind feels more settled. My attention span isn’t as short. I still check in on my desktop, but that’s not as addictive as the phone. In fact, it’s more of a chore.
I’d recommend taking any app off your phone that’s causing you problems. Try it for a month even if you feel like you’re fine. See for yourself how much that little box is shaping you.1