It’s been roughly two and a half weeks since deleting Instagram and Twitter from my phone, so I thought I would post an update on what it’s been like.
To begin with, it felt very strange reaching for my phone only to find there was nothing for me to scroll through. I often found myself opening my social media folder to find it barren on those annoying red notifications, which I have to say, was exceptionally refreshing. I didn’t feel as though I had to instantly respond to messages, comments or statuses.
However, I did find that my Snapchat became an increasingly difficult distraction. With nothing else to scroll through I was left with the countless stories and articles on the Snapchat app. It got to the point where I decided to disable the notifications, and as soon as I did I once again felt immensely relieved. It does mean that I’m a bit late to conversations or messages, but this is more than made up for in other areas.
This brings me on to the most rewarding thing from deleting these apps: my productivity. Since deleting the apps I have achieved more during the day and engaged with my Uni work more effectively. It has resulted in me feeling less stressed and overwhelmed by the quantity of work I have to complete, even allowing me to participate more in extra-curricular activities.
Another unexpected effect of this experiment emerged in the shape of my sleeping pattern. Without a phone constantly pinging with notifications I found myself able to switch off more effectively in the evenings. I have been going to bed earlier and finally getting the recommended amount of sleep and I feel fantastic for it. I didn’t realise quite how much of my night and morning routine was consumed by scrolling through social media (blog post on my new routine coming soon!).
I haven’t even found myself frequently logging onto social media via my laptop. In total, I have logged onto Twitter twice and Instagram once. Whilst this might sound like a lot for only 2 and a half weeks, it’s a staggeringly small amount when compared to the multiple visits I used to pay to the apps on a daily basis.
The only downside to not having this easy access is being unable to access the latest news in pop culture. As an individual who is interested in current affairs, celebrity and entertainment news, and wider cultural debates, I have found myself feeling cut off from my previous main point of access: Twitter. I’m a student reliant on Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime. I don’t have a TV licence which means I cannot simply put on BBC News in the morning. Instead I have to actively aim to put on the radio or use the news app on my phone, which can often lead to me not knowing the latest scoop.
In conclusion, whilst I do feel somewhat disconnected from pop culture, the benefits massively outweigh the cons. I can’t see myself redownloading these apps anytime soon, and if I do, it definitely will not be until after exam season.