Friday 20 December 2019

What happened when I deleted Facebook from my phone

For a while now I've been concerned about how much time I spend scrolling on my phone. It's something that was on my mind again recently after completing Scroll Free September. Although I could never be without my phone as I have many useful apps that I use regularly, I definitely waste a lot of my time in front of a screen. In particular it's Facebook, as I'm in lots of groups and am constantly hunting for something new to read.

So I decided to try an experiment and delete the Facebook app from my phone. For good measure I removed Twitter too, and when I discovered that I was turning to the BBC news app instead, that went as well. I wouldn't remove myself from Facebook entirely because I enjoy using it to keep up with family and friends and I do pick up useful information. But it's limited to when I'm on my desktop PC.

Here's what happened:

* I got out of bed quicker in the mornings without reaching for my phone and being pulled into all the new information on my screen.

* I found more productive ways to fill odd minutes of spare time, like having a quick tidy up or preparing something to help me later on, like getting things out ready to make dinner.

* I started going up to bed early to read, and the amount of reading that I've been doing has increased massively. I've also left a book in the car for when I'm waiting outside school.

* I've started new hobbies, like painting and watercolours, and picked up some of my neglected craft projects.

* I discovered that when I wasn't logging in to Facebook regularly the urge to check it faded immensely as I didn't know anything about what I might be missing.

* I also didn't feel the need to check Facebook when I was at my PC. Even though I'd not set any restrictions on myself I found it easy to avoid.

* I didn't miss out on anything important anyway.

* When I did log in, the algorithm began to show me more updates from family and friends, the things that I actually wanted to see.

* I started to see my phone more as a helpful tool rather than a guilty time suck.

* I got stuck in traffic. Well, it can't all be good. Because I hadn't checked in with our local village group over my lunch I didn't find out about a nearby road closure which added half an hour to my journey. Luckily I had allowed extra time!

Getting rid of Facebook on the phone
Photo credit Thought Catalog via Unsplash

The experiment has been a massive success for me. I really feel like I've gained so much extra time in my day and I've been so much more productive. I've not missed it at all, and it's made me think about my other apps and whether I really need them too. I definitely won't be putting it back on!

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