Pretentious and banal was how I felt whenever I heard people removing Facebook & other social apps from their phones.
But in the last few weeks, I have seen my view gradually shifting on this subject. No specific reason or a single incident led to this shift. I was noticing that I was defaulting to Facebook or WhatsApp or Instagram many times during the day, after finishing the job on hand I was visiting Facebook and WhatsApp as a habit. It became obvious that I was wasting my time (the most precious asset for humans) – it was a time pass.
I don’t feel Facebook and other social media are inherently bad. They have their uses, have connected diverse people, made the world a smaller place, given access to an infinite amount of human knowledge, brought to light bad and corrupt practices and more. Just like everything else in society, social media too have its negatives.
To me, it felt they have been consciously engineered to make them addictive, capture our time beyond what we should be spending there. Staying away from Social Media is not wise – as an individual, we need to be cognizant of the pros and cons of social media and use them effectively – that’s exactly what I plan to do.
- I find WhatsApp to be super useful to communicate with friends and family, even the groups I find them useful to stay connected. To reduce the number of times I pick up my phone, from yesterday, I have moved all the non-family groups’ membership to another WhatsApp number – I plan to check this number only when I am at home. My regular mobile phone has only direct contacts and family groups. This should help me a lot, as I practise Inbox Zero for all emails and messaging platforms.
- I am finding Reddit to be interesting and useful – I have subscribed to the forums and topics that I am interested in – scanning the posts here takes hardly a few minutes every day.
- I have deleted Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, Twitter from my mobile. I plan to access them only a few times a day from my PC (Web Browser). I got the apps installed on my iPad so that they are available when I need them when I am travelling.
This is only a beginning. I plan to divert my attention to learning new things.