It’s been two weeks since I’ve deleted Facebook and Instagram from my phone.
I could have deleted the two addictive, dopamine inducing apps from my life completely by deleting my accounts but I didn’t — purely because I still want to keep in contact with certain people through the apps and I still use it for work.
No. Deleting my accounts would be too extreme, like a smoker deciding to go cold turkey. Besides, Facebook and Instagram have become spaces where a copy of all my important photos live.
On the first day after deleting Facebook, my fingers automatically went to where the empty space now is for it. As I sat at the dining table eating my breakfast, I stared aimlessly at the phone screen and wondered what else I could do.
There was a part of me that wondered if I had made a mistake. But the rational and logical parts that made me delete the app stopped my finger from going back to the play store and downloading it back. I deleted the app for a reason and that reason is to give me more time to do the things I want to do and should do.
Fast forward a few days.
It took a bit of adjustment but as the days ploddered on, I began to notice large pockets of time that used to be dedicated to Facebook and Instagram. In its place, I began to read more and do more.
In these past two weeks, I’ve read more Medium articles than what I usually would. I also ended up downloading Google Docs so that I can write more.
I went places. Did things. Took photographs and started my journey into microstock. I educated myself in Lightroom, read inspirational stories, developed game plans and schedules for my up and coming side hustles.
But the most significant and most important change that occurred after deleting Facebook and Instagram from my phone is that I spent more active time with my 6 months old daughter.
While I was physically present when I had Facebook and Instagram on my phone, my mind was connected to the digital algorithms that showed me the same things over and over again. I would sometimes get annoyed when my baby girl demanded my attention.
With the apps gone, I find myself mentally present with her as well. Not only that, my response to her needs are much faster and is not second priority to the things on my screen. There is no rush to get back on Facebook and Instagram to voyeur into the lives of others.
Do I still go on Facebook and Instagram?
Yes but very limited. The action is consciously made and with a self imposed time limit. This means that I have to prioritize what it is I want to achieve by going on Facebook and only look at the groups that matter. It helps now that I don’t scroll anymore.
Messenger is the only thing I use frequently on my phone now. It’s much more active and beneficial to my relationships than just liking a photo or a post.
You could say that I’m now two weeks sober from Facebook’s mindlessly addictive algorithms. Some nights I do wonder what my feed looks like now. What does the algorithm think about me and my interests? Will it still show me the endless scrolling of cats, cooking videos and buzzfeed articles? Or has it seem the light and decided to show me all the other surely intelligent things I clicked like on but never see because it’s not sponsored?
The same goes with Instagram. I haven’t posted in a while either since I’ve been busy learning how to use a DSLR.
Life with a disconnected camera is so much better and different. Sure, you do attract more attention in real life with a DSLR than you do online, but it’s no longer a numbers game. I’m taking pictures because I enjoy capturing those moments, not because I want to show off to strangers how artificially perfect my life is.
I dare you
Two weeks is all it takes to wean yourself off social media. Two weeks is all it takes to get off the addiction. Reclaim your time today because I’m challenging you to a two weeks challenge. Go on. Delete it off your phone. I dare you. I did and it’s made my life all the more better and it only takes two weeks before you can have it too.
Last modified: May 28, 2020