You’d think that 15-60 second videos wouldn’t take a lot of your time, but with TikTok’s algorithm I found myself getting easily caught up.
It’s not a long time, but something’s better than nothing
By Mo Hussain, Contributor
Last Sunday, I decided to re-think my entire approach to social media. I noticed that I was getting too connected in all these different apps, but was ironically feeling more disconnected from where I was. I knew I had to change something related to my social media use. I didn’t decide to go cold turkey, as a matter of fact, I decided to keep Snapchat and Twitter. But I did decide that I would delete Instagram and TikTok for three days, and see how it went.
WHY I DID IT
The reason why I deleted Instagram and Tiktok off my phone was that I didn’t see them adding any sort of value to my life. I found it to be a waste of time. I don’t follow a crazy amount of people on Instagram to begin with, which meant that I would usually find myself spending a lot of time on its endless explore page algorithm, scrolling through dozens of useless photos, videos, and reels. Another thing was that most people whom I direct messaged can already contact me through call, text, e-mail, Snapchat, etc.
Tiktok was an even bigger waste of time. Not only do I not use the app to communicate with anyone, but its explore page was just too much to handle. You’d think that 15-60 second videos wouldn’t take a lot of your time, but with TikTok’s algorithm, I found myself getting easily caught up.
I decided to keep Snapchat because I found that to be a place where I could still communicate with my friends, but not get caught up in its algorithm. I also decided to keep Twitter just because I still needed some kind of connection to the world, especially since I write every week. However, controlling binges on that algorithm is definitely a tall task, so if you’re going to keep it beware of that. My social media detox strategy wasn’t perfect, but I wanted to cut off something rather than nothing and see where my life would go in three days.
THE RESULTS (SO FAR)
It’s only been three days but I can say that I’m feeling a little bit better. The reason I say a little bit is because keeping those other apps can still take away time as you are using your phone a little more than you want. However, something is better than nothing and I found that my “social media routine” took a lot less time. This is where I’d go through each and every app every time I’d pick up my phone.
Eliminating just two apps helped free up a little more time because now I had fewer apps to check. I also found that those apps tended to show manufactured versions of people a lot more than the other apps did. I’m not saying people on Snapchat or Twitter don’t put on a facade, but I found it to be more apparent on Instagram and Tiktok.
So far, I’ve found that limiting my social media exposure to two apps is less overwhelming because of that reason. I’m not saying I’ve also turned into some productivity maniac either, but when you have fewer reasons to be on your phone, you’re more likely to experience reality.
I plan on going at least 30 more days without those two apps and then seeing how I feel from there. If I feel like I missed out on a lot, then I might try to set new guidelines which would allow me to check them but control my usage. If not, you might hear from me next month about how the 30 days went. At the end of the day, do what you think is best if you try this out