I just need to share the relief I felt when I deleted Twitter and Instagram apps on my phone. The Facebook app has long been deleted and the only social app I have on my phone is Whatsapp and Messenger for communication purposes.
And no, I did not delete the accounts per se. To delete all the beautiful pictures I have posted on Instagram would be a betrayal to my love of photography. I don’t mind Twitter much — I would delete that account — but I feel like it might come in handy somehow. However, deleting the apps is a step towards productivity.
Consider this as an indefinite hiatus. I am determined to distinguish between my priorities and my distractions, and thus having less distraction and more work done. This was (and still is) a gradual process. I did not just decide to delete those apps out of the blue.
Last year, I felt that Twitter was such an unnecessary distraction. Scrolling became a past time. But then at one point, I felt restless and it just hit me that it’s actually pointless. So I deleted that and survived for about 6 months. I downloaded it again during the summer just because I had more free time. I found that I was less reliant on it.
I thought I could not stop posting photos on Instagram. I love taking pictures using my DSLR, showing them to people and receiving appreciation through ‘likes’. It felt good knowing that people did see what I had captured. And for me, there’s really no harm in sharing.
But I realised that I got addicted, not just posting photos but scrolling through the timeline until I reach the last photo I had seen, even if it was ‘9 hours ago’, and looking at other people’s seemingly amazing lives depicted in a static, digital photograph. I also felt the need to ‘like’ their photos in return for their kindness in ‘liking’ mine.
And then the university term starts and I got busy. I only posted photos about once a week, but I still had that addiction of scrolling through the timeline when I could be reading a novel or just catch an early sleep. I convinced myself that it was a way for me to take a short break from work. But it prolonged to 15 or even 30 minutes, and that is definitely not a short break.
Like in the case of Twitter, I felt restless. I knew I had a lot of work to do and a lot of materials to read, but yet I found myself scrolling through the timeline. It’s one thing to make it an excuse for a short break, but it’s another for it to be a form of procrastination. And it was obviously the latter for me.
So now with the apps gone, so does the obligation to ‘like’ photos or ‘retweet’ posts, and I restrain myself from logging on to Facebook on my laptop more than twice a day. Thus, I have more time to do the things I really need and want to do such as uni work, reading the book I started two weeks ago and writing (or in this case blogging). It’s been a tough journey trying to achieve this level of control and motivation but, praise be to God, I am on the road to maximum productivity.