I keep seeing a lot of posts from people complaining about how social media is destroying their life and attention.
Some of them have started disabling notifications, others quit cold turkey and delete their accounts, while others more just uninstall their apps.
In the past, I also did it. I disabled notifications or uninstalled apps. Actually, in the past year I never allowed any app to send notifications, just because "it said so".
But I was on and off with it. I kept uninstalling, re-installing, disabling, re-enabling. My biggest concern was that I would lose my (almost inexistent) social media score/following/notoriety. I bet many of us feel that, since one of the biggest kicks we get out of social media is the feeling of validation. The feeling that what we're doing is right, and we're appreciated for it.
But today, I made the decision to once again uninstall LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and later Medium and Quora, from my phone. I did not delete my accounts. I still plan on using those services, mostly Twitter, LinkedIn and Quora, but I want to do so intently.
All of these services have amazing web apps!
Yes, there are missing features, such as the missing DM feature in Instagram, which looks like it's being addressed, since IG is testing that feature for web users. Yes, LinkedIn comment replies suck. But I really believe that we can only push the web forward if we use the web and find its flaws.
By the way, I think the girl who found out Instagram was testing DMs on the web, Jane Manchun Wong is amazing. It looks like finding hidden app features is her specialty.
So, for the social media sites, aside from the discussions I like to take part in, on Twitter, and LinkedIn, I engage in conversation sporadically on Facebook and Instagram. This means that I definitely don't need apps on my phone that pester me all day long for every damn reason possible, all while taking up space on the device for no reason.
I like myself a good, clean iOS launch screen, or springboard or whatever it's called. Bottom line is that I don't like a lot of icons on my screen. So there's that.
About Quora and Medium, I mostly use them to get information. Earlier this year, I set a rule for myself, to only consume information voluntarily, intently. It's something I picked up a couple of years ago, while I was reading about the Toyota Production System to better understand Kanban. It was called Just-In-Time manufacturing (JIT). I've modelled it for my learning and I've turned my catch-all bucket of a brain, into a device that only gets information about frameworks, languages, libraries, when it must use them or when it predicts that it will inevitably use them.
This means that I don't need two apps on my phone, only to look up information from time to time.
Especially since they provide pretty decent web apps to start with.
In closing, I'd like to say that I will revisit the topic a month from now, and will write another article about the "results" of this experiment.
If you feel the same, it would mean the world to me if you could spread the word about this article.
Keep an open mind.