A few months ago, I had this (first world) problem where I would consistently run out of space on my phone. There are sentimental pictures I refuse to delete, yet I found myself having to clear out old photos to take new ones. For an Instagram addict like me (@KMRivard, holla!) this was a problem.
So, being the Type-A, obsessive, “solution-focused” person I am, I checked out my space and usage on my phone. Facebook was taking up more than 1/4 of my meager 8 gigs of space on my aging iPhone 4. (It was a gift and I lose unlimited data through Verizon if/when I upgrade. Don’t bash.)
So, after a few days of hard consideration, I deleted the Facebook app.
And here are the things I learned about myself, my phone and the world since I deleted the Facebook app from my phone.
- The browser isn’t so bad. So without the app, the only option is to open the browser and view Facebook.com. Sure, I have to refresh now and then, but having my messages and the rest of Facebook visible in one place is pretty dang cool. Plus, when I click links in Facebook, it doesn’t require my phone to open another app — it just creates a new tab, which loads faster.
- I have to be intentional. One downside to using the browser is that it uses the battery faster. It also runs a bit slower in general (aside from links opening faster) and tends to be more limited by the strength of signal. Knowing I could easily eat up battery aimlessly sitting on Facebook, I’ve become more intentional about my use. Instead of brainless “creeping” I’m actually logging on with goals in mind. Instead of browsing through all of Target, I’m making the difficult decision to run in and out fast and ONLY buy what I need. (That’s a bad metaphor because I’ve never actually been able to just “run in and out” of Target.)
- My life has a little less noise now. I don’t just mean sound-noise. I mean I never realized how many times a day my phone would buzz at me with some random Facebook notification or message. I know I could have turned these off, but I never did. I felt like it was pointless to use Facebook if I wasn’t constantly connected to it. Now I realize that Facebook is just as good, maybe even better, with moderation.
- Instagram still works. Like I said, I love me some Instagram. One concern I had was that Instagram wouldn’t link up to Facebook properly without the app. Those fears were misplaced.
- I still prefer computers. Smartphones are awesome and I’d very likely be operating at less than full capacity without one. As a digital advertising professional, a lot of my career revolves around whether or not my clients are mobile-friendly. Yet in all of this I’ve found for in-depth browsing and reading, I still prefer a desktop computer over a smartphone (or even a tablet).
- I’m less of a jerk. When Facebook takes more work, time and battery to open, I’m less likely to ditch the people I’m with in real-life for the sake of reading what people are doing online – I especially enjoy this because we all know the lives people show on Facebook are typically less-than-realistic interpretations of their real happiness. I spend more time being happy with people than bragging online about just how “happy” I am.
It hasn’t been a major life change. It’s not like this is some massive adjustment that will change the way I view the world. But it’s one small tweak I made (for frivolous reasons) that have had unintended positive results. So, if you’ve ever found yourself asking, “Should I delete the Facebook app?” I can’t tell you yes or no, but I’d at least encourage you to consider it.
But, let’s be real: I’m never getting rid of Instagram. Especially not now that my dogs have their own account. #Dogstagram for life!