The time needed to study and get the most out of your academic schedule can seem daunting. It feels as if you’re stuck in a bubble of always needing to get seventy things done with a negative amount of time to complete everything. In my case, I took a hard look at what kept sucking my focus away from academics and trapped me in a spiral of screen time. Although it seems like you may just look at a couple of things on social media, and put your phone back to the side for the next study hour, you would be surprised how much time you’re actually spending on your phone apps. The time that could be replaced with valuable sleep. Through my little time experiment, here are the five time-warping apps you should delete from your phone for a week, to see how much time you can gain without being sucked down the digital rabbit hole we all go through.
Instagram is one of my favorite apps for keeping up with friends, having a creative platform to display photography and stay up to date on pop culture. What I did not realize was that the app was sucking out exorbitant amounts of time from my day. Time that could be used to catch up on my readings, or actually get a recommended 8 hours of sleep at night.
What makes Instagram so addicting, like most social media apps, is the speed scrolling and high energy the app presents. You may be on it an hour, but feel like you only were flipping through your feed for 10 minutes since the stories and app format is so fast-paced. Not to mention the amount of time spent curating a post with the perfect photo, ample filters to give you that desired golden hour glow, and the quirky and original caption that took forever to mule over to add to your overall user experience. As much as I adore the content Instagram has to offer, deleting this app from your life for a week, will show you how much more you could be present and get things done without being pulled into the app every hour.
There is absolutely nothing I love more than one-minute videos that bring me to tears laughing. The problem being when you watch 50 one minute videos, the time adds up if you know what I mean. That’s the issue I constantly face with Tik Tok. Your either spending way too much time finding quality content, or watching the hilariously entertaining videos you had saved. All that scrolling and watching adds up to you suddenly looking at your clock and realizing you have to wake up for school in just a few hours.
So save yourself the stress and give yourself a week break from this app, to see if your life really feels much different without it. If you don’t miss it, don’t go back, cause the time most people including myself on this app, is enough to have gotten all your work done, plus make a lovely dinner for yourself. What makes this app feel like you’ve entered a time warp where hours and minutes no longer exist, is the fast-paced nature of the videos and broad range of content options. There is virtually a Tik Tok video for anything from life hacks to new dance moves, which equals hours and hours of scrolling. Delete the app and set some future boundaries for your screen time, that way when you go back to the world of Tik Tok, you’ll know how to get a hold of the number of videos you can realistically watch before bed.
If you’re looking to spend more time in the real world and fend off the digital one, Tinder should be one of your first apps to go. Whether you’re using the app to find your prince charming, or just swiping for the entertainment value, it’s sucking up precious time from your actual life and invaluable sleep minutes. The problem with this app is that swiping is so addicting, you just want to see what’s out there and what photo might come up next. It’s like a mysterious game of guess who that goes on for hours, weeks, and sometimes years.
Save yourself the time and energy and delete that kindling fire from your phone for a week. You’d be amazed how much time you spend just swiping through photos of people you don’t even know, and probably don’t care about. If you are on the app to find mister right, check out a more involved app like bumble or hinge. I know it seems counterintuitive to download an app with more content per person to spend less time on your phone, however, the format of actually reading through people’s bios, or having to make a more speedy decision whether or not you want to talk to someone, will force you to only use the app when you really want to.
There is a place for YouTube in your life, but not on your phone. The issue I found with having this delightful video platform in my back pocket, is that it is way too easy to watch a twenty-minute inspirational video on doing your work, rather than taking those twenty minutes to actually do your work.
YouTube is a wonderful digital world for discovering things you never thought could entertain you. This is fantastic when you have the time, but chances are if you’re a student or young professional, you don’t. And while it can be easier to click off of a video on your computer, having YouTube on your phone, just one app away, twenty-four-seven, is at least in my case a recipe for disaster. I one time watched a total of five ted talks in the library on my suggestive videos via the YouTube app, just to realize I was late for class and got zero studying done. If you’re not a video connoisseur, maybe having the app so accessible won’t affect you. But if it does, it’s time to delete that little red square until finals are over.
Twitter is a fantastic platform for learning about current affairs, meme culture, and staying up to date on your friends latest pun. All are great reasons to log onto your Twitter account, but time-consuming to say the least. I found that although Twitter is a necessity in my life, logging onto the platform via my computer, instead of having it on my phone saved me a ton of time.
The difference being, anytime I would need something on my phone, which is all the time, I would see the app, and bam, log on to check updates for twenty minutes then forget what I needed to find on my phone, to begin with. Whereas, if you don’t constantly see the logo threatening to drag you into hours of retweeting, you only really log in online if you want to check in with the world and see what’s up. It also allows you to keep up with tweets instead of being inundated with them to the point of not even remembering which funny tweets you loved. So delete that app, and if you need it, check-in on the world of tweeting online.
The week starts now…
If your screen time is taking away from your plans, studies, and sleep. It’s time to take a week to delete, recharge, and re-discover what apps you actually miss and need. That way you can avoid getting sucked into the time vortex that is social media. Or at least if you do get sucked in, you can give yourself more boundaries through time restriction, and narrow your phone down to the apps you want and need. Best of luck and remember to delete!