Why I Took Instagram and Facebook Off My Phone February 22 2019

I used Instagram. Every day.  I used it as a tool to generate brand awareness and gain a stronger following. I posted daily about products and included lifestyle tidbits to engage viewers.  This is the reason I would get on Instagram once a day.  But, I found myself scrolling through Instagram senselessly multiple times a day. Not looking for anything, not searching to find an answer, definitely not enriching my life in any way.  Just scrolling, checking my "likes".  I became of aware of this, really aware of this, after listening to an interview with Cal Newport, author of “Digital Minimalism.”  During the course of this interview he discusses how both Instagram and Facebook were engineered to be addictive.  Although I knew this in a common sense sort of way, hearing that from what I considered to be a reliable source woke me up to the reality that I was participating in this addiction.  And after reading an article from BBC I was even more convinced.  Former Mozilla and Jawbone employee says, "Behind every screen on your phone, there are generally like literally a thousand engineers that have worked on this thing to try to make it maximally addicting.”  Maximally addicting. Why? So that they can profit off our attention.  In an interview with founding Facebook president Sean Parker he was quoted saying that the company set out to consume as much user time as possible.  He said it was "exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology".  He left the social medial realm to work in health technology.  I can’t blame him.

I deleted Instagram and Facebook off my phone the day I heard that interview.  I felt liberated.  I also noticed that I would habitually pick my phone up to scroll.  I still do and it is two weeks later. 

This being said, I recognize that social media is a tool. Not just for reaching people who enjoy my work but also for me to find networks of runners, riders as well as events.  In order to still communicate with those who genuinely enjoy what I do I have found a tool that allows me to utilize this platform without it being on my phone.  For any other business owners or bloggers that feel that Instagram is robbing you of valuable time I highly recommend using a platform to plan your posts.  I am currently using Planoly and love it.  It allows you to plan your posts ahead of time as well as engage with your followers.  Not to mention that the basic plan is FREE, which is great if you are wanting to explore the option.  I feel like this tool is giving me some of my life back.  Not to mention allowing me to be more thoughtful and efficient with my time. And full disclosure, I do still engage on Facebook on my laptop about two times a week to keep up with running and riding events, but keep scrolling to a minimum. :)

I am not judging anyone who uses Instagram or Facebook, likes it, or spends time on it.  I am only responsible for myself, my own awareness and how I want to spend my time.  I have been learning to enrich my life over the past few years and continue to do so in other ways than spending time on social media.  My focus is engaging in more conversations, reading more books, attending more events, playing more sports, spending more time with friends and family and taking opportunities to build more new relationships.  This is why I plan to keep social media off my phone.

What are your thoughts?  How much time do you spend on social media?