Stepping Away from Social Media

I've always been interested in old technology, be that old iPhones or cartoonishly goofy beige PCs. I've a humble collection of iPhones including 2 iPhone 4s', 3 iPhone 5s' (only one actually works) and an iPhone SE 2020, which was my main phone for just over 3 years. Slap a few random Androids and Windows Mobiles on top of these and I have a pretty neat collection. I just have one issue: I feel constricted by the need to have access to Instagram, TikTok, WhatsApp, Discord and YouTube 24/7, just incase there's a life changing event which I need to be online for. For obvious reasons, not all old phones can handle these modern apps. Even though I can download an older version, support for those is rapidly decreasing. If I can lower my dependency on social media, I can use my neat phones!

This, of course, is a very silly reason to ditch social media. In truth, I know the negative effects of social media: self-image, short attention span, wasting countless hours mindlessly scrolling, and a lack of an ability to think for oneself. You may not want to believe it, but your thoughts aren't your own. Algorithms decide what you see what which echo chamber you're going in. There's a reason why there's been an apparent rise in extremism, and it's because while we have access to so many different opinions, the algorithms want to show us what we wa-- no, what they want us to see. Don't get me wrong, this has always been a problem, but it's worse now.

I've been putting this off for a while, but I think it's time to take a step back. Something which held me back was my identity... or lack there of. Put simply, the Internet was my personality. I was the lain-pilled cyber goddess, omnipresent in the wired and seeing all. This is stupid. This is not healthy. My disturbing lack of a sense of identity was caused by the Internet, and I tried fixing it... with the Internet. Something is clearly wrong here, and it needs to be changed.

For the past few days, I've been using my working 5s, and it's been a laggy experience to say the least. It can run iOS 12, meaning I can get all the apps I want and even if they're older versions, they still work. I've noticed something though: when apps run poorly, I use them less. I literally uninstalled TikTok because it was annoying me so much, and I haven't even thought about getting it again since. That's right folks, my gen-z 7 second attention span was the reason I got rid of TikTok. This got me thinking - how far can I go with this?

Pretty far apparently, as I deleted all of my TikToks and Instagram posts and uninstalled that too. I'm serious about this. I'm gonna use my silly little 2013 phone and not have a crippling social media addiction. Naturally I found other things on my phone to distract me from life, namely Reddit, Pinterest and Tumblr. I recognised that I just replaced one addiction with another one, so I got rid of Reddit and Tumblr, but not Pinterest, I'll can that off when it becomes a problem (so probably tomorrow). My thought process is that I'll not touch TikTok or Instagram as those are just mind cancers, but I'll let myself use Reddit and Tumblr only on desktop, and I'll keep and eye on how long I spent on those sites.