How I Really Cut My Facebook Usage By 89.6% In 3 Days

Day 31/365: It took me 5 minutes to implement, but changed my time spent mindlessly browsing social media by almost 90%

Free image courtesy of Pexels.com

Facebook and Instagram are the two most commonly used Social Media apps on our phones. Yes, we also use dozens of others, but let’s be honest, Facebook and Instagram are the ones that really take most of our time.

“Oh, I don’t have time to meet you today, maybe next week?”, “I can’t walk the dog mom, you do it! Geez!”, “I can’t read a book, I can’t go to the movies, I have no time to cook/go out for a pizza” are all actually translatable as “I am using Social Media and wasting my time rather than doing something useful”.

Before

Instagram at the top of the Home page, Facebook on the second screen, hiding in plain sight…

To be honest, I never use Facebook as much as other people do. I don’t consider myself an addict, but I still spend too much time on it. According to my battery stats, Facebook is the second most used app on my phone, topped only by Instagram.

Yup, I have an Instagram problem. “Hi, my name is Gabriel and I have an Instagram addiction”, and now you all say “Hi Gabriel!”. If I used to spend about 45 to 60 minutes per day on Facebook, like actual time for scrolling through the News Feed and liking stuff, I was spending way over 3 or 4 hours per day on Instagram,

Instagram was my safety net. Whenever I’d feel like I was about to get bored or agitated or anxious, I popped up Instagram and the problem would vanish.

It was instant gratification for me, lowering my stress (which by the way translates to boredom in more than half the times, I read it in my Psychology course, not on Buzzfeed, so relax) and overall well-being to a minimum.

The Trick

Have you ever heard the expression “The eyes that don’t meet get forgotten”? Of course you haven’t, but in Romania, is quite the star amongst quotes. It really is true if you think about it. I simply applied this convention to the apps on my phone, but with a twist.

“The best trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn’t exist” — Kevin Spacey as Roger “Verbal” Kint in “The Usual Suspects”

Firstly, I took my two most used Social Media apps, Instagram and Facebook and just moved them from their original spots to a totally different and random place on the other screens.

With the icons out of the way, step two was to get those empty spots on my phone filled with other apps, so every time I’d get the urge to fill out some boring time frame, I’d instinctively go ahead and click on them.

Finally, I decided to go for reading apps to help me get my “Social Media desires” out of the way. I installed Amazon Kindle and a free app called Free Books and dragged them to the empty spots on my screens.

After

Kindle for when you feel agitated and Free Books for when you feel like exploding. Have at’em!

After just three days of using this trick, I now use Instagram and Facebook 89,6% less than before. Facebook is using just 3.1% of my battery power per day, while Instagram still holds strong at 7,8% of the total usage. I post once per day on Instagram and still use the Stories at least 3–5 times per day, so that explains that almost 8% usage.

Nowadays, the most used app is… Amazon Kindle, at a staggering 43% usage of my phone’s battery life, followed by Free Books, at 31.2%, featuring over 50.000 books with a huge Classics collection. I cannot recommend this app enough!

Current reads

Amazon Kindle: Mysterious Stranger by David Blaine;

Free Books app: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle.

Total progress: I read 50% of “Mysterious Stranger” in 3 days and 38.6% of “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” in the same time frame. That is just amazing for me, as I’m never actually reading anymore.

I now read during breakfast, while waiting in line at the cash register, at the coffee shop, on the toilet, but also when I wake up in the morning or just before going to bed.

Even if I do it briefly, it really adds up and, after just three days, I am as hooked on reading as I’ve ever been. I can feel that I’ve changed a bad habit for a good one, which is a rare occasion for all of us.

Free image courtesy of Pexels.com

I still use Messenger

I can’t cut my time on Facebook Messenger because that’s how I keep in touch with everybody. I still can’t cut my time here on Medium, because I love reading and I find it useful to spend one hour per day on the platform, reading, commenting and of course, Clapping.

But besides that, I’m fine with this change and I’m going to keep it like this for the rest of the year. My mind just feels calmer and eager to read just a little bit more…

Thank you for your time!

My name is Gabriel Iosa, I’m a 25 years old travel enthusiast, food lover, Psychology student, Full-time Freelancer, writer and Instagram fanatic. You can follow me @gabrieliosa, and if you liked this post, give it exactly 47 claps!

I’m on a mission to write 365 articles in 2018. This is definitely the biggest writing challenge of my life so far. If you’d like to be part of the journey, please follow me here on Medium.com for the daily posts!

365 Days Writing Challenge: -1, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

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