I’ve heard it. You’ve heard it. Maybe you’ve even said it.
“I’m deleting Instagram.”
For a moment, it’s empowering. It’s like ScreenTime, but instead of Apple controlling you, you’re controlling you. Except, you’re not. This isn’t control. You’re not better for this.
Almost every single person I know who has deleted an application has returned to the same thing a few months later. We inevitably crawl back to the things we vow we won’t use anymore, proclaiming them as a waste of time.
What never falls into the decision-tree is the concept of management.
- What is it about the application you dislike?
- What are you gaining from deleting it?
- What is changing between you deleting it from you simply never clicking on it?
Applications doused in the social media landscape are vanity pixels validating the existence of our presence through heart emojis.
This is true no matter how anybody looks at it. However, the answer to a thing that turns ugly is not to forgo self-discipline. Understanding the value in life or reclaiming your very own value doesn’t need to stem from your ability to get an app off your home screen.
If you are deleting an app, make sure it’s because you stopped caring for it and not because you feel like it’s destroying your life. If it’s the latter, your problem doesn’t exist in the app, but, rather, in you. Behind internet pixels and grids are people — people with lives where normal things happen outside of the pictures in Mexico, the Bahamas, or parties on rooftops.
Reality was never supposed to be a highlight reel on a screen. It became that way because people want to conform to something. Since everybody else is doing it, people rather converge into one than diverge off to their own.
I have most of the social media applications. In fact, I remember Snapchat when I was at Berkeley. Then, it was called Pictaboo. It was in closed beta. I remember looking at the app, and I didn’t understand it then. Six years later, I still don’t understand it. Outside of digital advertising real estate, I don’t think anybody understands it.
For that reason, I don’t use it. But it’s not because I despise it. I’m actually utterly confused as to its purpose. I also think that most of its functionality is found right in text messaging or in some other social media venue.
When you let the silly world of internet apps rule your decisions and your emotional capacitance, you’re reacting. In life, you always want to make the decision to understand the silliness first. Separate it from what’s meaningful, and then proact. Otherwise, you’re never learning.