I Deleted TikTok. Here is How I found It.
Sunday 19 September
On my latest post, I mentioned how TikTok is the app that robs me most of my screen time. It is the genuine reason I have such an absurd screen time – last week, I spent exactly 12h9m on the app versus 16h32m the week before. My all-time record is 18h for the week – I know, its insane! Though I am sure I am not alone in this as many young (and even not so young) people report how addicting they find it and how glued they are to their For You Pages. It is a problem that I want to solve and what better way to solve it than to go completely cold turkey and delete the app?
I have tried to do this previously but it soon ended up with me re-installing the app shortly after, *cringes with embarrassment*. But this time, I am serious! I am going to delete it from Monday to Friday, detailing how each day went below. Wish me luck! Now, I am off to scroll through my feed one last night (and not getting a wink of sleep) before saying goodbye to the app for five days.
Monday 20 September
It is currently just gone 20:00 as I am writing this and I can strongly say that I am going through a difficult process of TikTok withdrawal symptoms. It has been an endless amount of times that my thumb has gone to where the app usually is on my home screen for it not to be there. I have found myself doing this at, quite frankly, every given opportunity – any spare moment I may have, my automatic response is to reach for the app. Even without thinking about it, I subconsciously look for TikTok on my mobile. This is making me realise how truly addicted I am.
I would like to say that, instead, I spent the time productively but I would not be telling the truth. In those mentioned spare moments, I jumped at the opportunity to binge-watch a brand-new season of a Netflix show. I guess that partly took away the need for my daily dosage of 15 second videos.
Tuesday 21 September
I am back and it is the evening. I had quite a busy day today meeting friends so I hardly touched my phone during the day. However, I have noticed that my weak points tend to be in the morning and at night too. If I don’t have anything on in the morning, I have the habit of scrolling through my phone until the clocks hit noon (not quite but you understand my point) and same at night, I deprive myself of sleep because I just have to watch more videos. Some of you may snigger and find this ridiculous but it is the truth! At the end of the day, these social media platforms are meant to be addictive otherwise they wouldn’t be as popular and make so much revenue. Another successful day TikTok free! Go me!
Wednesday 22 September
Well, I am actually writing this on Thursday with great shame. Reader, you must forgive me but I re-downloaded TikTok yesterday night. I wrote a whole entry about how I was starting to not even remember the app existed and even becoming more productive like getting up earlier! However, it all went downhill as I was finding it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. As I was laying in bed, I had saturated practically every other social media I have but resorted to downloading TikTok as it is what I usually do when I cannot sleep. Moreover, the endless amount of videos on one’s feed means there is quite literally no end to how much time I can spend on there unlike the other apps to which I had seen everything on my feed, more or less. I do feel disappointed in myself for succumbing to the temptation but old habits die hard! Rest assured, however, I have deleted the app again for the remainder of the challenge.
Thursday 23 September
After yesterday’s downfall, I ensured that I filled my time with other tasks. Luckily, I am moving back to university soon and desperately needed to pack. And I did! Usually, I leave everything last-minute and being on my phone so much doesn’t exactly help. This time round, I put on a podcast and just got packing! I managed to do everything in approximately two hours and ran errands too! Record time for me!! When it got to my bedtime, I picked up a book that I have been nagging myself to finish and actually turned off my phone. I had my last scrolls and gave my last replies of the day and switched it off in order to be completely immersed in my read. I definitely want to make night reading more of a habit.
Friday 24 September
I just checked my screen time for this week thus far and it is significantly lower than last week’s. Similar to yesterday, I kept myself busy so as to avoid the rectangle that consumes my life, also known as my phone. I did the last bits and bobs to prepare for the journey I have ahead tomorrow back to university and had a hefty list of admin work I needed to complete.
This week has made me realise that our ‘addiction’ to the internet, a lot of the time, stems from procrastination or wanting to fill all our spare moments with social media. Even when we don’t actually have moments to spare, we somehow always manage to squeeze in just ‘5 minutes’ of social media, or TikTok in my case. From this day on, I am not going to be having the app on my phone. This is not to say that I may not download it once in a while but I can only see more benefits than negatives – I am not so trapped or controlled by my phone. Especially as the new academic year is starting, I need all the less distraction and quite honestly, TikTok is an unhealthy distraction.