2016 was the year of “you do you” (and “realising things”) and I channelled that mantra when I removed a few apps from my life in order to improve my wellbeing, mental health and general happiness.
This may be controversial but I deleted Instagram… I hear the sharp intake of breath from all you bloggers who just read that. To qualify, I still have an account on there, all my photos still exist but I do not have the app and I don’t access Instagram on the internet except to follow someone for the purpose of completing a giveaway entry. The reason for my decision was the fact that Instagram is FULL of triggering images and body shaming and general unpleasantness. The fact that they fail their users by not allowing you to mute anyone, despite blocking people their photos still show up on the “discover” section of the app if you have enough mutual followers/they’re famous, just compounds the issue. I had been growing my Instagram a bit so it was taking up a lot of time and I was being exposed to more and more of the troubling images so I decided to call it a day. If, in the future, the app allows you to mute users/tags then I may consider reinstalling but until then I’m happier with it not being in my life.
Other apps that I deleted this year were things that had been hanging around on my phone for a while since I wasn’t very well and was losing weight etc. Those were MyFitnessPal (you’re no ones pal, mate) and MapMyRun. I’m glad to be shot of them. Even if I considered using MyFitnessPal to track some things in the future, I would never download the app again. Having it there in your fingertips makes it far too easy to become obsessive. It reminds you to log in about 4 times a day and is constantly popping up with notifications. It’s also very weight loss focussed and constantly updates you on what you’ll weigh if your eating habits were consistently the same as they had been on each particular day. It’s madness. MapMyRun isn’t as problematic in app form however some of the emails they send out make me facepalm. Hopefully one day companies will learn not to try to sell things to people by shaming them. It’s vile that in 2016 this is still seen to be acceptable.
We are constantly attached to our phones these days so we shouldn’t be filling them with apps that make us unhappy, stressed and anxious. If you’re compiling your list of goals for 2017 at the moment like a lot of people are, a really achievable one would be to rid yourself of all the apps and social media that don’t make you happy. You won’t regret it.