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App removal is a life choice

Many of you know I don’t have Facebook on my phone. In fact, I have a dedicated browser for Facebook on my machine, and I only access the site (and nothing else) on this machine using that browser. Limiting Facebook’s tracking practices gives me an illusion of privacy.

More people in my life seem to use the Facebook messenger service in lieu of texting. So far I haven’t run into too much inconvenience not having FB on my phone. Close friends have my cell number, and they haven’t yet complained about the extra step of having to use SMS/text to get to me. Voicing suspicion about Facebook is socially acceptable at this point, and hence I get no pushback on my FB ban.

A few days ago, I removed Twitter from my iPad and iPhone. I was spending too much time on Twitter in the mornings “with my coffee.” I’d tell myself that I’d only peruse Twitter for the time it took to finish my first 10 oz of coffee, but … that cup of coffee started taking over an hour to finish. That time suck just crept up on me until it was over an hour, sometimes two. It doesn’t matter how early you get up, that kind of puttering around the Internet puts a drag on your day.

So, it’s gone. I’ve replaced the action with Instagram, SnapChat and Flipboard, but I exhaust all of those apps in 5 minutes. Then I know it’s time to get up and move. I was out at the mall today, sitting and waiting, pleasantly, for other people. I would’ve sat on Twitter, and I definitely missed having it, but I spent more time talking with actual humans. In fact, my daughter and I saved a family some real heartache because we were awake and aware.

A little girl, maybe 2 years old, wandered away from her older sister (maybe 4 yrs old) and her grandmother. The grandmother was distracted by something (don’t know if it was a phone) and the tiny tot ran away, towards us and some kiddie rides. We watched as the grandmother realized the tot had escaped. We had been keeping an eye on the little girl, who was fine – she was happily climbing on the structures – so we waved the woman down and yelled that the little one was in front of us.

Before you condemn the grandmother, this little girl was speedy gonzales. She was gone in a matter of a few seconds. And it happens. Everything was fine. I’ve witnessed – and helped out in  – this type of situation countless times (I tend to be hyperaware), but I wonder if not having Twitter on my phone helped. I was sitting down, waiting, passing the time. It was a perfectly acceptable situation to check my phone. And honestly, nowadays it is a bit uncomfortable simply sitting and watching people and things happening. One can come off like a creeper, I’d suppose. We’re so used to people having their heads down. But today I’m glad I had my head up, and this week I’ve definitely started the day a lot sooner than usual.

So, very limited Twitter for me, until I can totally control the habit. What about you?