WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook and Twitter are indeed a great communication tool with a lot of interesting features. But all these features turned into a problem for me.
In November 2017, I decided to quit social media. I found myself spending a ridiculous amount of time on social media more than 50 minutes per day.
The very nature of these Apps is the instant conversation. Every conversation call for immediate attention. This mean interruption.
When one sends a direct message via an instant messaging app, the expected behavior is that the recipient responds to it right away. Most of the time I want to concentrate on some task that needs to be completed, work related or not. Every instant messaging app uses notification pop-ups and sounds in order to achieve its goal of being instant.
These notifications cause an urge to check the messages. You see a notification, open the app, check the messages, respond to them, well some, smiley at others, watch a video and go back to work. And the next minute a notification pops up again. Repeat that all day long. Goodbye to productivity because i am in an “Interruption loop”
I do not have to stop what am doing to answer your WhatsApp or Messenger even if i do not go and read or respond to the incoming messages i know they are still there waiting.
As soon as the notification arrives i know there is an action required from me.
“It’s like the whatsapp or the messenger dey call me fr my brain dey shout someone dey try reach u oo
that time i no fit concentrate ‘cus ebi like whatsapp put me fr comma”
These things are not the application’s fault. People who make bad use of these tech resources. Small talk overload, useless media flood, flamed discussions about soccer and politics and Religious messages. some are repeatedly posted by different peoples. Leaving WhatsApp, Messenger and Facebook has been one of the most beneficial things I’ve done. It made me realize I can and need to manage my time more efficiently.
What did I miss?
While this decision of mine helped me focus all my effort towards solving problems at work and concentrating on my projects, it did take a hit in terms of being connected with close family and friends. I was unable to communicate with my friends and family. I desperately needed a way to stay in touch with them yet prevent all the noise that stemmed from these apps. I forced few of my family and friends to join Telegram — an app that is not very popular with my friends.
How else did I spend my time?
Twitter was my main way to keep in touch with all the latest news stories in technology and interact with other tech peoples.
It’s almost five month since I uninstalled WhatsApp and Facebook and deleted my account from my phone and the results have been impressively good. Not only my concentration power has recovered a lot but also now I can dedicate more time to get up to date with my reading queue, finish some Udemy courses, Edx.org Courses and even work on projects and go out with my friends and family
Now I’m back to e-mail and phone based communication. It’s way better suited for the asynchronous communication I need to maintain focus. You have something to ask me or show me? Send me an e-mail. You need instant, online confirmation from me? Call me by phone or get a telegram just because of me.