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7 Reasons Why I Cut My Social Media and Smart Phone Use

7 Reasons Why I Cut My Social Media and Smart Phone Use

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Your smart phone and, by default, your social media apps follow you everywhere. Technology has been intentionally engineered to embed itself in virtually every possible human transaction.

  • Want to pay for food at the supermarket? Just swipe your phone.
  • Need to drive across town but not sure how to get there? Your phone will navigate for you.
  • Wondering what’s up this weekend? Check your social media groups because no one is going to personally invite you.

Though my life has not fallen off the rails, if I’m brutally honest with myself, I would say that my brain has become slowly addicted to technology over the years – take the smartphone addiction test on this site.

Anecdotally, I would say that it has negatively affected my ability to focus for extended periods of time the way I once could. I might use the phone with a specific purpose in mind, but then I get distracted by something else and end up stuck in a “tech hole” for longer than I’d anticipated.

Much the way smokers and coffee drinkers have their respective morning and cigarette and coffee rituals, this has given way to morning and evening smart phone rituals.

When you first wake up and before you go to sleep, I’ll bet my last dollar you check your phone because it’s right next to your bed. Maybe you check your text messages, socials, news, bank account, or YouTube comments for replies.

If some iteration of this is you, you’re not alone. Virtually everyone I asked said their phone was either physically touching their body (in a pocket) or within arm’s reach.

It wasn’t until I took a step back and looked hard at the detrimental effects that excessive smartphone and social media use was having on my well-being that I realised something HAD to change.

Here are seven key reasons that led me to severely cut down on my reliance on these digital platforms:

1. Addiction and mental health concerns

The addictive nature of smartphones and social media platforms is well-documented, with studies showing a correlation between excessive usage and mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.

Excessive social media use has been shown to contribute to feelings of loneliness and social isolation, despite the illusion of connectivity it creates.

Personally, I found myself experiencing heightened levels of stress and anxiety whenever I felt compelled to constantly check my phone or compare myself to others on social media.


I put my phone in a separate room in airplane mode and only turn it on periodically to check productivity-related apps.

2. Impact on productivity and focus

Constant notifications and the temptation to check social media feeds disrupt productivity and focus.

Studies have found that toggling between important tasks and social media leads to decreased cognitive performance and increased errors.

As I struggled to concentrate on tasks at hand, I realised that my smartphone was acting as a distraction, hindering my ability to be fully present and engaged in both work and leisure activities.


I turned off notifications altogether which help shut off the operant conditioning (the Pavlov’s dog effect).

3. Negative effects on sleep quality

The blue light emitted by smartphones and electronic devices can interfere with the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, leading to difficulty falling asleep and disrupted sleep patterns.

Research suggests that excessive screen time before bedtime can suppress the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep.


I noticed a significant improvement in my sleep quality and overall energy levels after implementing a “digital curfew” and limiting screen time before bedtime. I also put the phone onto night mode so it’s not so bright and intense.

4. Social media comparison and FOMO

The world was a sitting duck in the early days of social media. But now we all know that social media platforms present a curated version of reality that can lead to feelings of inadequacy and unhealthy comparisons among users (but a primal part of our brain does it anyway).

The constant self-inflicted barrage of carefully crafted images and status updates can fuel fear of missing out (FOMO) and a constant need for validation.


I’m mostly a ghost on social media these days. Facebook is pretty much dead to me and I will look at a few accounts on Instagram related to music or surfing and respond to messages, but conscientiously cut it off quickly so I don’t get stuck in a mindless “scroll hole.”

Also, by reducing my social media exposure, I was able to cultivate a healthier perspective and focus on meaningful human connections and experiences.

5. Privacy and Data Security Concerns

The widespread use of smartphones and social media has increased my concerns about privacy and data security.

From targeted advertising to misinformation to constant data breaches, we’re made increasingly aware of the risks associated with sharing personal information online.


By cutting back on social media and adopting stricter “privacy hygiene” (i.e., stricter privacy settings in apps), I regained a sense of control over my digital footprint and protected my personal information from potential exploitation.

6. Physical Health Implications

I’m generally aware of my sitting posture, I’d often catch myself slouching and slumping when I was I’d fallen in a tech hole.

Smartphone use has been linked to various physical health issues, including text neck, eye strain, and repetitive strain injuries (i.e., head tilted forward and shoulders hunched can lead to chronic neck and back pain). Excessive screen time can keep you glued to the couch and less likely to proactively exercise.


By reducing my screen time and incorporating more breaks and stretches into my daily routine, I was able to alleviate some of the physical discomfort associated with prolonged smartphone use.

7. Reclaiming Time and Mindfulness

Constant interruptions rob us of our most precious resource: time. And once it’s gone, you can’t get it back. As I thought about this, why am I wasting my time feeding my personal data and habits to tech giants for free?

Perhaps the most significant benefit of my cutting down on smartphone and social media usage has been the opportunity to reclaim my time and cultivate mindfulness in my daily life.


Instead of mindlessly scrolling through feeds or responding to (now off) notifications, I prioritise activities that bring me joy and deep fulfillment. I spend more time with people I love, doing meaningful work, surfing, playing guitar, or simply being still and present in the moment.

Take home thoughts

My decision to flick the proverbial finger🖕🏼to smart phones and social media was driven by the awareness that they were chipping away at my mental, physical, and emotional well being.

Technology offers a lot of benefits and conveniences, but it’s crucial to strike the right balance to derive the benefits without it sucking the marrow from your bones.

By taking proactive steps to limit my screen time, protect my privacy, and cultivate mindfulness, I’ve been able to reclaim control over my digital habits and lead a more fulfilling and balanced life.

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