TSP • @myTSPnet
Since the App Store launched in 2008, apps have been ingrained into our daily lives, some even becoming essential for our work and daily communication. According to Variety, the average American checks their phone 52 times a day, which amounts to three hours a day of smartphone usage per person. What’s taking up the majority of that time? Apps, of course! The average smartphone user utilizes 30 different apps a month and nine different apps a day.
In the next decade, apps will continue to become an essential part of our lives. That said, there are likely some apps that you should delete for good. For the benefit of your finances, mental health, privacy and time, below are the apps that you should delete.
APPS THAT DISTRACT YOU
Apps that distract you should be the first to go! Whether the notifications are flooding your phone, or you are mindlessly opening an app, limit the phone applications that are not serving you. Not only will this reduce distractions, but it will cut down on your overall screen time.
- The Daily Horoscope
APPS THAT MAKE YOU DEPRESSED
If there is any type of app that should be deleted, it is apps that depress you. Whether you realize it or not, those social media apps are likely negatively affecting your mental health. Research has shown that social media can make you feel depressed and lonely, so if you want a pick-me-up, start by deleting these apps off of your smartphone.
Social media is an outlet for people to curate a “perfect” life to their followers. This is done by choosing the best pictures, humblebragging, boasting about their idyllic travels and romanticizing relationships. The problem with everyone curating an unrealistic, manufactured version of their lives is that people start to believe it. This leads to people comparing themselves to others, which is unhealthy. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking your life is worse than those you follow. If you want to be less depressed in general, getting off social media is a great first step.
APPS THAT ARE “FREE”
“Free” is a bit of a misnomer when it comes to apps. If you don’t pay for the app with cash, there’s a good chance you’re paying for it with data. In fact, our data is so valuable to some app developers that it is worth more to them than money. This value derives from the ability to monetize data. This could mean using your data to directly target you with ads or selling your data to brokerage houses. Face-morphing apps also derive value from users by using the data to train AI systems.
- Flashlight App
- VPN App
- Period Tracker
- Face Film
APPS THAT COMPEL YOU TO SPEND MONEY
If you want to be more fiscally responsible, ditch apps that compel you to spend. Store apps like Amazon and eBay are easy examples, but the more serious offenders come in the form of free to play games. The games themselves might be free, but they are packed with costly in-app purchases that can range from $0.99 to $99.99. These apps are designed to encourage you (or your child) to make in-app purchases to advance levels in the game more quickly.
- Candy Crush
- Pokemon Go
- Uber Eats
APPS THAT MAKE YOU WORK 24/7
We can’t forget the apps used for work purposes. Apps like Slack, Microsoft Office and Google Docs are powerful tools for productivity but have their disadvantages. Work apps can make it hard for us to shut off for the day when we leave the office, meaning many of us end up working when we could be spending time with family and friends, recharging and relaxing.
Out of all the apps on the list, these apps may be the least practical to delete. So, if you cannot delete these apps, consider setting their notifications to shut off after 6:00pm.
- Microsoft Office
- Google Docs
APPS THAT DON’T PROTECT YOUR PRIVACY
Privacy has become an increasing concern in the app community in the last year. Thankfully, there are some easy steps you can take to protect yourself! Instead of Google Chrome, use Brave as a browser extension. Unlike Chrome, Brave does not track your data and activities when browsing the web.
Another idea? Switch to Signal instead of using Facebook Messenger. This app does more than just encrypt your messages, it also hides the metadata. This means only the person who receives the message can see the message’s content. This is the most security you can get when using any messaging app.
- Google Chrome
- Facebook Messenger
Just by deleting a few of these apps, you can improve your mental headspace and productivity levels. By making a conscious effort to focus your time spent on your phone, you can better determine the apps that are serving you.