Getting rid of unwanted clutter in your home, your phone, and life, in general, is never a bad thing to do. Whether this was part of your new year’s resolutions or just one of the goals you’ve set for yourself, getting it over with will do wonders for your productivity, mindset, and general wellbeing.
In this article, we’ll be focusing on smartphones and apps. Since these play such an instrumental role in our lives, uninstalling apps you don’t need is part of the regular maintenance to keep your trust device (and life) in good shape. So without any further ado, what are the five main types of apps you should consider uninstalling?
Apps that kill your mood
In today’s stressful and tempo-driven world, anything that kills your spirits and brings you down is the last thing you need. The Facebook app is one of the biggest offenders. While it’s true you get a temporary mood boost when someone messages you or posts some new content, we humans need to compare the quality of our lives with others. As it goes without saying, it’s one of the fastest ways toward getting depressed.
What many don’t realize, however, is that whatever others post is heavily curated. In other words, you only see the tip of the iceberg – the very peak of their adventures – and remain blind to the rest. In reality, our lives are a compilation of highs and lows, and the same holds true for the friends you’re comparing yourself to. So don’t make the mistake of weighing your own worth based on how you perceive others. Or, better yet, delete the Facebook app for good.
Apps that snoop on your location
No matter who you are, there is a stalker in your life right now. Don’t believe it? Check the smartphone that’s likely resting in your pocket right now. At any given moment, it’s sending your location data to a third-party server that’s outside of your control. Google Maps and Foursquare are both good examples of this.
Should you get rid of them altogether? Perhaps. You could also take a half-measure and enable location tracking only when you need it to power their core functionality. In the end, it all comes down to balancing privacy vs. convenience.
Apps that sell your data to third parties
Using the best VPN is a must when you want to make sure that your online privacy is 100% protected at all times. In an effort to save a couple of bucks, you might be tempted to purchase a free VPN, but more often than not, you’ll be worse off in the end, mostly because these are notorious for monetizing your personal data.
In fact, Onavo Protect, Facebook’s flagship VPN product, has been proven to forward your browsing history to Chinese companies for a profit. You need to keep in mind that the developers of these free VPN solutions need to monetize them somehow. If you want to be 100% sure that selling your privacy isn’t the way they’re doing it, you’re better off steering clear of them and deleting any such apps from your smartphone.
Apps that monetize you
Expanding on the point made above, if you’re not paying for the app, it’s likely that you’re the product they’re monetizing. The formula is simple; first, the apps gather as much data as they can about you. Then, they forward it to their developer who – at his sole discretion – may decide to sell it to advertisers (and they’re dying to get a glimpse into the lives of their potential customers).
As scary as it sounds, Google and Facebook are doing it too, and it’s the companies so many people decide to entrust their data to. Did you know that Facebook Messenger doesn’t even encrypt the messages you send through it? They not only read them but also analyze them for keywords around which they serve you targeted ads. Google is no better; at any time you search, they analyze your interests for similar purposes.
Apps that are time-wasters
Dating apps and video games are highly addictive and an endless source of short-term entertainment. However, at the end of the day (when the mood-boost wears off), you’re left with nothing. Your life situation is no better than it was before. Are you content with wasting your time on them day after day?
Your time is a valuable commodity. Spend it wisely, and you’ll see your skills improving and an endless array of opportunities being offered to you. Spend it like a fool and choose immediate joy instead of delayed gratification, and you’ll find yourself drowning in a sea of regret later on. So delete Pokemon Go, Tinder, Candy Crush, and other similar apps. You’ll thank us later.