How Decluttering my iPhone Helped to Eliminate my Facebook App

Paul FennerLifestyle

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This weekend my wife and I were able to go on a college road trip with some very good friends of ours.  This was one of the rare trips where I wasn’t going to have to drive and the drive was likely going to be close to 5 hours each way.  I was prepared to get some work done with my laptop, iPad, and iPhone at my disposal.

As my laptop power began to fade on the trip back home (forgot to charge it the night before), I switched over to my iPhone to see what I could do with it.  Lately, I have been building up quite the collection of Podcasts which are now taking up a good chunk of storage on my phone.  I decided to begin the task of decluttering my iPhone in order to free up some space.

Liberating but Daunting Experience

I have always found that decluttering or cleaning anything can be a very liberating but daunting experience.  I came across so many apps that I had never used that had likely been on my phone for years.  Apps are a double edge sword; they are great when you need one but I can also see where they can become so overwhelmed with the sheer number of them.  I took a look at my wife’s iPhone and she must have had hundreds of apps.  I have no idea how she manages them all.

As I began trashing one app after another I came upon the Facebook app.  I had been toying with the idea of getting rid of the app for months.  I am a huge fan of Cal Newport an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University, who has done tremendous work on the topic of Deep Work.  Deep Work is a movement if you will that addresses how to seek focused success in a distracted world.

Quitting Social Media

While I have many readers who see and read my content via Facebook, I have found it to be a big distraction at times, but not how you would think.  I have never really spent a lot of time on the site but I found that when I did, it was always when I was waiting somewhere or just had some idle time.  The time that I still considered to be very valuable where I could be more productive, whether that be following up with a friend or client, reading an article on a research topic, or listening to one of those many podcasts.

Although I am not looking to give up social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn (I don’t use Twitter although my content is posted there), I took the plunge and deleted my Facebook app after watching Cal’s TEDx talk Quit Social Media.

Correlation to Wealth Planning

So how does this story of decluttering my iPhone and eliminating my Facebook app have to do with wealth management?  I came up with the following intersecting thoughts;

  • How many mutual funds are you holding onto within your portfolio accounts that have the same stocks, risk exposure, and asset allocation?
  • What is the cost in both time and money by not paying attention to your assets?  Think of the fees that you may be paying or by not having the right asset allocation which could derail your long-term plans
  • Without the distractions, how much more time would you be able to spend thinking about what you really want to achieve in life and a plan to go with it?

Spending time with my wife and friends this weekend once again proved to me that you can still have a social life without social media on your phone.