Not everything I do on my phone is Bad. I turn to Strava to motivate myself to run. With Spotify, I play music I like for a reasonable fee. And thanks to Crunchyroll, I can watch absurd anime like Toriko and lovely, meditative shows like Polar Bear Cafe wherever I want. My thumbs may ache because I struggle to resist the allure of my shiny pocket computer, but in truth my personal frustration machine doesn’t only consist of pure, steaming crap.
Above image: Harrison Weber (Gizmodo)
But there is plenty of crap. Thumbing through tweets on Twitter feels like how I imagine it’d be to wade through sewer water in my socks. So, I deleted that from my phone. Instagram gradually made me feel vaguely dead inside, so I deleted that, too. But sometimes there are apps we hate but just can’t quit—services we turn to even when we realise they’re just no good.
Often I can resist these apps, proudly declaring myself a human with self-control. Sometimes I cannot. Sometimes I delete them, then weeks later I’ll download them again. For me it’s my awful propensity to order takeout despite loving to cook, using apps like Seamless, Uber Eats, and Caviar. It’s where I wasted an embarrassing $2,435.60 (£1,873.39) last year. I mean, fuck!
When I posed this question to my colleagues and friends, Instagram repeatedly came up. “It’s just really nice. Just some good photography. Some cool motorcycles,” said one of my colleagues who regularly uses the app. “What’s the downside?” The downside is that Facebook owns it and is a total garbage company, they added. “It’s addicting, but I get nothing out of it,” said another person whose answer was also Instagram (and who does not work for Gizmodo).
What apps do you resent but just can’t quit? Now’s as good a time as any to share your wretched curse with the world. While you’re at it, consider joining me in yet another purge.