Studies have proven that Facebook can negatively impact your mental health; but perhaps more alarming is the effect it has on your smartphone’s battery life.
We know what you’re thinking: Of course any phone activity, especially app use, will cause your device to die faster; however, Facebook appears to be more draining than other popular mobile applications—even with minimal use. This was discovered by Inc. journalist John Koetsier, after he decided to delete Facebook from his phone in an effort to preserve battery life.
Koetsier said he faced the all-too-common first-world problem of having to charge his iPhone 7+ multiple times a day. This prompted him to look up his battery usage data, which showed Facebook accounted for nearly 50 percent of his use in one day. Our first thought is that the dude is clearly addicted to the social media platform, but it turns out his use was relatively moderate: “I’d posted a few times, browsed for maybe 30 minutes in four or five sessions,” he wrote, “but otherwise left the app to its own devices.”
So how did it use up about a half of his battery? According to Aaron Hetler, an executive for advertising technology tools developer SRAX, Facebook’s wide range of features is what causes it to drain your phone even with a quick browse session. As soon as you open the app, features like device location, live videos, notifications, contacts, statistics, and custom camera start up. This explains why the app’s megabytes have increased 10 times from several years ago.
Experts say disabling the “Background App Refresh” and closing out of the app completely can help, but in most cases, Facebook is monitoring your location at all times, which really kills a battery.
Koetsier said deleting Facebook from his phone allowed him to get through a day with 20 percent battery left to spare. But if you refuse to get rid of the app completely, there are some options. The most obvious choices are to buy a smart battery case or leave your phone plugged in at all possible times. Asurion’s Erica Johnson also suggests things like turning off video autoplay, turning off location settings, turning down screen brightness, and restricting use to when you have strong Wi-Fi. You can also use Facebook through the web browser or download the simpler Facebook app called Facebook Lite.