It’s that time of the month again. You’re minding your own business when a text message comes in. You tap on the message and for a moment, you freeze. [Insert telco name here] says that you’ve reached 80 per cent of your mobile data quota.
You glance at the calendar, and notice there’s another ten days left until they refresh your quota. You slump back on your chair, hating yourself for watching all those cat videos the night before.
Find this happening to you all the time? Well, you’re not alone.
Everything we do on our smartphone these days requires mobile data, so it’s pretty normal to find yourself running out of data by the end of the month (unless you’re subscribed to those super expensive plans with truckloads of data, then good for you).
But there are some little things that you are either consciously or subconsciously doing that are draining your data at a faster pace. Here are five of them:
#1 Watching YouTube videos on High Definition
We know how it feels; sometimes, you just have to watch a certain video on your smartphone, no buts (because high-definition cat videos are better than standard cat videos, duh!). But when you stream a video on the highest quality on the YouTube app, you’re actually using up a lot more data.
So, the next time you want to view a video on your phone, remember to make sure that you lower the quality of the video
you’re about to watch, and save the HD quality for when you’re connected to the WiFi.
#2 Not investigating the data drain sooner
Not knowing is not an issue, but knowing and not doing something about it is a huge mistake. You should know that no matter what you do, apps such as Facebook, Instagram and even WhatsApp are still going to suck your data dry. So, you should always be vigilant and keep an eye out for the red flags
Both Android phones and the iPhone have a built-in data counter that helps you catch the culprit of the data drain. Use it periodically. Show those apps no mercy.
#3 Streaming your playlist on Spotify, Joox or Apple Music
Can’t live without music? Always find the need to stream your favourite songs? Then you should consider streaming the songs offline. Most popular music streaming apps have the ‘Available Offline’ feature where you can directly download your favourite songs into your device.
Create a playlist of the songs you listen to the most – say, your workout songs – and download it to your phone
while you’re connected to the WiFi and voila, free music without using a single megabyte of data.
However, this feature requires a subscription, and if you have it, consider using it because it will help you save a considerable amount of mobile data, especially if you’re playing the content over and over again.
#4 Ignoring the Data Saver feature
Oh, what’s that, you don’t use the Data Saver feature because you’re a baller? Let’s see how baller you are when you receive a message saying that you only have 200MB left and you’re ten days away from your next data refresh.
Some apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Safari and Google Chrome have built-in data saver function
, and it’s wise to make use of it. Who knows, you’ll save enough data to watch YouTube videos on High Definition.
#5 Letting everything auto plays
This, by far, is the biggest sin of all. Some of your favourite social media apps have the autoplay function automatically enabled. Yes, we are looking at you, Facebook and Instagram.
There are hundreds of interesting videos posted online daily and it’s easy to get distracted by them (we hate you, cat videos) when you’re scrolling through your feed. Over time, letting these videos auto play will eat up an enormous chunk of your data, especially when a video you have no intention of watching just decides to, you know, play itself.
To avoid this, remember to head on over to the Settings tab on the apps and turn off Auto-play
#6 Not using the ‘Lite’ version of your favourite social media apps
We know what you’re thinking: ‘My Facebook app works fine, so why should I install the Lite version?’. Well, for one, it will help you save a lot more data.
The Lite version of Facebook, for example, removes unnecessary features and clutter, so it is faster, uses less phone space and runs more efficiently compared to the main app, thus using less mobile data.
In fact, if you’re one who is very particular about mobile data usage, we suggest you start using the Lite version
of your favourite social media apps, like Facebook Lite, Facebook Messenger Lite and Twitter Lite. Bonus: it will also extend your phone battery life too!