I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve tuned in to social media to “have a quick look” and an hour or two later, and I’m still scrolling through pictures and posts!
If “yes”, then this post is especially for you!
Social media is a wonderful way to stay connected with the people we love, but it can also be very damaging to your relationships, productivity, and even your wellbeing.
The key to using social media is making sure that YOU are the one in charge and that your usage doesn’t turn in to an unhealthy addiction.
Tips to help you stop wasting time on social media (and help you take your life back)
1 Clean out your friends’ list
It’s perhaps time to be selective and decide who you allow to take up your time and attention on social media. Dust off the delete key and take it on an afternoon excursion. Don’t be afraid to get rid of anyone whose account doesn’t enrich your life positively.
- First, delete the people you don’t know personally or stay connected with, e.g. friends of friends or mere acquaintances.
- Second, consider each person and ask: “Is this relationship real and meaningful?” “Is there any fun or interesting aspect of this relationship that’s worth keeping?”
If the answer to these questions is, “No”, then be determined and delete them!
Social media should be a place where you can stay connected with those you love and care about, as well as those who teach or enrich your life in some kind of way. It should NOT be a place that brings you guilt, sadness, anger, or discontentment!
If Bragging Bryce, Judgmental Judy, and Arguing Arnie are ruining your social media experience, it’s time to delete all such people as well. Deleting them will make you less jealous, judgmental and altogether happier too.
2 Switch off notifications
Switch off notifications or your whole day will be filled with distracting social media alerts. Every “alert sound” you check is another precious moment taken out of your day focussing on something that probably doesn’t even interest you. Turning off these distractions will help free up precious time to focus on the things that actually deserve your undivided attention, e.g. family, friends, work, etc.
3 Switch off your phone when you’re with company
Unless you are waiting for an important phone call, there is no need for you to have your phone switched on permanently.
When you are with the people, give 100% of your attention to them. Please turn off your phone and leave it out of sight. No-one likes to sit down to a meal and listen to *Bing* *Ding* and *Ring* every five minutes, plus continual interruptions spoil the mood and atmosphere! Your dinner companions may not say anything, but they are most likely to feel aggravated with you for the constant interruptions. Switching off your phone is not only a respectful thing to do; it will also show those around you that they are your priority.
4 Set time restrictions on your social media usage
There are social media apps to keep track of your social media usage. One such app is Appdetox, but there are plenty more to choose from, e.g. 7 Mindful Living Apps that monitor social media usage and help to break digital addiction. These apps disable your ability to click into social media platforms once you reach the desired time limit which you yourself have set. Whilst turning off your apps might sound intense, it is a massive help for people who have the bad habit of unconsciously clicking into social media to “burn a few minutes” like me!
You will find yourself being much more productive while also curbing your “possible” social media addiction.
5. Go a step further and delete your apps for a while
Perhaps you want to go on a day trip or spend a day (or even a few weeks) focused on self-care. If social media is a problem for you, delete your immediate access to it! You are far less likely to spend time on social media if it isn’t at your close fingertips.
Taking away the app’s convenience may give you a few days peace and help you curb your habit and reset your life again!
You can always re-install the app or manually log into it through your internet browser once your “app holiday” has been served.
Take a break every weekend. Each weekend, try to take at least a 24-hour break from social media to focus on your own life, your family, and your friends. Having no online distractions is key to having a happy, meaningful weekend!
This break means no scrolling, posting, checking notifications, commenting, or private messaging–just you and the people who are in your immediate life.
6 Replace social media with another activity
If you identify that social media makes you feel jealous, dissatisfied, judgmental, or lonely, it may be time for you to take a social media detox.
Make yourself a promise to spend a certain amount of time off social media, e.g. two weeks, one month, six months, one year, etc. Use this time to focus on your relationships with family and friends, hobbies, or a side-hustle you always thought about doing.
7 Quitting cold turkey is often the only way to do it!
Whatever you do, don’t let FOMO (fear of missing out) draw you back in! You aren’t missing out on anything important that one of your friends won’t tell you about.
After several weeks away from social media, you may find yourself not missing it as much–you may even find that you enjoy being free from the opinions and distractions of social media.
8 Choose one social media account and delete the rest
Which social media site do you like the best? Choose your favourite platform and delete the rest. I did this some time ago when I was trying to balance my Instagram and Facebook accounts. I found that having two social media platforms were eating in into valuable family time, so I chose to use only Facebook.
At this point, I’m considering whether I NEED to open an Instagram account for this blog. I’m wondering if I could split the current time I have limited for social media usage on Facebook across the two platforms, or if I should stick with Facebook alone?
Do you have a favourite social media platform, or do you use various platforms for different purposes? What are your views on this subject? I’d love to hear.
Next Week: 8 Ways to overcome procrastination
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