What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Having talked to a couple of my friends, most of them said they grab their phones. Not to check any missed calls but to get onto social media. Some of us do not even realize we are doing it. It is embedded in our routine-like clock-work. And it is not like you log onto social media for any given purpose, it is simply to scroll through aimlessly.
While social media is a great force for good, when misused, it can affect one negatively. Constantly being on social media for no reason at all other than to spend hours on end perusing through content can be addictive. So much so, that you turn to your phone all the time; it does not matter the time or place. It slowly takes over your life without knowing it until you find that you cannot spend an hour without being on social media. So how do we curb this addiction?
Turn off Post Notifications
Some of us have turned on notifications on all the social media applications we use. These notifications often disrupt our routine and before you know it, you have been sucked into 3 hours of continued social media use. These notifications are reminders that something is happening in the world and no one likes to feel like they are missing out. If you must turn on post notifications, do it when it is absolutely necessary. Additionally, do not open these notifications anywhere and at any time. Know the appropriate time to check them out.
Anything used in excess is bad for you. So learn to control how much time you are on social media. It is easy to be swept away and forget how long you have been on there so you can set a timer. Decide that you will check out your social media accounts during your lunch break and stick to it. Do not go past the stipulated time. In the beginning, it may seem hard. After all social media addiction is like any other addiction.
However, if you are intent on reducing how much time you spend online, in time it will get easier. Additionally, set times that are meant to be social media free. That means setting aside time where you do not use your phone but instead concentrate on other things. Also, learn to unplug from social media.
Focus on other hobbies
Phones are gadgets and like everything else, they get damaged or stolen. Often when that happens, most of us feel like the world has come to an end. We cannot envision life without our smartphones. Funny thing is, a couple of weeks down the line, we realize we do not need it to be complete. That we were actually spending too much time on it.
So even if your phone is in good condition, get involved in other things that make you happy. Discover or rediscover a new hobby. You realize that there are things you stopped doing or talents you stopped nurturing because of how glued you are to social media. Once you find some other sort of joy, you will barely remember social media.
Keep the applications you use to a minimum
Some of us have social media applications we do not even use. We just create accounts to just keep scrolling through other peoples posts. It is basically keeping track of other people’s lives which is not always healthy. You will find that those who claim not to actively post on social media accounts spend more time on it than those who do post. This is because there is a chance that if you are using social media, there is a reason behind it. It could be for business, to grow your brand or simply spread a message. Those without any work there can easily be derailed.
Redefine Your Use of social media
Why are you on social media? Is it to get validated by likes and other people’s comments? Is to keep track of what everyone is doing? To keep up with what news is trending? Whatever the reason, figure it out. You will realize that the worthwhile reasons will not keep you on social media for long hours on end. If it is posting for your business, post and walk away then come back at a stipulated time to respond to your customers. If it is keeping up with the news, set a time when you scroll through your news feed to keep yourself in the know. No legitimate reason will have you haphazardly scrolling all over social media.