Growing up, we didn’t even know what social media was, let alone how it might play such a big part in our adult lives. If you feel you are becoming addicted to social media, don’t worry, there are steps you can take to beat your social media addiction.
Depending on when you were born, your first encounter with social media could have been having a MySpace Page or perhaps joining up to Facebook with your educational institute. There were no smartphones or apps and iPods were used for their original purpose: listening to music on the go. The best thing you could expect from your mobile was the ability to play Snake.
In the past decade, social media has crept from our computer screens onto the screens of our handheld devices. With the flick of a finger, we can upload photos directly from our phones onto our social media accounts, reply instantly to messages, or see what our families and friends have been up to. With our mobiles always within arm’s reach, it can be super easy to become addicted to social media and it can negatively affect our relationships with others. Have you ever walked into a room and found everyone is busy on their phones texting even during family dinners! Social media addiction has gotten to the point where some people do status updates from the bathroom or upon waking at night.
Since social media and social networks are very unlikely to disappear anytime soon, there are some precautions that high-frequency users might take to keep addiction in check, thus leaving more productive or fun time available for real-life activities. So here are some tips on how to gain control of your social media addiction.
- Acknowledge your addiction.
Consider the times when others have constantly made comments to you about always being on social media. Think also of the times that you find yourself unable to keep up with your responsibilities. If you notice a pattern, then it is time to admit that you have a problem. Make a pact to commit to improving your situation. Remember that overcoming your denial and acknowledging your problem are the first steps.
- Reflect on your need for social media.
Sometimes a social media addiction might arise out of having little to door out of a need for attention or connection with others. Take some time to write down your thoughts about this to explore the root of the problem.
- Turn off Your Notifications
When you stop notifications from disturbing your normal routine, you might find it easier to concentrate on your daily tasks and not get distracted so easily. Notifications are a constant reminder that something is happening in the online world and you might feel like you’re missing out.
Limit the number of social networks you use to only those most relevant to your work and personal life. Most of us wonder onto social media aimlessly—usually when we’re bored. To cut back, set a higher bar for logging on.
- Limit Yourself
Set a timer on your watch or phone, to limit the amount of time you spend on social media. Unless there’s an overwhelming reason otherwise, don’t leave your social media accounts open in your browser tab all the time. Choose a limit depending on the severity of your addiction – say an hour a day, which equates to seven hours per week. When you reach your limit, be strong and don’t be tempted to add on extra time. This will be a strong test of your willpower, but it will be worth it in the end.
- Get A New Hobby
You may have a lot more free time on your hands now that you’re trying to cut down on your social media usage, so why not pick up a new hobby to fill your spare time? You could learn a new skill or do something you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time. You’ll probably surprise yourself at how much free time you have when you stop scrolling through your phone. Plus your new hobby will keep your mind and hands preoccupied when you’re craving social media.
- Spend More Time with Your Loved Ones
Instead of keeping up to date with your friends’ and family members’ lives through a screen, spend time with them in the real world and reconnect with them. Make new memories and keep them personal to you-you don’t need to document everything you do in life with selfies.
- Meet People in reality
There are so many ways you can meet people in real life. You could join a club, church cell groups, or even family and friends getaways. Whatever activity you choose, you’ll be making connections with new people in reality, which totally beats stalking your ex on Facebook, obsessing over celebrities on Instagram, or trying to take the perfect selfie.
- Switch off your social media
If you’re spending more time on social media than you are interacting with people in real life, give yourself a reality check by having a holiday from social media. Decide how long it’s going to be, inform your friends online how long you’ll be away and how they can reach you if they need you in person, and delete your apps. A two-day respite isn’t enough to cure you of your habit. You’ll still be anxious when you return to the onslaught of electronic messages If you normally spend a minimum of two hours on social media per day, you will have an extra fourteen hours per week which are totally free to do whatever you want with, when distractions disappear, ideas come – you could even set up your own small business or get a part-time job with all your newly freed up time!
- Be a Tough Editor
Before you post a status update or a photo, question your motive: Are you just trying to prove that you’re having a good time? You stop thinking about your experience and start contemplating other people’s responses to it.
- Seek outside help.
Lastly, for some, the desire to use social media constantly might feel beyond their own control. If you feel that you are unable to escape from the addiction, seek help from a therapist trained in that area.
There is a lot to enjoy in this world in reality than the virtual world so gets out from behind your screens and enjoy your life.