If you’re deep in the throes of social media addiction, then you likely want to reclaim your time and your life. After all, this addiction is just as real as any other addiction out there. People can spend hours each day scrolling social media sites aimlessly, especially when they have multiple accounts. This is a big way to waste time and avoid getting the important stuff done. It’ll also make you feel powerless once you realize what’s going on.
Getting out of the throes of social media addiction is possible. Here, we’ll discuss a few ways you can go about it if you’re starting to worry about your usage. Admitting you have a problem is the first step. Consider confiding in a friend about how worried you are about this (in real life, preferably), and then continue with the other steps in this guide:
Acknowledge That Social Media Is Designed To Make Us Lurk
Every social media sites is designed to make us lurk for ages. They are all designed for repeated use and to check back in regularly. Remember the days when we only had sites like MySpace? When we’d check it once, maybe twice a day if we could be bothered? It certainly wasn’t something we checked every hour on the hour, or spent too long scrolling on at all.
It isn’t entirely your fault that you’re addicted to social media, but it will be your fault if you realize you have a problem and then do absolutely nothing to better yourself. You must take the steps to break your addiction if you’re going to improve your life.
Have A Better Reasons For Logging In
Logging into social media doesn’t have to be banned completely. However, you should have a positive, productive reason before you log in. So, before you mindlessly log in and begin to scroll, catch yourself for a second. Why are you logging in right now? Do you want to look at a new product, maybe, or do you want to use facebook search to find an old school friend? If the answer is that you don’t have a reason, avoid logging on altogether. Resist the urge and do something more productive instead. People can end up getting stuck on social media for way longer than they intend when they don’t have a reason for being on there.
If you can’t resist a quick check, then consider setting a timer. Try to stick to a limit when it comes to how long you spend on there. At the very least your eyes will be opened to how much time you really spend browsing social media.
Turn Off Your Notifications
If your trouble comes every time you receive a notification, turn them off. If you don’t know somebody has liked your photo, you’ll be less inclined to go and stalk them back the second you realize that they’ve done it. When you’ve got a busy day, looking at a phone full of notifications from different social media sites can be a huge distraction.
Don’t Sleep With Your Phone By The Bed
The majority of people sleep with their phone by their bed these days, but it can seriously disrupt sleep. Sure, it might be your alarm, but could you not move it across the room? This way, you have to get up and out of bed before turning it off, and you’ll be forced to wake up properly. Don’t be one of those people that starts and ends the day with a long, pointless scroll on social media. Not only are you messing up your sleeping pattern, you could be spending that time before bed reading. Remember, the way you start the day matters too, so if you start it with a scroll, you’re unlikely to have a more productive day.
Try A New Hobby
Instead of spending all of that time scrolling social media, start a new hobby. Something you’ve wanted to do for a long time. This should be enough of an incentive to keep you off social media sites, as you have something that you actually want to do. You could get far more done in the day and have more time to devote to your hobby later on if you just stayed off social media. You could play the guitar, learn another language, learn how to make jewelry – the list goes on. You could have more skills than you could ever fathom if you just took social media out of the equation.
Only Check When You’ve Done Something Productive First
Instead of checking first thing in the morning, get at least a few productive things done first. Use it as a sort of a reward, but make sure you’re still vigilant with the time spent on there. Just because it’s a reward doesn’t mean you can spend a full 15 minutes scrolling mindlessly. It’s okay, say, if you’re looking at a family member’s wedding pictures. But catch yourself when you’re doing mindless things and stop yourself.
Go Cold Turkey
Some people have an addiction so bad that the only way to break it is by going cold turkey. In this instance, you’ll have so much freed up time, so make sure you have something there to back you up and do in the meantime. It should help you to think that you can get your social media channels back once you’ve had a few weeks away from them. Think of it as like a holiday. You’re weaning yourself off the daily, regular use, and when you get them back you should only want to use them when it’s really beneficial. It can be really tough to combat the FOMO you can get from going cold turkey on social media, but if you think about it, the only thing you’re really missing is the odd meme and some gossip about people you don’t really know.
Make A List Of All Of The Things You Could Be Doing Instead
Sit and make a list of all of the things you could be doing instead of using social media. You could be reading books, learning something new, getting fit (most people use the excuse that they don’t have time), spending time with loved ones…the list goes on. Make this list compelling and choose something from it whenever you feel like scrolling. You could be living a far happier, far more fulfilling life if you just kicked that social media habit.
Use An App To Block The Sites
If you really can’t help yourself, it could be time to use an app to block the sites from your devices. You could set it so that you can’t check them in a certain time frame, for example, when you should be getting work done. However, you’ll still be able to look outside of this time frame. This can be better for some people who find that they are always stopping what they’re doing to check social media.
Delete Social Media Apps
Delete all social media apps from your phone. If you constantly sit and scroll on your phone, this will be better for you, as you’ll need to be on a desktop to log in. You’ll be more mindful of when you log in this way, however, it’ll still be all too easy to do it if you still spend lots of time on the computer. However, if you work in retail for example where you won’t always have access to a desktop, you’ll spend much less time on social media.
Cull Your Friend’s Lists
Perhaps you are overwhelmed with the amount of people on your social media channels. Why not cull your friend’s lists? You’re not 15 anymore, so we won’t assume that you just accept any old person. However, it’s easy to accept friends of friends, and people you met once at a party without even thinking twice about it, and then never being truly interested in anything they post but scrolling past and clicking on it anyway. If you only have people you truly know and interact with on your social media sites, then you should find you spend less time scrolling.
Go To A Real Addiction Group
One thing many addicts find helpful, is going to a real addiction group or therapist and following a 12 step program. This might sound a big OTT – after all, it’s only social media. However, social media still impacts your life. It still wastes hours on things that aren’t helping you in the long run, and is stunting your growth as a person. Just because it isn’t as frowned upon as drink and drugs doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be treated like a real addiction. You could attempt to do a 12 step program without the group setting, but many people find it far more helpful this way. It’s normal to feel apprehensive at first, but this could seriously change your life.
Don’t let social media control your life. Use these tips and only use it when you need to.