Quarantine, Quarantine, Quarantine..! The only way to skip this quarantine period is social media. But can we afford to stay 24/7 online on social media?
Even if we spend our 60 percent of time on social media then it means we are delaying our success.
Now, since the world is in lockdown and social media helps you to pass your time, it’s still not right to spend your quarantine period surfing Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social forums.
Imagine if you have only three days to live, would you still spend these days on social media? If you got to know that you have wasted your precious years on social media, would you still continue it?
“One day you will look back and recall all the time you spent on social media and wonder why you didn’t invest that time someplace else.”
Sure, social media helps us to connect to new ideas, let us learn, and raise our voice on issues but the social media addiction effects can hinder our goals and purpose of our life.
According to the former Facebook president, Sean Parker, the platform was designed to hook its users. Search for something on social media and you’ll start seeing the relevant ads which spark your interest and then you go on looking for the reviews. However, you might not end up buying the product but the process has taken your time already. Similarly, other apps like Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest are also designed this way.
So, if you think social media is hampering your progress, you need to take the steps to cut it down. In this article, I’ll tell you how. But first, you need to find out if you’re really addicted to social media.
Social Media Addiction Facts
- It’s the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning and the last thing before you sleep.
- You become restless when you’re unable to use social media.
- You think it’s the best time pass activity.
- You think it’s the solution to your anxiety and depression.
- You prefer it over your family and close relationships.
- You know it’s taking your time and has a negative impact on your life but you still use it.
- You deactivate your account and then again activate it because you’re thinking about social media even when you’re not there.
If the answer is ‘yes’ to more of these facts, then you’re addicted to social media and it’s high time to know how to reduce social media use.
These steps are the surefire ways to help you out.
Find the Reason to Exist on the Social Platform
Find out how many social media apps do you have and is it important to have it all on your phone? Ask yourself these questions:
- Are the apps helping me to connect with my goals?
- Why am I using this platform?
- Is the platform helping me to grow?
- Am I able to connect with like-minded people on social platforms?
- Does my social media presence help people or I’m just killing time over there?
If you can’t connect with the purpose of the platform with your goals then it means there’s no benefit of having it. If you’re using social media because of your friends then how about connecting to them on the messenger instead of sending likes and comments on their photos. And if the platform is having a negative impact on your life then you should delete it. Your mental health and time are important over anything so you should always embrace healthy choices for a good lifestyle.
2. Don’t Rush to Delete the Social Media Apps
When we discover the causes of social media addiction, the biggest mistake we do is delete all the apps together. As a result, we resist the apps for two to three days and then start craving to use it again. This makes it difficult to cut social media from our life.
The best solution is to start small. Figure out the time you spend on social media and reduce it slowly. First thing you need to do is to don’t check social media right after you wake up. Arianna Huffington, the founder of thrive global, sleeps with her phone away and never checked it immediately after waking up.
A big part of my morning ritual is about what I don’t do: when I wake up, I don’t start the day by looking at my smartphone. Instead, once I’m awake, I take a minute to breathe deeply, be grateful, and set my intention for the day. ~Arriana Huffington
Know that people won’t remember you for liking their every picture but with the seeds of hard work you’ll plant in your life. If you make it to success then people will always remember you in their good books.
3. Start Working on Your Hobby
The best advice to leave social media is to have an alternative activity. And that solution is your hobby which you love doing. When you’ll be too busy to work on your interest and driving something productive out of it, you’ll have no time to login to your account and see what your friends are up to. You’ll be motivated by your goals and will be busy learning new every day. How about making money online?
Yes, when you think to make money online you start using social media with a purpose. Now, the groups you join, people you follow and the pages you like are connected with your goals and you stop wasting your time on social media and start availing it to drive something productive from your life. Or if you have other hobbies such as reading books, exercise, arts and crafts then it’s also a great way to reduce your social media addiction.
“If social media controls you and is robbing you of your freedom and good emotional energy chances are you’re addicted and it’s time to find another hobby.”
4. Find Out the Feeling that Drags You to Social Media
There’s one negative emotion inside us which let us login to our accounts. These feelings can be loneliness, depression, boredom or anxiety. Find out that feeling and fill that gap in your life by doing something fruitful.
For example, if you use social media because you’re bored then how about replacing it with an article on your favourite topic or a book you love? If you’re using social media for fame then how about helping others grow? LinkedIn is the best platform to help others while growing yourself. It not only boost your digital reputation but also open opportunities for you.
The idea is to replace the negative feeling by doing something positive with your life.
5. Don’t Be Too Strict: Reward Yourself
When you’re trying to skip social media, don’t be too strict on yourself. If you have successfully managed to reduce some time, give yourself a treat and pat your shoulders for doing a great job. Note the difference social media reduction made to your life and feel the peace within.
How about allowing yourself some time on social media as a treat when you have successfully done your part to focus on your new hobby and manage the time? Name it as your ‘Happy Hour’ and dedicate this time to do the things you enjoy.
Simple Steps You Can Do
- Turn off push notifications so you don’t feel the need to respond right after you receive the notification.
- Hide the social apps from your home screen and keep only the apps on the front which you love to use. I hid all my social apps and kept the Medium, Reddit and Quora app on the front so I can read more and research more.
- If you think digital is drowning you, try to challenge yourself by unplugging it for some time and notice the blessed hours you save to do something valuable. Keep practising till the time you achieve your goal.
- Exercise can also help you to relieve your stress, kill your time and can let you cope with the addiction.
Do You Really Need to Quit Social Media?
Now, all the steps don’t mean that you quit social media overall. You only need to control your addiction. You must have your favourite bloggers and content creators who motivate you towards life so the point is to stay with them but keep working on your goals so the excess use doesn’t become an obstacle in your journey.
In addition, if you use social media as a tool to learn and grow then keep going as you’re already on the right path. But still, you need your time to practice what you learned so saving your hours is equally important.
If you’re the one who has successfully overcome social media addiction, I’d love to hear your story in the comments below.
And, do let me know if you find this blog helpful to follow. My only motivation to write is your thoughtful feedback.
I prefer books and diaries more than phones and Facebook. Soulfully connected to Pakistan. And I passionately believe that I can change the world through blogging.