Social media is probably one of the most popular terms nowadays. In fact, there are about 2.4 million users of 3 social media pages including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The more alarming statistic is that 14 % of our time is spent on these pages. It means that some of us might spend more than 4 hours per day on these pages, getting seriously addicted to social media and having the fear of missing out.
Here are the social media addiction facts and dangers:
- When you spend more time connecting to the social pages, you are actually spending less time for yourself, your family and your friends.
- When you are addicted, you miss out a lot on your real life. While you have a vacation, instead of enjoying every moment of it, you only focus on taking nice pictures and share it with other people online.
- You gradually lose your ability to focus. And become aggressive even more easily when you can’t get access to your social media pages just for 5 or 10 minutes.
- Scientists have proven that being online on these pages lead to negative feelings such as lonely, bored and even anxious, depressed and self-doubted.
When you can control and reduce the amount of time for social media, you have more time to do other more productive things and your relationships with other people would be improved. Last but not least, you will reduce the risk of getting anxiety as well as other risks related to social media overdose.
While getting rid of social media is really hard, luckily, you can still turn back before it is too late. Just know what you should do and have a strong determination, it would take some time before you can effectively control your time both online and offline.
Here are some of the most effective things you can do to prevent and deal with social media addiction:
1. Disable Alerts
I used to quickly jump to my page when there is a new notification appearing on the phone’s screen. The worse thing here is I not only checked for the notification, 2 minutes later, I often find myself wondering around. So the first thing to get rid of the addiction is to disable the push notification of these social networking apps. This would remind you less of the app every now and then.
In addition, you can consider deleting the apps from your phone so that you have to go to it through a browser. Don’t let the page remember your password so you have to type it in every single time as well. Doing these will make logging into your social network pages much harder and you will be less tempted.
You don’t need to know what happens to everyone on Earth. Therefore, you should unfollow most of the social media page of celebrities. Choose to follow only a few of them only.
Furthermore, you can sort out the list of your Facebook into smaller groups such as friends, family, colleagues and total strangers so that you can check updates from the groups that really matter to you only.
Also, limit the number of social media pages you use as well. Only use those that are most relevant for you as well. For example, I cut down to use Facebook and LinkedIn only. Facebook is for me to get in touch with my friends and families. LinkedIn is for my work’s life. Only some of my friends use Instagram and Twitter so I consider these two pages unnecessary.
3. Set a timer
First, set the amount of time you would use for checking your social media pages daily. You should think about the time when you log on your social media pages as well. If you can’t resist the urge of checking these pages every 5 minutes, divide your time. For example, spare yourself some time to go online in the easily morning, at noon, in the afternoon and at night before you go to bed.
Then when you go on these pages, start a timer. When the time runs out, you should log out. It would need a lot of determination to prevent yourself from staying for a few more minutes but you soon will realise how much time you have for doing other things else.
It is really good if you can buy an alarm clock for the timer. Reducing your reliance on your phone is one step to beat social media addiction.
4. Check with purpose
Before you go on your Facebook page, ask yourself if you have any specific positive reason such as replying to a message or finding a contact from your old friend.
If you don’t have a good reason to log on, just like “I want to see what my friends are doing”, start to do something else more productive instead such as reading or cleaning your house.
5. Leave your phone at home
If you find it hard to take your eye off your phone when you go out, you should leave it at home. It could not just for your own benefit but you are actually doing other people around you a favour. No one likes talking with someone who constantly checks his phone.
Also leave your phone far away when you go to bed. A 5 more minutes before you sleep could actually lead to a longer time than that. Once again, if you need your phone to wake you up in the morning, buy an alarm clock instead.
Once you get addicted to something, it would be hard to revert the habit. But realising that you are addicted is a big positive step to deal with it and prevent it from happening in the future.
There are a lot of things you can do to prevent getting addicted to social media. They include disabling notifications in your settings, focusing on your real task, setting a timer and only checking when you have a specific purpose. I hope that you would find these easy to follow and effective for you in beating up your social media addiction.
Overall, social media is not a bad thing. In fact, it could be useful for you if you know how to use it in the best and most proper way. And spending the right amount of time for it with clear and specific purposes is the key factor you really need to get a hang of for getting a balanced and updated life.