23 Feb How to avoid social media addiction
Social media was once lauded as one of the most important developments on the internet. With billions of users around the world, it has allegedly brought people closer together.
However, the fishbowl nature of the platform has led to some becoming addicted to these apps. Indeed, watching the highlight reels of other people’s lives can be an engrossing endeavor.
Don’t want to become obsessed with Facebook, Instagram, and other sites? We’ll teach you how to avoid social media addiction – check out our tips below.
Wake up using a physical alarm clock
The smartphone is the Swiss Army Knife of the 21st century – it has replaced numerous gadgets, from cameras to calculators. It also serves as an alarm clock for many of us, and why not? It keeps track of time just as well as its predecessor, and it plays an infinite assortment of wake-up tunes to rouse us from our slumber.
However, it has led to the disruption of our morning routines by presenting us with the irresistible temptation to check Facebook or Twitter seconds after waking up. 30 minutes later, and we’re rushing to stuff a half-toasted bagel into our mouths as we run out the door to catch the bus.
Avoid this situation by waking up like it’s 1999 – get a physical alarm clock that forces you to get out of bed to switch it off. This way, you won’t interface with your phone first thing in the morning.
Wondering how to avoid social media addiction? Turn off all push notifications
You will end up picking up your phone at some point, though. Often, this is triggered by the ‘ping’ or ‘buzz’ of a notification, which alerts you to a development in one of your social media apps. Depending on your notification settings, these interruptions can take place dozens of times per day, and it can take more than 20 minutes to get back to peak productivity afterwards.
Tweaking your settings likely won’t be enough – instead, shut off all notifications. Virtually none of these updates contain information that will ruin your life if you don’t address them immediately – cut the cord for a week and see what we mean.
Check social media sparingly
We’re not asking you to completely give up apps like Instagram and Snapchat. Instead, we want you to give them dedicated time slot(s). This way, you’ll still get your fix 1-3 times per day while minimizing downside impacts on productivity.
That’s not all, though: when you log on to social media, set a timer for 15 minutes. This will prevent you from falling down the rabbit hole where minutes magically turn into hours, which is a game changer for those learning how to avoid social media addiction.
Replace it with alternative behaviors
Checking social media only a few times per day will create a vacuum from the time you used to spend in these apps. If the resulting boredom is allowed to fester, you risk falling back into old habits.
Make a conscious effort to fill this free time with healthy, constructive behaviors. Think about the triggers which induced you to check your phone – what action can you insert that would replace social media apps?
Read a book on the train instead of scrolling through your Twitter feed. Talk with your friends at dinner while waiting for the check to be delivered. Not only will you be cutting ties to your old behaviors, you’ll be improving your life in the process.
Delete your accounts
Some addictions to social media are too serious to be fixed alone. If attempts at self-control fail, you may have to delete your accounts and seeking professional help.
Worried about losing touch with people? Most of your ‘friends’ on common social media apps are merely acquaintances – your best friends can often be counted using the fingers on your two hands.
Gather up phone numbers and e-mail addresses from your crew and contact them via these means on a regular basis. Your social life and happiness level won’t be worse off – in fact, it will likely improve.