Social media is a useful tool. It helps people, like families and friends to connect with each other, share memories, ideas and opinions. However, there is a line between being helpful and being harmful.
Spending too much time on social media can actually lead to addiction, which is more harmful than you may initially think. There are many drawbacks to social media addiction, and sometimes, it can have repercussions that can mar your real-life reputation for life.
For one thing, every moment you spend down on your phone going over your social media feed is one moment you’re not spending productively. It’s also one moment you’re not present with your families and friends. Spending a lot of time engrossed on social media also encourages you to be inactive, just sitting on your couch or lying down on your bed instead of being active–or even just going out for a walk, getting your heart rate up, and enjoying the weather.
If you think you have a social media addiction and it’s taking a toll in other areas of your life, here are some ways you can combat it.
Ways to Overcome Social Media Addiction
- Make a realistic assessment of what you’re missing out when you’re always busy with your social media accounts. Whether you’re on your phone, computer or tablet, the time spent on social media could have better been spent reading books, learning new things, spending time with family and friends, being active, or just being present in the real world. Make a list of the things you’re missing out when you’re spending time on social media.
- Make a healthier alternative. Give yourself an obligation to replace the time you usually spend on social media with another activity that is more positive and productive. For example, if you spend 15 to 30 minutes in the morning going over your newsfeeds, why not substitute it with stretching exercises or even just a few minutes of running?
- Schedule social media use–and stick to it. Instead of glancing at your phone every two minutes to check the latest tweets and updates, why not dedicated just a few minutes everyday to check on your social media? For example, simply do it when you’re in the middle of your coffee break in the afternoon, when you can unwind for a little while.
- Use a social media blocking app. There are many helpful apps that can allow you to block yourself from your social media apps for a certain amount of time. Using such apps can help you to better schedule your social media use and stick to the schedule so you can tone down your usage.
- Have a social media detox. While some people fast or go on a detox diet to rid themselves of toxins, it would also be a good idea to go on a social media detox. This could mean that for a week to a month or so, you will deactivate your social media account so you can focus on other things in your life and feel revived.
- Trim your friends and contact lists on social media. The less groups you join, the better. You spend less time going over the articles in your newsfeeds. Same goes for followers and contacts. The less people you follow, the better off you’ll be. Learn to unfollow and unsubscribe.
- Take up a real-world and offline hobby. If you still find yourself tied down to your social media accounts, then maybe it’s time for you to find a worthy diversion. What are you passionate about? Hobbies are great time-fillers and are better compared to mindless scrolling through tweets and feeds.
- Enlist the help of family and friends. Having a support system will allow you to have a reliable support system. They can give you honest criticism and can also show genuine concern about your social media usage.
- Designate social media-free times and locations. Make the dining room, living room and bedroom social media free zones. This way, you can focus more on what’s important, such as being together with your family.
- Learn to turn away from drama and gore. Report gory and inappropriate statuses and avoid those that are full of drama. Learn to use the Hide and Unfollow buttons conscientiously, and you will live a happier, less toxic life.