I grew up with social media. When I say that I don’t mean I always had social media. I mean that as I grew up, social media was introduced and I was able to adapt to it. Social media is right up my alley. I won’t pretend like it’s not. I am an over-sharer by nature. Snapping photos, telling stories, and sharing funny videos are all the best ways to live. Hands down. Social media just allows me to do that with a wider range of people. Plus, I love that I haven’t had to lose touch with any people who would otherwise be gone from my life. That being said, too much of a “good thing” is not always a good thing. Limiting time on social media is crucial for your mental health and general well-being. Since I am all about minimizing, I wanted to share these few ways that you can spend less time on social media and more time living life.
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The benefits of social media
There are so many benefits to social media that people don’t usually talk about. Like I said, it can help keep us connected to people all around the world. It’s amazing that I can see updated photos of my nieces in California every single day. If I want to send someone a quick message to see how they’re doing, I can.
Social media has also allowed many stay at home parents, entrepreneurs and side hustlers to make money. Maybe through advertisements, spreading the word of their new business or promoting their direct sales products. I personally love making a living from the comfort of my own bed every day.
When someone has a baby, they can literally share it with the whole world. The day you get married, you can tell everyone with a simple status change.
That being said, there are also downsides to too much social media use.
How social media effects your mental health
There are so many ways that social media can affect you negatively.
Increase of anxiety and depression.
Just 2 hours a day on social media has been shown to have negative effects on people’s moods. With a consistent rise in depression in people young and old, it’s hard not to assume social media has something to do with this.
Comparing your life to others.
This particular topic was very surprising to me. I started to hear that people would see other people’s lives and feel worse about their own. As a person who always saw social media as a way to share with one another, I never considered that my life might make other people hate their own.
Receiving negative comments.
A lot of times you’ll hear older people complaining about teenagers on social media. The one thing I always try to remind people is that getting picked on in school has taken on a whole new level with social media. This of course isn’t limited to high school kids. Cyber bullying and trolling can take down a full grown, fully confident adult in just one swing.
Can reduce quality of sleep.
Often times the addiction to social media can end up taking away from people’s quality night sleep. There have even been studies saying that having your phone on at night and near you can effect your quality of sleep.
FOMO (Fear of missing out)
When someone spends all day working and they go online to see that everyone else was at a party or hanging out at the beach, it can instantly make a person feel left out. These thoughts of feeling left out can instantly spiral into not being good enough.
Just like our entire modern world, technology is in some cases making things too quick for us. Having everything so quick at our finger tips can lead to over stimulation and even change people’s abilities to work hard at something. When everything else is so instant, it makes delayed gratification more of a struggle.
How to tell if you have a problem
This is a list that I saw on Forbes and I thought was absolutely perfect for describing how to tell if you have a social media problem.
- The first thing you do in the morning is check your social media.
- You’ll take down a post if it hasn’t reached a certain amount of likes.
- You feel angry when nobody comments on your posts.
- You’ve overanalyzed images of yourself to post.
- You can’t go to the bathroom without your phone.
- You’ve found yourself refreshing your feed every few minutes.
That being said, if you feel like you have a problem with social media, continue reading on to see how you can spend less time on social media. In fact, I think we could all benefit from less time on social media. So, even if you don’t feel like these warning signs fit you, consider some of these options anyway.
Times to put social media away
There are certain un-arguable times when you have got to put social media away. In fact, put the entire phone away end of story. Here is the short list of when to ditch the phone and enjoy the people or quiet around you.
- While dinning
- When you’re with company
- In bed
- With your kids
Social media was originally invented to connect people. Make sure you are still connecting with the people that are actually in front of you.
If you are failing to do this, then you are missing the point entirely.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”Social media was originally invented to connect people. Make sure you are still connecting with the people that are actually in front of you. #socialmediaprobs #peoplefirst” quote=”Social media was originally invented to connect people. Make sure you are still connecting with the people that are actually in front of you.”]
Delete your apps
If you find yourself wasting too much time on certain social media platforms then you might want to consider just deleting them all together or just removing the app from your phone.
Personally, I have done this with Snapchat and Facebook. These were two social media platforms that became way too easy to waste my time on. Snapchat I deleted all together and will occasionally re-download and check in on. Facebook I will only check form my laptop.
Consider where you are wasting the most time and free up some space on your phone by just deleting these distracting apps altogether.
Set a timer
Another great way to keep an eye on your social media time is to set a timer. Because social media is a big part of running the blog for me, I have to consistently do this.
For example, Instagram is a huge social media platform that I am trying to build. This requires a lot of interacting with others, commenting, liking and responding to direct messages. In order to make sure I don’t let my time get away from me, I set a timer for 30 minutes. When the timer goes off, I am done for the day.
Instagram has also installed a reminder feature that lets you set a time limit for yourself and will warn you when you have reached that time limit!
Turn on airplane mode
Airplane mode is a genius phone feature to allow you to get your time and sanity back in one small move. Here are some great suggestions for when you access airplane mode:
- At night while you sleep
- Times when you need to focus
- While you are reading
- During work
- While you drive
- When you have company over
- Dinner time
Airplane mode basically shuts down your phone. No calls, no beeps, no alerts. Nothing. You will have uninterrupted silence. This is absolutely something more people need to take advantage of.
Find a new habit
Lastly, and probably the most affective thing to do is to develop a new habit. In reading the book, The Power of Habit, author Charles Duhigg talks about habits, how they form, and how to break the bad ones. The biggest recommendation is to supply yourself with a new habit.
This is what habits look like:
There will be something that cues us to start our habit. When it comes to social media, this may likely be that “ping” that let’s us know we have a new message or comment
So we pick up our phone and start scrolling social media again.
In this case the reward may be a new “like” or comment on a photo that makes us feel good and rewarded.
A new way to handle this would be the beautiful airplane mode. When you click into airplane mode, pick up a book you’ve been wanting to read. Take a moment to write in your journal. Sketch a photo. Do something else to keep your mind and fingers busy.
Creating a new habit that is beneficial to you in place of social media is your best chance for breaking the cycle and can help you spend less time on social media for good.