Most of you reading this article already know whether or not you’re spending way too much time on social media. I mean, there’s so many to choose from: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Vine, LinkedIn, Google plus, Snapchat, and the list goes on. I’m sure if you’re reading this article you have at least one, if not all of them. There are a lot of great benefits to using them. But using and overusing are two different things. If you’re still unsure about whether or not you’re spending too much time on social media, read my article “Ten ways to tell if you’re spending too much time on social media”. You’re probably spending more time on it than you’d like to admit out loud, and that’s okay, I’m not asking for a confession. But if you’re spending way more time on social media than you’d like to, below are some tips you can use to try to cut back.
- Delete your account. If you know you are seriously addicted to social media in the worst way possible, you may need to go cold turkey and delete all your accounts. Online addiction can ruin your life just as bad as an alcohol, drug, or gambling addiction can. If you fall into the category of addiction, you may need an intervention…No, seriously!
- Temporarily deactivate your account. Facebook and Instagram have an option where you can deactivate your account on a temporary basis. This option is great for people who aren’t necessarily addicted, but know they need a break for other personal reasons. One year I gave up all social media for lent, as a way to have more time to self-reflect, away from the outside world. If you know you need a break, but don’t want to permanently delete your accounts and lose all of your contacts, try temporarily deactivating your accounts instead.
- Come up with a social media schedule and stick to it. If you don’t want to completely give up your accounts, try limiting your login to 2-3 times per day for a specified amount of time and vow to stick to it. 15 minutes before work or during lunch, and 30 minutes after work. If you know you’re the disciplined type, this can really work for you.
- Remove the apps from your phone. If you’re one of those people who routinely check your social media accounts from your cell phone every 20-30 minutes out of habit, try removing the app from your phone for a while. This is a good way to test the question of whether or not you spend too much time on social media. Sometimes we develop a habit and don’t realize it’s a habit because we’re doing it subconsciously. If you delete the apps, but find yourself subconsciously picking up your phone in an attempt to check anyway, you’ll know that you’ve developed a habit that you need to wean yourself away from.
- Force yourself to find another activity whenever you’re tempted to log into social media. One way to do this is to carry a good book, your kindle, or magazine with you wherever you go. Reading is fundamental and it’s a great way to stimulate your brain. Our generation and the generation that follows are getting out of the habit of reading. We’d rather look at pictures, or watch YouTube videos instead. Whenever you’re tempted to log into your account, pick up your book and read instead.
- Find interesting things to do with people in your life. If social media is your only way of social interaction with people, I challenge you to get out more and enjoy the people around you. We’ve become a generation that primarily communicates through technology, so you’ll have to make a conscious effort to socialize more with people the old fashioned way. Join a recreational softball team, start a book club, take your kids to the park, meet a friend for coffee… Whatever your interests are, just find a way to do it and interact with real life people in the process. Meetup.com and active.com are two of my favorite websites for meeting people with the same interests as me, especially since I move around a lot, I’m constantly having to find new ways of getting out there and meeting new people.
- Fully engage yourself in whatever is going on around you. I had lunch with a group of coworkers one day and noticed several people looking down at their cell phones the majority of the time. I suppose that it’s hard for some people to detach themselves away from their devices and their social media accounts, however, if you want to change this, make a conscious effort to really engage yourself in the things that are going on around you.
Hey let’s face it, social media is an important form of communication that’s here to stay. But using it can quickly turn into abusing it if you’re not careful. If you’re spending more time on social media than you’d like to, I hope you found these tips useful. Comment below on some of the things you’ve done or plan to do in order to cut back on social media.by