Social media is addicting. In fact, at least one social media company has publicly admitted that it was designed to be addicting. Apparently, they’ve done a good job in that quest.
Many people suffer from an inability to keep their social media activities within healthy boundaries. Employers complain that employees spend too much time looking at social media when they should be working.
It’s a real issue.
Social media is also damaging. Many people on social media feel compelled to compare themselves to everyone else, but here’s the catch: No one is being honest. It’s all a game to see who can present their life in the most favorable light. This obviously isn’t a healthy addiction.
Break an addiction to social media with these techniques:
- Purge your “friends.” You don’t have 527 friends. Get your list of contacts down to a reasonable number. This would be people you’re related to, that you personally know, or that you greatly admire. This isn’t a large number of people.
- Track the time you spend on social media. There are browser extensions that track how much time you spend on each website you visit. You can also track it yourself. You’ll be surprised by how much time you’re wasting on social media apps and websites.
- Once you’ve determined how much time you’re wasting, make a list of all the things you could be spending that time on.
- Avoid making negative comments. Stirring up trouble online can be an entertaining distraction. Reducing the amount of drama that you experience will help to reduce the attractiveness of social media. Find other ways to amuse yourself.
- Turn off all notifications. It’s impossible to accomplish anything meaningful when your computer or cellphone is alerting you every two minutes. You don’t need to see the vacation pictures from the girl you sat next to in third grade. She doesn’t remember you anyway.
- Spend time with actual people. Work on building a real social life. You’ll realize that spending time with people in the flesh is more satisfying than spending time on social media.
- Set limits. If you do use social media, set a timer and hold yourself to that time limit. Notice how quickly the time passes. That’s your life you’re wasting.
- Use social media as a reward. Only permit yourself to use social media after you’ve done something to earn it. Going to the gym, sticking to your diet, and having a productive day at work are a few ideas.
- Be honest online. It’s easy to present your life as something greater than it actually is. If you force yourself to be honest online, social media won’t be as exciting. For the record, everyone else is being misleading, too.
- Consider taking an entire month off. If all else fails, tell everyone you’re not going to be on any social media sites for an entire month. Take a month off and prove to yourself that you can survive.
Are you addicted to social media? You’re hardly alone. Many people spend far too much time on social media and give it far too much relevance.
Outline a strategy for yourself using the above ideas. Make a plan and give it a try. Remember to be patient with yourself. No addiction is easy to overcome, or it wouldn’t be called an addiction.
Remind yourself of the negative impact social media is having on your life. Set some limits and do your best to adhere to them. Focus on making a little progress each day. You can free yourself from social media addiction.