Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Tinder…these are just a few of the most popular social media websites that exist today. And even though the advent of these sites is relatively recent, the number of people and the amount of time they spend on these sites is huge!
Most of us love to browse Facebook and keep up with all the latest news and activities of our friends and family, near and far. This can be a wonderful communication tool, and it has been credited for helping people organize for positive causes. It can even help you if you are trying to learn English or another language, and put you in touch with people from other countries and cultures!
But there has been a lot of talk lately about social media addiction! That’s right—some people spend too much time on social media sites, and they just can’t disconnect. Just like addictions to gambling and shopping, the causes and remedies can be quite complex, and it can be very difficult to give it up once someone’s life is “taken over” by social media.
So what can you do to make sure your social media time doesn’t turn you into a “Facebook addict”? Or is it already too late??
Here are 5 Tips to Take Back Your Life from Social Media:
- Turn off all notifications which aren’t absolutely necessary. Having our phones ringing and beeping and dinging and buzzing all day can cause a lot of unnecessary stress in our lives. Each time the phone notifies us of something happening on social media or email or instant messaging, we are distracted. Sometimes the news doesn’t even apply to us, or sometimes it is someone who is wanting our immediate attention. This can lead to difficulty concentrating on work or the people you are speaking to at the time! (Pssst—this could also save your relationship!)
- Delete your social media applications on your smartphone. Without apps for Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn and others, we don’t have these things so readily available at our fingertips. That means that if you want to check your social media profiles, you would have to go online and log in each time. This simple change will certainly minimize the time you are absent-mindedly scrolling through Facebook every few moments, leaving you more time to deal with real-life tasks and events. Take the time to smell the roses for goodness sakes!
- Take a day off. Setting aside one day a week where you do not go onto social media sites is always a good idea. Many people do this when they are on holiday, so why not take a day each weekend for a “social media holiday”? You’ll be surprised what you might do instead—cook something you love, go for a hike with friends, help someone with a project, or make your living space more cozy. Taking time off from all that constant “news consumption” is nourishing to our body and soul!
- Shorten your friend list. Chances are, at least a third of your friend list is not relevant or beneficial to you, from people you don’t even know, to people you can’t stand, not to mention local businesses and international advertisers, newspapers and more. Give the ax to any contact that creates unnecessary or unpleasant noise in your social media, or people who have no role in your real life. When you see a post you don’t like, make sure to click to stop following it. Cutting down on this type of clutter helps create a more friendly environment for you when you do spend time on social media.
- Set limits. Many people like to schedule time to be on social media, just as they would schedule a sports activity or a date with a friend. The more conscious you become of the time you spend online, the more wisely you will spend your time in general. Keep in mind that you don’t have to be available to everyone all the time, and messages can wait for a reply during your next scheduled time online. If something important is happening with someone you care about, chances are the person will call you directly!
Maybe you don’t feel that you are a social media addict who needs to take such drastic measures. But if you do follow these steps, you can be sure you will be removing at least some stress from your daily life, and that’s always a good thing!
What about you? Do you feel you spend too much time on social media?
Do you think social media addiction is a real addiction that needs to be treated?
Do you think parents and teachers should be concerned about the effects of social media on children?
We love to read your comments below!
Some of the information in this article was borrowed from here.