25 Oct 6 Ways To Beat Social Media Addiction
It is estimated that 210 million people worldwide suffer from internet and social media addiction. This was only a 2017 estimate, before our world seemed to move online, as it has done this year. With so many of us trapped inside, unable to see friends in person and consequently resorting to social media out of boredom and a desire to connect, our usage patterns have indisputably gotten even unhealthier.
Social media addiction signs
Social media addiction is no easy thing to quantify, but there are some very clear signs – check off how many of these signs of social media addiction you are guilty of.
How many were applicable to you? If you recognised yourselves in any of these signs, don’t be alarmed. In fact, many of us will find ourselves exhibiting behaviour patterns and tendencies of someone addicted to social media, and all of these have a negative impact on our health and wellbeing.
So what can we do? Beating social media addiction is not something that can be done overnight; it requires a reevaluation of your digital-life balance, and this is something personal to you. However, whilst only you can figure this out, there are some steps you can take to reduce your use of and dependency on social media, and to help you take control back from the tiny tyrant that is the smartphone.
#1 Turn off notifications
It can be so difficult to detach yourself from social media when your phone lights up every minute with new notifications. So turn them off.
Notifications for when certain individuals have tweeted and so on are distracting enough, but so many people also get caught up watching their phone and counting ‘likes’. This is unhealthy and will only cause anxiety if you do this after making a post. After posting what you’d like to, I recommend leaving social media for a period of time so that you do not get rapped up by who is interacting with your post.
#2 Don’t have your phone by you whilst you sleep
It is not difficult to see how our phone’s wreak havoc with our sleep schedules. 45% of people choose to scroll through social media instead of sleep.
To combat this, place your phone on the other side of the room. If the phone is out of reach, we will be less tempted to check it. It is often an automatic reaction to reach for your phone and scroll through social media in bed. If you have to get out of bed to enable this, you will think about why you want your phone, and chances are that this will help you cut down on how much you use it at night.
#3 Remove your phone from your morning routine
Likewise, do not reach for your phone the moment you get out of bed. For a lot of us, the first thing we do in the morning is to check our phone. Avoid this! Not only does this exhibit an unhealthy dependency on our phones, the sudden huge quantity of content which will hit you as you scroll is too much for our tired mind to handle. This will overwhelm and distract us, and negatively impact our ability to focus for the day. Try not to touch it until you are at least settled into the day.
#4 Place less weight on your personal social media appearance
Easier said than done, I know. However, one of the big signs of social media addiction is that you spend a lot of time overthinking and over-planning your posts. This causes anxiety and stress. If you place less importance on how and what you post, you will be able to free up your mind from this stress.
#5 Opt for analogue alternatives
Fall back in love with your hobbies, or discover new ones. Set yourself time away from work and your phone to explore and enjoy non-screen based activities, such as arts and crafts, reading or exercising.
In giving yourself back time you would have spent scrolling, and dedicating it to yourself
#6 Digital detox
The best thing that you can do is learn to live without it. This doesn’t mean abandoning social media, it just means spending some time away from it completely. This is called a digital detox.
All of the tips mentioned above are steps towards a digital detox. However, the benefits of a total digital detox are unmatched by that of any other tip mentioned above. It is only when you remove social media from your daily routine that you realise how much more time you have for yourself in the day, and how much it frees up your mind.
Try out our digital detox course if you’re serious about finding ways to deal with your social media addiction, it will walk you through the steps and strategies to get a better balance.
Or, pick up a copy of our book ‘My Brain Has Too Many Tabs Open‘ which is packed with advice and tips!