Do you also can’t resist but check your phone every 5 minutes? Well, if yes then you too are found guilty of being addicted to social media. So what can you do? Firstly, let’s accept the fact that exempting social media from our lives can’t happen overnight. It will require you to put in a decent amount of both, your time and effort to come out with efficient results.
How to Avoid Excessive Use of Social Media
As per a report, “it is estimated that around 210 million people worldwide suffer from internet and social media addiction.’’
Also, Psychologist Larry Rosen in his study concluded that “a typical young adult unlocks their phone more than 70 times per day, checking it for 3 to 4 minutes before locking it.’’
In order to help you reduce your dependence on social media, we’ve aggregated the 10 most productive steps that will most likely resort you back from social media.
1. Turn off your notifications
As scary as it may sound but turning off your notification is the best thing you can ever do to limit your screen-time. We all are addicted to that popping sound, every time a notification floats on our screen. Notifications are an absolute source of distraction that comes naturally equipped with the ability to catch an individual’s attention. Before trying anything else, just toggle that notification bar off and you’ll surely see the magic coming.
2. Turn on Grayscale
One of the best features that have been introduced to curb the excessive use of social media is grayscale. This may not take away your addiction completely but will surely reduce your screen-time to a certain extent.
Grayscale will de-saturate your phone entirely and turn it into a black and white screen. Well, using Instagram may not be that appealing in black and white as it would rather have been in tricolor. For example, on iOS, go to Settings > General > Accessibility >Display Accommodations >Color Filters. Switch Color Filters on and select Grayscale. On the other hand, enabling Grayscale on Android differs for every model.
3. Take a day off from social media every week
Everyone no matter how busy he/she is can spare a day to focus on important things and cut down on social media interactions. Be it Saturday or Sunday, you have to take time off your hectic schedule and value time by performing actual meaningful activities.
You can start by making your own rules, for instance, make a vow to not use smartphones after 7 pm. Over time, you’ll get used to it (even if you want to, see that’s the magic of a vow). That way, you’ll realize how productive you can be even without smartphones.
4. Find a hobby you love
If you spend plenty of hours just staring at your phone’s screen, then you have to pick yourself a hobby. A hobby that will keep you away from social distractions. That said, you might be wondering how can someone suddenly find a way out to avoid excessive screen-time. I understand, picking up a hobby isn’t that simple.
Well, I’ll recommend that you either join a yoga class, read a book, go for a walk, or indulge in the performing arts. Research suggests engaging oneself in hobbies can have a positive impact on a person’s overall health.
5. Manage your screen time
Managing your time screen would be the best alternative that you can incorporate if you can’t totally ignore your phone and its related activities. To do so, you can use iOS Screen Time and Android’s Digital Wellbeing, both of which come equipped with great features and will definitely limit you from spending a lot of time staring at screens.
Apart from using these in-built functionalities, you can also opt for Forest which is an excellent app that motivates you to be productive and allows you to create your own ‘blacklist’ where you can avoid using selected apps. The app is very interesting, it provides you with a tree every time you complete a task. The tree keeps on growing and so do your virtual coins.
6. Keep your phone out of reach whilst you sleep
Scrolling through your favorite social media app on your bed at night is probably one of the not-so-good activities that we perform. Though it may seem relaxing, it is actually not. I am sure you might have also been banged by your parents for using your phone on charging late at night. On one serious note, it has been observed by experts that a lot of screen time before going to bed can dry up eyes and lead to various eye-related illnesses.
A bright screen may not be good for your eyes and that you should incorporate ways to reduce light on your phone. You can even try keeping your phone in another room to avoid distractions.
7. Don’t set an alarm clock on your phone
Let’s accept the fact, we all have ditched using an actual alarm clock a long time ago. I remember using an alarm clock while in school but immediately switched to a digital one when I got my first phone. Well, I was wrong, in fact, all those who are addicted to their phones should get an actual alarm clock. Doing this will definitely bring a behavioral change in activities you perform early morning. It will keep you away from all sorts of negativities and let you focus on your day.
8. Change your phone layout
Another workaround to avoid excessive use of social media involves prioritizing functional apps first. You can do that by changing your phone’s layout so that you only come across apps that are essential. For that, you can try moving apps away from your home screen and scrunch them into a folder. This way, you’ll not overindulge in apps that take away your productive time.
9. Launch apps by typing rather than opening them from your home screen.
The pattern of how the apps would appear on our smartphones have been designed in a smart way. A way that would attract people to visit apps even when there’s nothing exciting. We all are so used to our smartphones that we open apps that we rarely use when we have nothing great to do on your phone. Has it ever happened to you that you’ve opened an app without knowing the actual reason to do so in the first place? To avoid that, you can toggle settings and organize your system in such a way that will let you show you apps only when you type it in the search box.
10. Delete Your Apps
At last, if nothing works, delete apps that are the reason for your addiction to smartphones. I have tried this for myself and it has turned out to be an absolute savior. I understand that many of you won’t go for this particular alternative as it’s not as easy as we think it is.
We all have engrossed ourselves in the activities that happen on social media, especially Instagram for that matter. It has become our way out of anxiety and stress. Initially, it would be quite challenging but once you adopt activities that don’t involve much use of the phone, I am sure you won’t miss Instagram or any social media platform.
How do I stop my social media addiction?
Follow the workarounds mentioned in this article and you’ll surely experience a change in your behavior.
Is deleting social media a good idea?
If your social media is instilling a sense of anxiety and stress into your life, you should not give it a second thought and delete it straight away.
Is social media a waste of time?
Social media is a waste of time for people who spend hours scrolling at their feed without getting benefitted from it at all.
What are the negative effects of social media?
Fear of missing out (FOMO) is one of the major negative effects of social media.
What does social media do to your brain?
When a person posts something on social media and doesn’t get enough likes for it, a feeling of anxiety ignites which may affect an individual’s brain.
How much is too much time on social media?
30 minutes or less per day is considered to be an accurate time one should spend on social media.
How does social media addiction affect us?
Social media addiction can affect one’s mental health and also lower an individual’s self-esteem.
How does social media affect behavior positively?
Social media is good in the sense, that it is an excellent platform to exchange useful information with others.
Why is social media bad for teens?
Too much use of social media can have a negative impact on teens and that in severe cases, it may cause depression, anxiety, and sleep deprivation.
Is social media a distraction from reality?
To some extent, some people do create content on social media far away from reality, and that it may distract people from their real lives.
Are social media the main distraction at work?
A study concluded by a portal stated, 44% of employees at work use their cell phones and spend most of their time on social media.
It’s always the baby steps that take us to our final destination and accomplish the goal that we had long desired. Incorporating some of these alternatives into your life will surely benefit you. You can try by reducing your screen-time 10 minutes a day and then gradually increasing it over a period of time. Also, don’t forget to track your progress.