It’s been on my mind for a minute now: a Social Media Cleanse.
Lately, I’ve noticed that I spend an inordinate amount of time on social media. I’ve never felt so bound to it before, to the point where it would control how I feel or what I do; now it has. There’s always a first time for everything but the good thing is that I recognize the problem and now I’m ready to deal with it.
How you know you have an unhealthy attachment to social media?
- The Twitch – You find yourself checking your phone for no reason ever so often.
- Validation – Likes and comments matter more than they should. You overvalue the importance of the network so much, that no matter what you post, it means nothing unless people hit “Like” — a substantial number of people.
- Procrastination – You just can’t seem to find the time to do the things you want or need to do because you spent too much time sliding your thumb up and down the screen.
- Post-junkie – You start posting unnecessarily: innumerous funny videos, memes, old photos, every interaction you’ve had or every event you went to. The urge is as uncontrollable as the inclination to scratch an itch. Sometimes your own privacy, as well as others, is at stake.
- Sleep Deprivation – You call it insomnia because it sounds better. Put the phone down and you’ll see how quickly you fall asleep. Social Media consumes time that should be spent sleeping because there’s always something interesting to look at. The algorithm is designed to keep you engaged. When you thought that 2 minutes have passed, actually, 20 minutes have.
- Comparing Lives – Do you find yourself comparing your life to the lives of others or wanting to do what they do? Have you ever used someone’s page as a blueprint of how your life should be? Have you ever asked yourself, “Why have they made it, and I’m still here?” Jealousy and depression almost always follow.
Those are the traits that I’ve been noticing in myself lately. I know that removing social media completely from my life is not an option. The groups I’m a part of, rely heavily on social media to communicate and share information. Social media is also a learning tool for me. These are not excuses, these are rational explanations. I came up with a few alternatives that are suitable for my lifestyle. It won’t work for everyone but don’t be afraid to try them as much as you like. Prior to this, I had to ask myself the following question:
How do I spend less time on Social Media?
Do Not Disturb – Currently, this is the status of my phone and it has helped me by not alerting me every time I receive a notification.
I’ll be disabling notifications so that I won’t be distracted when I’m using my phone for educational purposes or business.
Check Schedules – I’ll only be checking my phone 3 times a day at the most: Lunch, after work and 1 hour before my scheduled bed-time. These times are for message-checks and page updates.
Time Limit – I’ll only be spending 30 minutes at most on social media per day (this excludes YouTube). For YouTube, I’ve allocated 1 hour for entertainment purposes.
One-day cleanse – One day each week will be used for a cleanse, where I would not be on social media for the entire day. This would increase over time as I learn to adapt to the new regime.
I believe that small steps can lead to big changes.
*** If you have a problem with social media, let me know in the comments below, how it has affected your life and steps you took to recondition yourself. ***