Last Updated on December 11, 2019
Combat your social media addiction with some incredible tricks
“I’m not addicted; I can stop whenever I feel like it. It’s not that big of a deal.” These are the first remarks you may hear from anyone that probably is addicted to social media.
If your phone is the first thing you see when you wake up, and the last thing you see before you go to sleep, you are likely addicted. Or if you constantly check your phone because you anticipate notifications, you may be addicted, as well.
But don’t freak out just yet. If you are addicted, it’s not your fault! Social media is designed to be addictive because it creates an infinite supply of dopamine.
When it taps into the reward center of our brain, it can even be more difficult to resist than cigarettes and alcohol. That is why you may be checking your phone even when it is on silent – you have been conditioned to do so.
Drawing the line on your usage depends on what kind of social media addict you are. Do you check once, only to go down a rabbit hole with non-stop scrolling? Do you have to check for notifications every minute? Find out if you have a social media bad habit, and counteract it.
Control Your Screen Time
Depending on what kind of phone you have, you may have a built-in Screen Time feature that shows analytics of your phone or app usage. If your phone does not come with it, you can download an app that shows you how long you are on social media. That way, you can aim to cut down your screen time gradually.
There may be a feature that keeps track of how many times you pick up your phone per day. You would be surprised how often we do it without realizing it! Also, another useful feature is the one that shows “most-used apps” – aim to delete one to three of your top most-used apps.
Find Creative Alternatives
More than half of users state that they are afraid of missing out, or feel the need to stay connected to maintain relationships. The truth is, we are not likely receiving quality time from any of our 5000 virtual friends.
In fact, it is more probable that the people that matter to you the most do not need social media to be in your life.
Disconnect To Reconnect
Most of these methods require leaving the house, and we know that sometimes it is easier said than done. We are not the first ones (or the last ones) that will tell you to get out more, but we do it because we know it is essential for your health.
Think of the people you talk to the most. When was the last time you met up and did something enjoyable? It may not be as easy as a “like and share” action, but face-to-face interaction is something that we all need.
Find A Hobby
We mentioned earlier that you can cut down on screen time. Depending on how much time you gain, you can pick up on hobbies you have been neglecting, volunteer, or even learn a new skill! Plus you can meet actual people, instead of superficial profiles.
If you take a look at what catches your attention the most on social media, you can find the equivalent in your life. Do you enjoy taking pictures and posting them? Take a photography course. Love sharing funny videos? Explore nearby stand-up comedy shows. The possibilities are endless!
For Long-Distance Connections
Replace connection via social media with something less distracting and more meaningful. Plan to visit loved ones, or go old-school by writing personalized letters. It might be difficult to adjust to delayed gratification, but we promise you the wait will be worth it.
If you want to take a more tech-related route, invest in gadgets that specialize in long-distance connection. There are devices like bracelets and friendship lamps make great gifts ideas, and they keep that special someone close while they’re away.
If you must use your phone to stay in touch with someone – but want to avoid getting sucked into social media – there are apps designed specifically for couples. That way, you do not have to divide your energy and attention to hundreds of other users. Think of it as a private social media site.
Go On A Social Media Detox
If taking small steps does not work, or if you are the type that needs to go cold turkey, you may need to forego social media entirely.
If you check your phone constantly (even after turning off notifications), you need to delete all of the apps you can.
If that does not work, consider placing your phone or device away in a drawer, so that it is out of sight. In cases where you have children, and you need to be available for emergency calls, having the volume on is completely understandable.
If all else fails, or if you are having a difficult time with social media addiction, it will be in your best interest to seek professional help. Like other addictions, it should be taken seriously, and there is nothing to be ashamed of.
Social media detox is, for most of us, just what the doctor ordered
Enjoy The Perks
Take advantage of the benefits of better sleep, more free time, improved mental health, and more. Most importantly, there is nothing like living your best life and being with people that make you forget you even have a smartphone.