How to Stop Social Media from Taking Over Your Life

Photo by Jacob Ufkes on Unsplash

Social media can be a lot like chocolate. It’s hard to have just a little.

Every time I say I’m going to check my emails quick or hop onto Facebook for a moment, it turns into hours unbeknownst to me. It’s like the Bermuda triangle for social media!

Did you know that the average person spends over two hours a day on social media? Two hours a day! That’s 14 hours a week!!

No wonder I feel like I have no time to get everything done. I’m wasting half my time on social media!

But cutting down my time on social media is not that easy. The attraction to check my email or Facebook is so alluring! I’m like a pitiful little bug drawn to the light. Only to realize that… ZAP! I’ve gone up in smoke. As much as I know I shouldn’t and I don’t need to, I can’t fight the temptation. It hypnotizes me and sucks me in.

And it’s not just email and Facebook. The other day I glanced at the social media apps on my phone and was overwhelmed at the amount of information in just one! I’ve subscribed to so many podcasts, I’ve used up all the storage space on my phone. I have Facebook friends, groups, and pages galore! Most posts get buried because I can’t keep up with them! Don’t even get me started on emails and Instagram!

So they sit and become one more thing I don’t have time to do. Every time I swipe open my phone, there they sit. Starring me in the face. Increasing my anxiety.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. I took back control of my time and life. So can you.

Here are a few tips to get you started. If you want a total cleanse, implement them in conjunction with each other. Or if going cold turkey freaks you out and just sent your anxiety soaring, take baby steps and implement one tip at a time. Build up to having  a total non-social media dependent life.

Schedule it

Check your social media at a specific time each day. Only check it then and once you’ve checked it your done for the day. No cheating.

Set a timer

Limit your social media usage to 15-30 minutes a day. Total. This includes checking email, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Set a timer, check, when the buzzer goes off, you’re done. Do this for 30 days and see what happens. Not only will you have more time to do the things you love, but you’ll also feel more peace and calmness than you have in a while.

Do a purge

Limit the number of social sites and apps that you use. Keep only those that will benefit you in your personal and work life. The rest are like tv: fun, entertaining, but not a good use of your time.

Go through your apps on your phone and delete the ones you haven’t used in the last 3 months. You don’t need them.  

Go through your podcast subscriptions. Pick the 5 you’ve listened to most recently and most often. Unsubscribe from the rest.

Delete Facebook

Delete the Facebook app from your phone. If you just had heart palpitations from this suggestion, then move the app to the last page on your phone so you’re not tempted to check it as often. After a couple months, delete it so you can only check Facebook on your computer.

Turn off notifications

Turn off notifications on all of your social media apps, email too.

All of these tips will help remove the temptation to check real “quick”. Get to the point that you only check social media for a specific reason. For instance, updated posts for a virtual book club you participate in. Or a niece’s wedding photos. Most often we check out of boredom. Ask yourself why you need to check before you open the app. If you can’t offer up a specific reason, then don’t check.

You’ll thank me for it.

Challenge

Try one or more of these tips for 30 days. Note how you feel at the end. Any different? Do you miss not being on social media constantly? Did you or the world burst into flames? No, no and no? Then don’t go back. But feel free to stop back here and let me know how it went.