Can you think of the last time easily, when you engaged in the much-needed family time or meaningful conversation with your friend without having to reach for your cellphone or while mindlessly scrolling? When was the last time you took a picture without worrying about how worthy it was to upload?
If you spend a lot of time on social media than in reality, it’s time for a transformation. You might say, “No, no! I’m not addicted. I can discontinue anytime I feel like!” Regardless of the excuse, this is not okay.
Social media platforms serve the purpose of encouraging us to connect. Over time, the same platforms, like Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, have begun to pull us out of our social circles, disconnecting us from our real and genuine relationships. Many of us have conveniently forgotten about life without social media, as we are all so invested in this virtual world.
It’s high time that we realize that these systems are in place for us to put to good use and not distract us.They should be just means, not lifestyles.
Here are a few tips that will help monitor social network use and ensure that you are productive.
Set Screen Time
It is crucial to set a daily limit of time spent using smart devices for social media. This will help in setting healthy boundaries for wise usage and even encouraging disconnection. It should be done without fully missing out on the social activities and avoiding the dreaded FOMO (fear of missing out), which is one reason for constantly remaining connected.
Set Down Times for Device Use
Schedule some down times consciously so that you can eventually get into a habit of identifying when to put down the device so that there is a disconnection from the social media networks. Do not get involved in zoned-out scrolling.
Downtimes could be during meals, an hour before bedtime, or while meeting friends and family. Uptimes could be scheduled while taking a break from work or schoolwork. It could also be done when all the work on the To-do lists are done.
Manage Notifications and Minimise Them
When notifications from social media ping on the phone all day there is temptation to check and you give in and use the phone.
It can be highly beneficial to turn off the notifications on social media accounts. This will help in checking social media only when convenient rather than getting the beckoning feeling of doing it right away when the notification pops.
Redesign the Lock Screen
Creating a lock screen that prompts one to ask three questions: What for? Why now? What else?
This will help in mindful scrolling and will act as a reminder to question whether or not the phone was picked up with a purpose. It just serves as a sign that you picked the phone out of boredom or loneliness. The point of this exercise is to just notice patterns and get a better understanding of your habits.
Take out time daily for yourself
Reserve an hour of the day to indulge in anything that you enjoy, whether reading, exercising, or simply some time for self-care. No screens should be involved. This will give a break from continuous interactions, shutting down all the tabs popping up from numerous conversations in the head.
Change your Morning Routine
The start of the day should focus on intention and not on mindless scrolling. You should ask, “What do I want to accomplish today?” While the end of the day should consist of reflection (“How did today go? How can I make tomorrow better?”). When one is constantly looking at the screen since morning, one is more likely to skip the moment of zen and lose the day’s intention.
There is a need to stop internalising the likes and comments on your social media handles and holding onto them for too long, irrespective of whether they are appreciative or negative comments. And for all of us struggling and make efforts to capture perfect photographs for social media handles, let’s just understand that nothing is perfect and also real perfection lies in the imperfect.
You can get a screening done to know if you are spending more time than normal on your phone. Seeking professional help is also an important step to manage your usage and work on it. Every time you begin taking social media too seriously, internalising those likes, keep in mind, the grass is always greener on social media.