With phones in our pockets or glued to our palms, it’s too easy to lose precious minutes to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the myriad of others apps we use to keep in touch.
Social media has become a vital way to stay connected, to both our loved ones and the world at large. And yet, as the saying goes, too much of a good thing becomes bad. Social media is literally addictive, giving our brains a jolt of dopamine that builds up a craving to keep checking our phones again and again.
Looking to cut back? Reclaim your time? Or at least clear your brain? Here are a few ways to keep your fingers away from that “like” button.
Schedule Splurge Time and Breaks
Each day, designate a handful of minutes where you get to do nothing but scroll through your feeds: no guilt, no restrictions. When you’re done, set the phone out of sight. Conversely, make a list of activities that you vow to keep phone and tech free, whether that means dinner, date night, or family time.
To Check Less, Post Less
Posting and/or sharing lots of content can create a loop in which we’re compelled to check our phone even more (“Did anyone ‘like’ my status?”). When you get the itch to update your status or share a photo, stop for a moment and consider your intentions. Be conscientious of how often you post and why.
Create a No-Phone Sleeping Arrangement
Many experts recommend designating your bedroom as a no-phone zone. This curbs the temptation to scroll through social media before you sleep or check it right when you wake up. Do you use your phone as an alarm? It’s time to buy an old-fashioned alarm clock!
Adjust Your Phone Settings
Turn off any and all social media notifications on your phone. Or better yet, remove the apps from your phone so that you can only use them on a desktop or tablet. Even just cutting off immediate access to social media helps reduce the temptation to check it.
Use Technology To Your Advantage
Did you know there are special apps you can use to block websites? If you struggle with social media while working on your laptop or desktop, these apps will ban you from whatever platforms you need to escape. Some even have timed settings: once you’ve indulged yourself with 20 or 30 minutes of scrolling, you’re forced to stay off for the rest of the day.