I’m old enough to remember a world without social media. A place where if you wanted to find out what was going on with your friends, you had to make a phone call, send a text/email, write a letter or arrange to meet up in person. And I remember life was filled with things you could hear, see, touch, smell and taste first hand. I also had lots of time to read, visit people, create things and generally have fun without the risk of any of my exploits being photographed and used against me at a later late.
Average social media usage is two hours a day
But there’s no disputing the fact that since mainstream social media launch in the UK in 2006 take up has been swift. And I am sure that I am no different to anyone when it comes to its use. Sometimes it’s very easy to while away hours as you immerse yourself in an online world. Indeed, the average time spent per day browsing social media channels is two hours. Plus, if you use a gaming console, add an extra hour.
But be warned, social media is not the all-singing, all-dancing digital solution that it was originally designed to be. It first came into existence to help people connect digitally with friends, colleagues, family members, and like-minded individuals they might never have met in person. But in more recent years, social media has been plagued with many negative associations, which has left many users suffering from:
- Inadequacy about their life or appearance
- Fear of missing out (FOMO)
- Serious social media addictions
- Cyberbullying and online abuse
- Isolation and loneliness
- Depression and anxiety/stress
- Sleep problems
- Rumour spreading
- Peer pressure
Stay out of the social media rabbit hole
And there are so many channels to choose from – 128 at the last count evidently. Whilst, only last week, another one was launched – Threads – Meta’s rival app to Twitter. So how can you still keep abreast of what’s going on, but not find yourself falling down the rabbit hole of complete social media addiction?
The solution is simply, restrict the time you are on social media. That might sound easy but like any habit, you need to learn to break its hold. Here are a few useful tips to help you enjoy a more fulfilling and 3D life.
- Keep track of the amount of time you spend on social media
- Set a daily limit/Use app limits, or check in only at certain times of the day
- Disable notifications
- Don’t carry your phone with you everywhere
- Mute your phone during mealtimes/during the working day
- Switch your phone off in the evening and overnight
- Stop checking it first thing in the morning and last thing at night
- Give yourself designate technology-free times/days off?
- Schedule in more meaningful interactions – coffee with a friend, weekly gym visits etc
- Prioritise other activities – reading, talking face to face, walking etc.
The key to breaking a habit is to do it gradually If you, a slow withdrawal will be more successful that simply deleting all your accounts on day one. For help and support when it comes to switching off from social media, please get in touch 07780 692784 or email@example.com