Social media is great for staying in touch with family and friends and finding deals from your favorite brands. However, there can be a downside.
Internet searches for social media detox rose 314% this past year. That’s according to a Pinterest study of trends for the year 2020.
Maybe you’re one of many adults trying to change your relationship with Facebook and other online platforms. Start with these suggestions that will help you to clarify your priorities and reclaim your time.
How to Spend Less Time on Social Media:
- Book your time. The hours can fly by when you’re browsing and posting. Keep track of your activities, so you’ll see where you need to cut down. Limit yourself to one or two daily time slots for social media.
- Set a curfew. Searching your Facebook feed before bed can disrupt your sleep due to mental stimulation and the light from the screen. Turn off all your devices a couple of hours before retiring.
- Silence your phone. Do you check your phone each time you get a notification? Remove temptation by turning off the sound or letting them go to email.
- Rearrange your screen. Put your social media icons out of sight. Move them to the bottom of your phone, so you’ll have to scroll down to see them, or put them in their own folder.
- Curate your groups. Shorten your feed by dropping out of groups you no longer need. If the list has stretched out over the years, you can trim it a little at a time.
- Shrink your circle. Unfriending someone sounds harsh, but it may be the kind thing to do for both of you. If you have any reservations, you could mute or hide their posts instead.
- Use technology. Some apps are like vaccines defending you from other apps you have trouble blocking on your own. If you feel like you’re still wasting too much time, try installing a program like Offtime, Flipd, or FocusMe.
What to Do with Your Time Away from Social Media:
- Communicate offline. Use the time you’ve freed up to interact with your family and friends face-to-face or one-on-one. Plan a party or a coffee date. Send a letter or a greeting card. Share personal news with a phone call instead of a post.
- Create a more active lifestyle. Engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. Train for strength, flexibility, and balance too.
- Get a hobby. Do something challenging and enriching. Play a musical instrument or grow your own vegetables. Join a sports league or a Meetup Group for comic book fans.
- Volunteer your services. Give back to your community. Contact a local charity to help organize a fundraiser or shovel snow for elderly neighbors. Work on a political campaign or clean up a nearby park.
- Plan a trip. Make your next vacation extra special. Research possible destinations and plan your itinerary. Borrow guidebooks from your library and talk with others who have visited there before. Be sure to leave room in your schedule for relaxation and spontaneous fun too.
- Take a class. Sign up for courses online or at a community college. Earn certifications that will help you advance your career or study ancient architecture.
- Read books. Rediscover the pleasure of reading books. Enjoy a lighthearted romance or a serious novel. Browse the nonfiction section for works on environmental issues or spirituality.
Becoming more mindful about your social media activities could mean a full detox or adjusting a few daily habits. Either way, achieving greater balance will increase your happiness and productivity.