Have you ever found yourself scrolling through your friend’s boyfriend’s sister’s dog’s Instagram profile without even realizing what you were doing? If the answer’s yes (don’t worry, you’re not alone!) you might be addicted to social media. And I’ve got a few tips to help!
But before I get into the different things you can do to curb your social media addiction, I just want to be clear that I’m not saying social media is evil or that you should banish it from your life. I LOVE social media. But sometimes, a girl’s just gotta get shit done and social media ain’t helping. So here are 5 ways to take back control:
Turn off notifications
Yes, you hear this one all the time. But have you actually done it?! A few years ago I decided to disable all social media notifications and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made (#notexaggerating). It didn’t take long for my friends and family to learn that social media isn’t a reliable way to contact me urgently (though I am one of those annoying people that always has their phone on silent for no actual reason…) and there are less temptations to pull me down that social media rabbit hole. So if you haven’t done it yet, for the love of Beyoncé please turn your notifications off.
To do: Disable notifications on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube, Tumblr… you get the idea. The only notifications I leave enabled are call, text and one messaging app (for me that’s the Facebook messenger app).
Give yourself a time limit
Giving yourself a time limit is a simple but effective way to curb your social media addiction. Particularly because, thanks to all those algorithms these days, you’re going to see the most interesting stuff within the first 2 minutes you’re on social media. And then it’s all downhill from there.
To do: Set yourself either a time limit for each day or each session and be strict with yourself. We all know that 5 minutes can turn into 5 hours in the blink of an eye if you’re not careful!
Use an app
This one is my favorite! When your self-discipline is lacking, an app like Forest can stop a social media spiral in its tracks. Forest is a pretty simple app – it let’s you plant a virtual tree and that tree dies if you exit the app. And maybe that doesn’t sound like the greatest motivator not to check social media, but it feels so bad to kill that tree! Plus Forest have partnered with an organization that plants real-life trees, which I think is SO cool (btw I’m not sponsored to say any of this – I just love the app). Of course, you could also use Airplane Mode on your phone, but growing a tree is so much more fun!
To do: Download an app like Forest or turn your phone on Airplane Mode whenever you need to get shit done.
Have better stuff to do
When it comes to curbing your social media addiction, one of the most best things you can do is simply give yourself something better to do. Whether that’s working towards your goals, reading a book, meeting new people and making some new friends, starting a blog, doing your personal development routine, planning your next vacation or something else – having something meaningful to do with your time will give you a reason to not check social media.
To do: Make some plans so you have something better to do with your time than aimlessly scrolling through Instagram.
Be willing to feel uncomfortable
Let’s be real, most of the time the reason we check social media is because we’re trying to avoid something else – whether that’s boredom, feeling lonely, looking lonely, making tough decisions, rejection, failing or basically just anything even remotely uncomfortable. One of the most powerful things you can do to curb your social media addiction is be willing to feel uncomfortable. That means you need to be willing to feel the urge to check social media and not actually check it. It takes some practice but allowing yourself to feel an urge without responding to it is one of the most incredible skills you can learn, especially if you want to grow as a person.
To do: Next time you feel the urge to check social media, don’t check it. Sit with that restless, uncomfortable feeling that’s there until it passes.
So there you have it – 5 ways to curb your social media addiction! Let me know which ones you’re going to try in the comments below.
And just so you know, I share more blog posts like this on my blog Smart Twenties.