Sure, Social Media has been a great way to connect with people across the globe. Online videos and challenges have made our lives more exciting and fun and some viral videos have contributed towards bringing a positive change. But just like every other thing, ‘too much’ of social media consumption can adversely affect your mental health and well-being. In this article, I’ve talked about why you should spend less time on social media and how you can do so easily.
REASONS TO SPEND LESS TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA
We all know the advantages social media offers, ranging from instant communication to social campaigns. But there are various downsides of social media as well, which people rarely talk about. Below are 5 reasons why you should limit the use of social media:
Researches have shown that those who use social media extensively, lack productivity at work. Their work-life balance is affected negatively. We may not be willing to accept the fact, but this is true and that’s the reason why a lot of students deactivate or delete their social media accounts.
Fake perfection & comparison
Don’t we always post our best pictures on social media? Don’t we share our success and achievements on social media? Of course, all of us do! But do you even remember the last time you posted about your failure? It isn’t just you but the majority of people including me, who share only their past failures after achieving something great, or don’t post them at all. But how does it affect us? Seeing people achieve wonders or living a luxurious life, makes us feel inferior, eventually giving us a sense of insecurity and unworthiness.
ALSO READ: Mental Health: Should We Just Talk About It?
Seclusion and distress
No matter how dedicatedly you work for your future, when you use social media, you feel left out. There is always a sense of seclusion when we watch others going out, partying and celebrating. Either it distracts us as we tend to join them, or we end up feeling low and discouraged about our goal.
If not now, at some point in life, you would have asked your friends to like and comment on your pictures. The real problem arises when you feel upset if you don’t get many likes or follows. Do you really need someone to ‘like’ a picture to tell you that you are beautiful? Think about it.
Confined to a virtual world
Another dark side of social media is that we tend to limit our physical interactions and presence and start living in this virtual world. Instead of going out with one another, we engage in online challenges and chatting. By confining ourselves to this virtual world, we are hardly able to live our life.
HOW TO SPEND LESS TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Now that we know the cons of using social media, we should try to limit our use to only 30 minutes to 1 hour a day. So, here’s how you can actually spend less time on social media:
Look for alternatives
NO! By this I don’t mean looking out for alternative social media sites. Because it is like getting into a relationship with someone to forget your ex. And you will end up falling in love again and regret later. LOL! (Just kidding!).
Some of us don’t use social media for fun. But instead for work or official purposes. Some may use it for business, others for educational purposes. But it diverts our mind and takes us elsewhere. If that’s the case with you too, find out alternatives for your use. For example, if you want to stay updated with current affairs, instead of following an Instagram page for the same, go for a similar YouTube channel or an e-newspaper.
A lot of people complain of receiving notifications from social media sites, every other minute. It actually distracts one from focusing on work or activity while using phone. For this, you can simply turn-off app notifications. If you feel like you will miss any important update, don’t turn-off notifications. Instead, mute the chat of people who you feel annoy you by texting frequently.
Change the location of icons
Many of us really want to overcome our addiction to social media, but we just can’t. Why? Because we are so used to those applications that ‘tapping them’ is the very first thing we do as soon as we pick up our phone. The best possible solution for this is to simply change its placement or location. Drag it to a place where you hardly notice it. It’s simple, yet effective!
Track your screen time
Firstly, you must know how much time you are spending on social media. It is always better to plan how much of it you would spend scrolling through your feed or checking out profiles. Without planning or monitoring, you are most likely to regret wasting your entire day. If you feel like it is a not-so-easy task, you can check out this application “Screentime”, that helps you track the time you spend on any social site.
You are addicted to using social media for 4-5 hours a day, and all of a sudden you decide to give up this addiction. You would be like- “If not social media then what?” It is actually a valid question. Because if you don’t get something better, you are likely to return to your addiction. So why not develop some new hobbies or do things you loved doing in your childhood? Whether it be dancing, playing an instrument, binge-watching web series or reading books, it is surely gonna keep you engaged. Start with replacing only some part of your social media-time with things you love, and increase the time period gradually.
Interact live or on call
We have been so much into instant chatting that we have stopped talking to people who are physically around us. Earlier it was so much easier to make new friends while travelling and visiting a new place. But now we don’t pay heed to people around us as we hardly look at something other than our phone. You must try to live more in the real world than the virtual. If you don’t have your loved ones near you, better call or video chat with them, than texting or liking their pictures.
If you feel like nothing stated above is working for you, better delete your account and take a break. Can’t afford to do that? Uninstall social media applications you are addicted to. Whenever you wish to check out messages or updates, just go to your browser and open it. By uninstalling the application, you will forget about checking for updates and eventually give it up.
These were 7 ways that can help you spend less time on social media. If you are a social media-addict and or really want to limit your social media consumption, start it today! Come back here after a month and comment down if it really helped you.
P.S. BE SINCERE, DON’T CHEAT YOURSELF
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