Social media has given us the ability to speak to friends thousands of miles away (like the relatives I have across the country) to keep up with the latest news, and the ability to read this excellent blog. But it’s also turned a lot of us into addicts. Doubly true for me since I work in social media.
Sound familiar? Well acknowledging the problem is the first step. If you’re looking to get over your social media addiction and get your Instagram checking down to more tolerable levels, here are a few tips to squash it once and for all.
Figure out how you got here in the first place
Acknowledging the problem is step one, and step two is figuring out why it became one in the first place. There’s a reason you keep pulling down to refresh on Snapchat. Once you acknowledge that one app that’s making you check something (or someone), then it might be a bit easier to get to the root of your problem.
No to notifications
One of the biggest culprits of phone checking is hearing the ding from your latest notification. When we leave our phone be after the second or third ding, we worry we’re missing out on something important. For some people, the anxiety of not checking a notification gets so bad, it literally makes our heart race. To get over this, turn off the notifications from all your apps — yes, all of them. This will make it easier to focus on other things instead of worrying if your phone will go off.
Set apart social media time
If social media is taking up too much of your time, then set a specific time during the day where you can check your notifications. Make sure to set it for the same time every day for a fixed amount of time (say 20-30 minutes). And when I mean day, I mean day; viewing your phone at night can interrupt your body’s natural circadian rhythm and make it more difficult to sleep.
Pick up a new hobby
A lot of the time you spend on Instagram admiring your friend’s sick guitar skills can actually be used learning the guitar yourself. Or better yet, exercising the rest of your body at the gym instead of exercising your fingers.
The “treat yo’ self” solution is one of the most tried and true methods to making pretty much any good behavior a habit. Figure out a goal you would like to reach, e.g., “I will only check Facebook three times a day.” Once you accomplish your goal, reward yourself with your favorite treat: anything from a cookie to some retail therapy. Just be careful not to replace one bad behavior with another.
Did you try these tips? How did they work? Leave a comment below!