Social media addiction is a pandemic that is sweeping across the technologically advanced world.
A group of former Facebook, Google and Apple employees recently launched a campaigner called the Truth About Tech, aimed at educating people about the methods these companies use to get users coming back again and again.
Tristan Harris, an ex-Google employee who is part of the campaign said:
The most powerful tech companies in the world are making deliberate decisions that do great harm.
However, there are a few strategies people can adopt to minimise the amount of time they’re on social media.
1. Turn off your notifications
‘FOMO’ or the ‘fear of missing out’ is a relatively new term that’s become synonymous with social media envy.
Seeing people’s ‘perfect’ lives on social media, no matter how false it actually is, can still make us feel bad about our own. Switching off notifications can reduce the impact of envying others, because you’re not constantly reminded of your friend’s Instagram holiday post updates.
2. Get a hobby
According to Bustle, another way to limit your time on social media is to find a hobby IRL. Be it parkour or a poetry club; pick up something g outside of Facebook and Twitter.
3. Don’t use Instagram when you’re emotional
Writing for NYPost, Dr Tim Bono, a professor at Washington University advises people not to use Instagram when you’re feeling emotionally low.
If negativity is already invading your thoughts and feelings, the social comparison from others’ pictures and posts will only send you spiralling downward.
4. Social media is like Netflix
Tim Bono makes a point that we tend to binge on a whole variety of things – including TV shows.
We all binge on media. But just like “Riverdale” isn’t real life, neither is Facebook or Instagram. TV shows and movies consist of actors who are playing parts to tell a story. Social media is, in effect, our own personal show. Everyone is telling a particular story — one they also happen to produce, direct, write and star in. As you are scrolling through posts and pictures, remind yourself — it’s not real life. At the very least it’s not someone’s complete life.
5. Track the time you spend online
Note how often you use it and how you feel immediately after.
When you are on social media, observe yourself – how do you feel when you get off social media? If it’s not making you feel better, you should probably decrease the amount you’re using it.
6. Control your apps
Limit the amount of time you spend on places like Twitter and Instagram by deleting the Apps from your phone. That way, you’ll only access social media websites when you’re using a computer rather than in real time.