How many hours do you spend on social media every day? How many hours or how frequent do you spend time talking to those who are actually around you? How much privacy do you have left nowadays? Did you realize that you’ve been staring on the phone screens too much?
Well, at some point in your life (maybe now?), you should start thinking about this serious-but-often-taken-into-granted matter. Yes, social media is somehow important but, to what extent should you use it? How do we know if we’re addicted to it?
Social media addiction is when you’ve been using social networking tools like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or the rest of the long lists, excessively. So much so that you could become restless and anxious if you don’t check the status update. Not to mention when people don’t respond to your post or when the internet service went down!
Chicago University researchers have reported that addictions to social media or ‘media craving’ might be worse than cravings for cigarettes and alcohol. Did you even realize that you’d scroll through Instagram or Twitter aimlessly, reading random posts or even stalking people just to justify something that’s not even worth to know?
Aside from that, like it or not, you might as well find yourself unconsciously comparing your life with others, spending way than you should just because you think that you too need to live luxuriously to blend in or even feeling the need to know everything about everyone who’s not really related to you at all!
So, here are the 5 steps you should try to manage your potential addiction to social media!
Ask yourself the reason you use social media
Check with yourself the reason why you open Instagram or Facebook or Twitter. Out of boredom, curiosity or what? Sometimes we need to take a step back and analyze why we do what we do.
Keep track of the time you spend on social media
For a start, you can try timing yourself. Make use of the alarm application installed in your phone, or maybe use a stopwatch. Set a specific duration and once the time’s finished, log out from the application. Or another extreme action is uninstalling the app right away.
Take fresh air
Whenever the urge to scroll your phone comes, maybe you can try going outside and take fresh air. Do a 2 to 3 minutes breathing exercise or grab a newspaper or maybe grab a cup of coffee. Or just go for a walk, at least you get to burn some fat!
Realize and acknowledge the cue or “itch” and find ways to execute an alternative response
Well, make a new routine! Replace the old-unhealthy-yet-tempting ones with something else. Maybe a 1 hour 1 page of reading, or 5 words of foreign language every day, or catching up with the person next to you, shop, watch a short movie or anything that keeps you away from social media.
Don’t forget the reward
Changing your habit is not an easy task. To keep yourself motivated, make sure you reward yourself. That way, your brain will be signaled that the new routine is a beneficial thing. The rewards can be a 10-minute reward break for an hour of social media-free, or something else.
The whole point of managing this so-called addiction is to free yourself from non-stop chains of abused time and distractions which could affect multiple factors in your life. Let’s gain freedom, healthier mindset, contentment and finding our true self again!