Whether you fall into the dreaded scroll hole or find yourself watching hours of Instagram stories long past bedtime, we can all be guilty of becoming a little too familiar with social media. Technology has long been touted as the double-edged sword, on one hand, it's amazing we can share photos, find out what our friends are up to, and get news on the go. On the other hand, it can turn into a quick shift dopamine addiction that leaves you feeling strong levels of FOMO, potential burnout and loaded up with excuses to procrastinate. For all those who are seeking ways to cut down on their social media use, these tips could be just the ticket to freedom from technology…
Delete the Apps
If you want to avoid spending hours glued to your phone then you could try and delete some of your social media apps and just stick to a using them on your desktop or laptop. Social media has been designed to be phone user friendly and it can feel a little less intuitive using it on your desktop which will automatically cut down on your usage. You can also delete the Facebook app and still keep messenger so you don’t have to worry about missing messages in real-time.
Shut Down Notifications
This can either work beautifully or be a real challenge but turning off your social media notifications may mean that you spend less time picking up your device every time it pings. If going cold turkey on notifications seems a little too much like a big leap, then you can change the way you receive notifications, either by turning off the sound and vibrations and just opting for the icon badge so that your phone doesn’t disturb your day as much.
If you want to reduce the amount of time you spend interacting with social media then another good tip is to cut down on how much you post. If you are always posting pics and collecting likes and comments, then this is a surefire way to keep that phone clutched in your hand. When you reduce your interactions, your phone becomes a much more mundane space and you will probably find yourself less interested in constantly checking for those quick hits of dopamine.
Use Screen Time
Screen Time is an amazing feature for those who have Apple products or you can use the Android version geared towards Digital Wellbeing. In a nutshell, the feature basically invites you to set a timer on how much you want to use your social media. For example, you can set it to thirty minutes or an hour a day and the app will alert you when you are reaching your daily allowance limit. You then have the option to be locked out of your social media apps until the next day. Screen Time finds that balance between not being so scary that you can’t override the limits but also making you more aware of your personal usage.
Leave it Out
Bedtime or first thing in the morning can be popular times for going into the scroll hole so one sure-fire way of cutting down on those cozy bedsheet scrolls is to simply put your phone out of reach. Whether you choose to put it in a drawer across the room or leave it out of your bedroom altogether, the aim is to make it so you can’t simply reach for your phone. Not only will you physically have to get out of bed to retrieve your phone but not having a blue screen before bedtime can also contribute to healthier more harmonious sleep.
Do you find you use social media too much? What are your top tips for cutting back? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.