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5 Ways To Overcome Social Media Addiction
2 hours and 25 minutes a day.
This calculation is the average daily social media usage across all platforms, with Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok on top of the list.
These numbers are the equivalent of 36 days a year spent on social media apps! A person could run 172 marathons or learn an entirely new skill in all that time.
Unfortunately, social media addiction has become a widespread phenomenon affecting at least 300 million individuals worldwide and up to 33 million people in the US alone.
Social media addiction can quickly eat away at the precious time that could be spent developing skills, enjoying time with loved ones, or exploring the outside world. Studies have shown that it can also cause mental health issues such as low self-esteem, feeling of loneliness, anxiety, and depression.
So, here are five ways to break social media addiction and protect your mental health.
Only Check Your Notifications Once a Day
In 2022, notification overload is real. According to various studies, we receive between 65 and 80 notifications on our phones a day. Now, that can be overwhelming and time-consuming!
Over time, we start getting used to the little Whatsapp, Instagram, or Facebook icon popping up on our screen. It becomes an automatic mechanism to check our phone regularly to see what's new. In fact, Americans check their smartphone once every ten minutes or 96 times a day!
So, although some experts have observed fear of missing out and mounting anxiety when people turn off notifications for entire days, a mini digital detox involving only checking your social media notifications once a day could help beat your addiction.
For instance, if you decide to post something on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or Twitter, turn off your notifications for a couple of hours. This will allow you to focus on what matters while knowing you'll have some dedicated time to check your notifications later.
Turn Off Your Phone Before Bed
A staggering 70% of people check social media in bed before sleeping.
The issue with this is that when you're scrolling through your Instagram feed or commenting on a few posts on Facebook right before bed, you're making it harder for your brain to switch off. Besides, smartphones emit blue light, which stimulates the brain, making it even harder for you to fall asleep.
So, while this isn't always easy, turning off your phone two hours before bed every night will allow your brain to rest, recharge and reset. Also, avoid posting on social media before going to bed, and doing so could keep you awake as you feel the urge to check on likes and comments.
To overcome your social media addiction and succeed in your digital detox, you need to establish a bedtime routine involving leaving your phone at the bedroom door or switching it off and sticking to it.
Remove Your Phone From Your Morning Routine
Imagine this. It's the morning, you've had a fantastic night's sleep, you feel refreshed and happy. As you reach for your phone, you see many notifications, including a list of things people want you to do, some work emails, and a horror news story. Suddenly, you feel overwhelmed and anxious.
Although this might seem anecdotal, this is, unfortunately, an all too common way people start their day.
Checking your phone as soon as you wake up can be anxiety-inducing and prevent you from setting the tone for a productive and positive day. So, instead of checking emails and notifications as soon as you wake up, give yourself the space and time to engage in self-care first.
For instance, wake up a little bit earlier and meditate, exercise, hydrate, walk with your dog, spend time with your loved ones, or do anything else that makes you happy. This will help you ease into the day before grabbing your phone and facing daily life challenges.
The less you use your phone, the more you'll go on about your life without the constant need to check-in.
Discover New Hobbies
Scrolling your social media feed might be a way to pass the time, communicate with friends, or find funny and entertaining content to watch or read after a long and stressful day.
We get it.
But the reality is that you can also pass the time, enjoy friends' company or make new ones and relax after a stressful day through exploring new hobbies.
For instance, why not go for a walk with your neighbor after work and talk about your passions and dreams? Or perhaps you could take up painting classes with your friends?
Spending time with others will allow you to create new memories while helping your brain to switch off.
Turn Your Phone's Display To Grayscale
One of the easiest and most effective ways to curb social media addiction is to turn on the grayscale mode. The grayscale mode works by turning your screen black and white.
How does that help you, you ask?
It immediately takes the appeal away from scrolling your Instagram feed or watching videos on Facebook! Our brains are hardwired to attend to urgency and to see a red number on an app icon tricks us into thinking there's something urgent we need to attend to.
Meanwhile, you click the app icon, and it's just your best friend sending you funny cat videos! Can you relate?
It's Time To Start Living Your Life
It's easy to get caught up in the instant gratification of likes and comments or simply check your phone every ten minutes to avoid missing out on online things.
Here is some food for thought; how about all the things you're missing out in real life when glued to your screen?
The best advice we can give you is to stop living your life online and start enjoying the company of those around you and the beauty of this world. If you ask us, nothing beats real-life experiences and interactions.
How to build new habits
I Am Sober is an app that helps you get some control back in your life.