Social media was once lauded as one of the most important developments on the internet. With billions of users around the world, it has allegedly brought people closer together.
However, the fishbowl nature of the platform has led to some becoming addicted to these apps. Indeed, watching the highlight reels of other people’s lives can be an engrossing endeavor.
Don’t want to become obsessed with Facebook, Instagram, and other sites? We’ll teach you how to avoid social media addiction – check out our tips below.
Wake up using a physical alarm clock
Avoiding contact with your phone first thing in the morning is step #1 for those learning how to avoid social media addiction
The smartphone is the Swiss Army Knife of the 21st century – it has replaced numerous gadgets, from cameras to calculators. It also serves as an alarm clock for many of us, and why not? It keeps track of time just as well as its predecessor, and it plays an infinite assortment of wake-up tunes to rouse us from our slumber.
However, it has led to the disruption of our morning routines by presenting us with the irresistible temptation to check Facebook or Twitter seconds after waking up. 30 minutes later, and we’re rushing to stuff a half-toasted bagel into our mouths as we run out the door to catch the bus.
Avoid this situation by waking up like it’s 1999 – get a physical alarm clock that forces you to get out of bed to switch it off. This way, you won’t interface with your phone first thing in the morning.
Wondering how to avoid social media addiction? Turn off all push notifications
You will end up picking up your phone at some point, though. Often, this is triggered by the ‘ping’ or ‘buzz’ of a notification, which alerts you to development in one of your social media apps. Depending on your notification settings, these interruptions can take place dozens of times per day, and it can take more than 20 minutes to get back to peak productivity afterward.
Tweaking your settings likely won’t be enough – instead, shut off all notifications. Virtually none of these updates contain information that will ruin your life if you don’t address them immediately – cut the cord for a week and see what we mean.
Check social media sparingly
We’re not asking you to completely give up apps like Instagram and Snapchat. Instead, we want you to give them a dedicated time slot(s). This way, you’ll still get your fix 1-3 times per day while minimizing downside impacts on productivity.
That’s not all, though: when you log on to social media, set a timer for 15 minutes. This will prevent you from falling down the rabbit hole where minutes magically turn into hours, which is a game-changer for those learning how to avoid social media addiction.
Replace it with alternative behaviors
Checking social media only a few times per day will create a vacuum from the time you used to spend in these apps. If the resulting boredom is allowed to fester, you risk falling back into old habits.
Make a conscious effort to fill this free time with healthy, constructive behaviors. Think about the triggers which induced you to check your phone – what action can you insert that would replace social media apps?
Read a book on the train instead of scrolling through your Twitter feed. Talk with your friends at dinner while waiting for the check to be delivered. Not only will you be cutting ties to your old behaviors, but you’ll also be improving your life in the process.
Delete your accounts
Some addictions to social media are too serious to be fixed alone. If attempts at self-control fail, you may have to delete your accounts and seeking professional help.
Worried about losing touch with people? Most of your ‘friends’ on common social media apps are merely acquaintances – your best friends can often be counted using the fingers on your two hands.
Gather up phone numbers and e-mail addresses from your crew and contact them via these means on a regular basis. Your social life and happiness level won’t be worse off – in fact, it will likely improve.
How to avoid social media addiction? 5 top tips on relieving stress
Stress comes in many shapes and forms, but it is something that affects almost all of us on a daily basis. It can be the consequence of overworking the body and mind, a troublesome life event, or even smaller everyday annoyances such as a crowded commute or an issue at work. And it can manifest itself in a whole number of different ways – affecting our mental and at times physical state. Most of us accept it as a necessary evil that we simply learn to cope with, but why settle? Taking positive action, no matter how small can be beneficial. Here we give you a few ways to relieve everyday stress – strategies to help you take the weight off your shoulders, relax and enjoy life to the full.
Focus on your breathing
The power of breathing is one that many of us fail to unlock to its full potential. Your breath releases stress and instantly calms the body and mind – which is why it is used as the central practice to yogic and meditative practices. Simple slow breaths, inhaling for the count of four, and releasing from the mouth in a sigh is an easy way to bring attention to your breath. Once you’ve mastered this technique, you may want to try some more advanced forms. Bhastrika is a great place to start. Also known as bellow-breathing or the breath of fire, it seeks to energize the body by using the mind. This is all about visualization: on the inhale visualize positive energy and vibrations entering the body, and on the exhale imagine that you are removing all of the toxins from your body.
Get a good night’s sleep
We all know that our irritability soars when we haven’t had enough time to rest. Stress in itself causes hyperarousal which can upset the balance between sleep and wakefulness, it can become a vicious cycle. But it can be broken.
The first step is to take your learnings from practicing stress-relieving breathing to your pillow. Ensure that your space is comfortable and the light and temperature are just right for you. After tucking yourself into bed, place your hand on your stomach to become aware of your breath. Take a deep inhale and flutter the lips to relieve stress from the face. Continue taking slow breaths to alert your body to come into a state of rest. With a clear mind and relaxed breathing, you should be all set for a peaceful slumber.
Engage in exercise
Hitting the gym for some may seem like a stress-inducing situation in itself. However, getting your heart racing can clear your head and of course gift you with feel-good endorphins. Exercise can take many forms, so try to find one which you enjoy rather than you feel is a chore. There is a huge variety of different exercise classes and teams out there if you’re not keen on going solo, so start researching and take the leap. If you’re stuck for ideas why not try hot yoga, boxing, pole dancing, or even ultimate frisbee? The possibilities are endless.
Journal your thoughts
A problem shared is a problem halved. For most of us, who experience stress on a daily basis, we may not even think to discuss our problems with others as we do not even recognize their stressful status at all. Simply journaling your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and any key happenings in your life each day or week can be a great way to track your mood and really let out all of your stress. Perhaps it might alert you to a bigger issue that is causing stress, or rationalize something which you may be worried about but needn’t be. This will also allow you to see your progress in tackling your stress along the way – showing you how your conscious actions are making a difference.
Finally, straight to the source of many of our modern-day stresses: social media. Many of us have unlimited access to all forms of social media in the palms of our hands 24/7. It’s definitely wise to step away from the online world every now and then. Your digital detox can be as literal as you feel you need. It might be turning your phone to airplane mode an hour before bed, taking a full day ‘offline’, or disconnecting yourself from social media completely. Of course, the digital-oriented lives we lead have their merits, but just a small break from overwhelming amounts of connectivity can be undeniably beneficial for the mind, body, and soul – another thing to stress less about.