Social media addiction has become a very real problem for millions of people around the world. You’ll often see them scrolling through Facebook several times an hour. Or they’ll immediately check their phone every time they have notification.
Their lives are controlled by the social media apps on their mobile phones… and many can’t even read a book or watch TV without reaching for their phone every few minutes to check on their notifications.
There’s a reason for this – every single time you get a notification, your brain gets a small hit of dopamine and you feel good. When you’re getting multiple hits a day, it’s almost as if you’re an addict and social media is your drug of choice.
- The negative effects of social media
One of the biggest downsides of social media is that it constantly keeps you ‘wired’. Your mind never gets to really rest. Since you’re always wondering what’s going on with your Instagram profile or Twitter feed, you end up overthinking and reaching for your phone constantly.
Furthermore, it reduces your ability to focus. Very often, people use social media while driving, working, walking and doing other activities when they should be concentrating on the task at hand.
There are many people who have been killed on the roads because they were distracted by their phones. That’s how dangerous this problem is.
Another insidious side effect of social media is that it robs you of time that could be more productively spent. If you’re whiling away your hours on social media, you’ll not have time to improve your life and do the activities/tasks that matter.
Not only does social media suck up your time and energy, but it will be robbing you of success in the long-term.
- How to beat this addiction
One of the best ways to do it will be to go on a 1-3 day social media fast. You’ll be quitting it cold turkey.
This may be very difficult to do for some people. If you’re one of them, you’ll want to limit your social media usage to 45 minutes a day – broken up into three 15-minute blocks. Turn off ALL social media notifications on your mobile phone.
So you’ll use social media for 15 minutes in the morning, noon and before bed. Once you get used to 15-minute blocks, drop down to 10-minute blocks… and then 5-minute blocks.
Then try going a day without checking your social media. Don’t panic. Nothing will change and everything will be just the way you left it. You might feel better though after the break.
It’s best to uninstall all your social media apps on your phone. If you’re on the computer a lot, you may wish to install a social media blocker extension such as LeechBlock or Stay Focused. Some people may wish to take things a step further by deleting their accounts.
One way to prevent yourself from checking your phone often will be to place it in another room or in a drawer and lock it. By creating physical distance between you and your phone and making it inconvenient to access it, you’ll be less likely to check your social media because of the hassle.
Quitting social media is pretty much the same as quitting smoking, alcohol or other addictions. You either go cold turkey or you do it gradually. Either way, reducing your usage/consumption is the only way to reduce your dependence on the ‘drug’ of your choice.
Once you’re no longer addicted to social media, you’ll find that you no longer crave it. Instead, you’ll have more time for other productive pursuits and your life will improve tremendously.
Real-life happens in the real-world… not on social media platforms that are designed to hook you in and make billions selling your attention to advertisers.
You deserve better than that. Break your addiction and achieve success in whatever goals you wish to pursue.
“Social media is like crack – immediately gratifying and hugely addictive.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
Until next Time
Dominus Owen Markham