If you know how to reduce social media use, will you do it?
I will take it seriously because I know the apps are playing psychological tricks on me as a user, and I want to redirect the hours I spend there to my business.
Social media have its advantage. So, don’t get me wrong. Its communities can help you develop ideas, and you can use the platforms to grow your business. (Content marketing involves repurposing content on other places like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to reach your target.)
This article is for those who spend too much time on social media apps. According to Pew Research Center, 54% of teenagers think they spend too much time on cell phones, and 57% have tried cutting back on the time they spend on social media.
How to Reduce Social Media Use
Reducing the amount of time you spend online can increase productivity. You can use the time you spend scrolling endlessly for other things.
Rethink the way you use the phones and computers
You access social media through devices like the phone and PCs. As long as they are tools you use daily, you will easily get access to social media pages. It is so easy that you can share content and go live on the apps with a few clicks. That’s why you need to rethink how you use apps and your devices.
#1. Keep apps away
After realizing I don’t need the Facebook app running every day on my phone, I log out the app and log in only on the days I want to publish content on it. I can do all I need with it on my browser. It is even easier to share blog posts and engage with the audience for the first thirty minutes of sharing them.
Can you do the same? Hide, freeze or uninstall apps that you don’t need every day.
#2. Turn off notifications
One of the reasons you keep checking a social media app is because you have turned on the notifications for many activities. I did the same. I turned on notifications for some profiles on Twitter because I didn’t want to miss what they tweeted.
It is the fear of missing out (FOMO). And that’s the danger we are trying to prevent. You will always miss out on some things, and you shouldn’t be afraid of missing out. The internet is never asleep, and there are always new things to check out.
So turn off some notifications, and uninstall some social media apps. You will pick them up when you need them.
#3. Limit apps usage with other apps
Some apps can help you limit the amount of time you spend on each social media app. It is ironic to use an app to stop the use of another app, but if you have a phone or pc with you most hours of the day, you should try this step out.
These are apps to reduce social media use:
- BreakFree (Android and iOS)
- Offtime (Android and iOS)
- AppDetox (Android)
- Flipd (iOs and Android)
You can also check some app’s features and settings.
With apps like Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram, you can limit what and who you interact with.
- Consider blocking or muting accounts. This will reduce the number of comments and notifications. Although it might not reduce the time you spend online, it reduces the number of messages or toxicity you see.
Review your offline activity
One of the reasons so many people are addicted to social media is boredom. It is easy to scroll and scroll online when sitting on the couch or eating a burger with one hand.
So let’s talk about what you can do in everyday life that can reduce social media use:
#4. Let the phone sleep outside
According to Pew, 72% of teenagers check their phones early in the morning. I am not a teenager, but I want to know if my client needs anything when I wake up. I want to check the responses I have received to my content and campaigns, and I want to send an answer before they contact someone else.
Again, that’s the fear of missing out on opportunities.
You want to know how to reduce social media use: reduce the time you spend with your device or on the internet. So, let the phone sleep outside your bedroom every night or simply turn it off. It will take about a minute or two to get it or turn it on again.
You can take this step a little further by doing an activity that is more important than holding your phone. For example, use that minute to exercise, drink water, cook or prepare coffee, read a book, brush your teeth, etc.
#5. Go camping with your devices turned off
Some people call it “digital detox camp,” and it sounds interesting. At night, there will be campfires, cooking, and caveman-style storytelling. Sign me in, please. The purpose is to take a break from work and elevate your mood. Consider going with a group for camping or hiking without your phones or device turned on.
#3. Create an hour away from your device
Have you ever spent an hour without your device? What were you doing in that period?
Staying away from your phones or PCs for an hour is important. It can help you practice what it’s like to avoid social media. You will realize you can do it. It can improve how you manage distraction and practice concentration.
This could be more like an everyday exercise: in an hour, don’t hold or touch your device. Instead, spend that hour on something else, like reading, playing the piano, or having lunch with your loved ones.
I have started going for a walk like the great minds such as Darwin and Beethoven, and you can guess I don’t go with my phone or laptop. It helps clear my head, change my environment, and see a problem or project differently. You should try it.
#6. Tackle your anxiety
Pew said many teens feel a kind of anxiety when they aren’t checking social media or with their devices. For example, I shared my experience as an SEO writer, how I constantly check emails to see who has reached out for work. But if we look at it closely, the anxiety is about something else: making money, staying in business, earning more money.
What’s your anxiety about? What can you do about it? Is it the fear of missing out with your online friends? Maybe meet them in person if it is safe. Maybe start a hobby that fulfills you. You can practice a skill you have always wanted to learn.
Cut back the time you spend wastefully.
It isn’t wasteful if you are building a business on social media. If not, it can become an addiction and a distraction. You should cut back or consider hiring a social media manager if you can afford it.
Now, you have read how to reduce social media use. You have more control than you think. You just have to understand what to do and start doing it.
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