Tips for Unplugging From Social Media


It’s no secret that the world is more connected now than at any other time in history. While that makes communication a breeze and opens up an avenue to learn more about other cultures, it also encourages us to spend far too much time scrolling through social media, often at the expense of real-life interactions. Unplugging from the internet isn’t always easy, but these simple steps are a great way to start.

Track your time

Just like tracking calories, knowing how much of anything you consume can be enlightening. Consider taking note of how many hours a day you’re spending on each of the social media sites you use, including forum-based platforms like Reddit and communication apps like Facebook Messenger. Not only will paying attention to the clock make you more aware while you’re actually on the site, but once you see the grand total over a few days you may feel inspired to cut back.

Consider downsizing

The world — and possibly your phone’s screen — is virtually drowning in social media sites that cater to specific niches. It’s more than likely that you prefer some apps and only turn to your least-favorites once you’re out of fresh content on the others. An easy way to reduce the amount of time you spend online is simply to offload the sites you don’t care about as much. Decide which apps you use to stay connected to friends, family and interests, and which ones you just use to pass the time.

Use technology to escape technology

As counterintuitive as it may sound at first, there are tons of ways that you can leverage the abundance of technology around you to help manage your screen time. There are multiple so-called “detach” programs that you can download, for example. These help by blocking certain designated apps for periods of time; clocking the amount of time you spend on different sites; letting you set up a work/play schedule; and setting daily time limits for how long you can spend on apps. Some programs even give you the option to filter what types of notifications can come through, and from whom. Many of these options are also available as browser plugins for your computer.

Fill your time with something productive

This practice of productivity will come as a result of unplugging from social media, and is also a phenomenal way to continue to do so. Rather than reading clickbait articles online, finish that novel you’ve meant to read for as long as you can remember, or try out a self-help book. Instead of scrolling through 280-character blurbs, consider writing something more substantial, like a blog about one of your interests. In lieu of sending snapchats to a nearby friend, maybe grab a cup of coffee, sit down for lunch or go for a walk together.

Social media is a great way to connect with people who are far away, but it can easily end up distancing you from your friends, your work, your passions and some of the best real-life experiences. Next time you find yourself reaching for your phone out of habit, take a pause; see if there isn’t a more fulfilling way to spend your time.

 

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