With the advent of social media, people have turned to this easy-to-use, always-online approach to communication. With time, as the user interface was getting more user-intuitive and easier to navigate, somehow, everybody slipped into this state of constantly being online. Hours can pass without you even lifting your head from the screen, be it on the phone, tablet, or computer.
All this leads to a significant decrease in our productivity. Social networks reward us in a way because we feel accomplished and fulfilled after a few hours of browsing. However, real productivity, the one that should be present in the workplace and school life, seems to be gone.
With very little accomplished in real life and a lot of exposure to the apparent success of others, you may feel drained and left out. Studies have shown that overexposure to social networks can lead to depression and anxiety. If you want to get back the hold of your life, read on and be inspired to bring about positive changes to your life.
Understand the Way you Use Social Media
Understand the way you use social platforms – a critical approach to the time spent browsing may surprise you.
If you spend endless hours scrolling through Instagram and Facebook feed, write this time down. Many social media apps even have a handy option to show you how much time you spend on the social network per day.
An hour or two a day may not seem much, but in an average week that would be some 14 hours of extra screen time. 14 hours of dedicated work on your job, a side hustle, or a school project can take you to heights you never thought you could reach.
To make things even worse, a study has found that teenagers in the US spend about nine hours a day in front of a screen.
- Your Brain On Social Media: What Makes It So addictive
- Too few social media ‘likes’ can lead to increases in teen depression
Understand the Impact Social Media Has on your Life
All this time is not necessarily lost. A part of it goes towards communication with our friends, finding the best recipe for that long-awaited Sunday dinner with the family, or relaxing after a long and stressful day. But beware: a lot of time is lost on social network FEEDS. Endless scrolling with a lot of advertisements is a real-time-waster.
If you spend too much time corresponding with possible clients or are running a small informative page, you can set up a messenger to auto-reply to frequently asked questions.
So the next time you’re about to go to the discovery section on Instagram or the Facebook Feed, make sure to ask yourself:
- Do I have anything better I could be doing right now?
- A school project?
- A job project?
- A weekend project I’ve been postponing for the past two months?
Use Social Media in a Way That Benefits You
Social media platforms are an incredibly powerful medium. They enable you to make contacts with the people who inspire you. Love Jane Goodall? She is on Instagram! Love David Attenborough? He’s on Instagram, too. Make sure that you delete any pages that are time wasters and follow the people who inspire you and whose stories make you want to make a great story of your own! If you study architecture or an architect, head over to B1M on YouTube and learn something that enriches you as it relaxes you. This is a sure way to decrease the chances of you failing your school year or being excluded from the project you’ve been working on for months.
- 7 Ways Social Media Can Benefit Mental Health
- Make Social Media Work For (Rather Than Against) Your Mental Health
Use Apps To Help You on Your Social Media Free Journey
Learn to limit your time on social media. It may be difficult, but it is not impossible.
Track your time on the media, or at least limit the time window you dedicate to your phone.
Make sure that you are most productive during the day and once you’ve used up your brain power for things that benefit you, use the rest for your favorite social media platform. If you think this cannot work, think again: Strict Workflow and Rescue Time can help you by limiting the platforms and websites you can visit during the part of the day that you have dedicated to being productive.
If you feel pressed to stay at the computer and finish your delayed school project, worry no more: let GetGoodGrade take care of a part of your workload. Use the extra time now to have a walk outside.
Balancing messaging and mental health is not an easy thing to do.
- Leveraging Technology for Mental Health in the Workplace
- 10 Instagram Accounts to Follow if you Suffer from Depression
- Instagram Accounts That Reduce Stigma
- 10 Facebook Groups For Grief and Loss Support
- 5 TikTok Accounts for Your Mental Health
Enjoy the Here and the Now
Now that you’ve understood how you use time on social networks and have limited yourself from taking a quick social break, re-learn how to enjoy the HERE and the NOW. Make yourself rooted at the moment and see how all your brain juice builds up and makes you want to work on the things you love. Limit your screen exposure further by limiting or disabling notifications on your Android or iOS powered device, and watch yourself blossom one more time.
Reap the Benefits
Now, reap the benefits of your life with no social media. No more messages and notifications to interrupt work that is difficult to focus on. No more missed deadlines or frustration over Janet who went on your dream cruise first. No more difficulties falling asleep due to screen exposure. Enjoy your journey of digital detox. You will thank yourself in as short of a time as a few months.
You’re not alone in this. Depression and anxiety in China are on the rise as well, and many blame social media. It is important to learn HOW to use the social media platforms, rather than STOP using them altogether. If you find yourself overly indulging in your news feed or the discovery feed, stop what you are doing and find something more beneficial to your long-term well-being to focus on. It is a long journey, but it is one worth taking.
Jessica Fender is a copywriter and blogger at EssaySupply with a background in marketing and sales. She enjoys sharing her experience with like-minded professionals who aim to provide customers with high-quality services.