Social media has become an ingrained part of our world. We use it to stay connected with friends, read news and opinion pieces, and watch funny videos. Yet, there is a dark side to the platforms, from trolling and misinformation to FOMO, or “fear of missing out.” Even though social media has these pitfalls, it can be hard to separate yourself from all of your favorite apps. However, it is healthy to do so and create a balance between your time spent online and offline. Here are a few ways to get started in finding that moderation!
Remove the app from your smartphone.
Out of sight, out of mind – that's the magic behind removing your social media apps from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop’s bookmarks bar. Seriously, it can’t get any easier than simply removing the button you need to access your favorite (or not-so-favorite) social media channels. If deleting the app seems a bit extreme for you, you can also hide it within a different folder, or move it off your home page. That way, it isn’t the first thing you see when you use your device.
Consider assigning yourself a time limit.
Ever notice how social media use tends to accumulate over time? You might start with a few peeks at your friends’ activity, until suddenly, you’re up to spending hours on Instagram or Twitter per day. Okay, maybe this is an extreme example, but there’s no denying that social media channels can suck up your time like no other – which is why it makes perfect sense that you assign yourself a time limit. You can set time limits within the apps themselves, or simply take note of the times you log on and off. From there, decide how much time you’re willing to reclaim, and work on spending a little less time on the platforms each day.
Reduce the number of notifications you receive.
Social media tends to grab our attention immediately, no matter what it was we were doing before we decided to check in. That’s why it only makes sense that, if you hope to reduce the amount of time you’re spending on social media platforms, you reduce – or remove altogether – those pesky notifications. Fortunately, this is a quick fix under your smartphone’s settings tab. You can also place your device on Do Not Disturb, which will eliminate bothersome notifications for as long as you have the feature enabled.
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