First, let’s just address the elephant in the room. Social media. In this post I would like to include Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, internet articles, blogs, and online news sources, under the term “social media.”
Everyone feels differently, and some very passionately, about social media and it’s uses.
“It is a great way to connect with family and friends.”
“I like to go on social media for “down time” after a long day.”
“I use it to help clients or sell makeup/candles/whatever else.”
“It’s how I keep up with current news.”
These are probably the most common ones I hear, and I don’t see anything wrong with these reasons for using your digital devices.
However, we all know, and there are numerous articles written on, the addictive nature of the internet.
Everything leads into something else. At the end of every article is a link to another article. By the time you scroll through your Facebook newsfeed, more friends have posted, so you pop back to the top to “like” the thing your friend posted 10 seconds ago.
I’m not going to sit here and reiterate what we already know to be true. It goes like this: It’s easy to waste a lot of valuable time on the internet. Whether that be in 5-10 minute increments all throughout our day, or several hours at night.
What I would like to suggest is a few tactics or strategies to help you keep your internet time in check. These are just some ideas, and you obviously will have to pick and choose what works for you.
1 Don’t open your social media until noon.
There are many studies showing that a HUGE percentage of Americans check their social media as the first thing they do in the morning–AND a large percentage of those actually check their phones before getting out of bed! When you purposefully set aside your phone and leave your computer off until 12:00 you get a lot more accomplished in the morning.
2 Time yourself
Set a timer for 15-30 minutes when you get on your phone or computer. When your timer rings, get off!
3 Change the position of your apps.
Move the apps to a different spot on your phone so you have to hunt for them. The idea here is to help you realize how often you’re clicking into your accounts. You might be surprised at how frequent it is.
4 Turn off the “dings.”
Turn all the notifications on your phone to off. These are so distracting when you’re trying to stay focused on what you have to do.
5 Schedule your social time.
Schedule certain times a day to check social media. Don’t check it in between the scheduled times.
6 Delete apps.
Here’s one that most people won’t do, but is very effective. Delete the social apps off your phone. You can still access most of them through a computer. This will simply keep you from dwindling away minutes here and there, because our phones are always with us.
7 Think about the big picture.
Make a post-it note of things you want to do with your life. Stick it to your computer or phone screen. As long as, “Be a social media superstar” or “Win a world record for most articles read,” are not on that list, it might inspire you to shut off your screen and go do some of things you actually want to do.
8 Take a break.
Do a media fast. Take a week off, or choose one day out of every week to leave all social media off.
9 Clean up your newsfeed.
Declutter your newsfeeds. Unfollow the irrelevant stuff, and keep only those things that inspire you, and the family members you want to keep up with. (note: you do not have to unfriend people if you don’t want to, just stop following their posts.)
10 House & kids come first
You can set boundaries for yourself by making sure your house is tidy, and you have spent quality time with your kids, before logging onto the internet.
You will not look back and say, “I wish I had spent more time on the internet last year.” You will never, EVER say this. But you just might say, “My kids are growing up so fast!”