According to a 2020 GlobalWebIndex report, users around the world spend an average of 2 hours 24 minutes a day on social media and messengers.
How many times do you touch your phone during the day? How often do you instinctively check your phone for a new message? How much time does it take to scroll the feed during the year?
When you ask people these questions, they often answer that they don’t spend much time online at all. They only reply to a couple of messages on WhatsApp and Messenger, post a photo on Instagram or write a post on Facebook once in a while. That’s it. And it all takes just a few minutes. But it’s more than that.
People react to sound notifications, thereby breaking away from work, wearing smartwatches that send push notifications and can no longer think of a daily routine without periodically checking their smartphone.
Naturally, in the 21st century, social networks are not only entertainment but also an important way of communication we should definitely keep around But what could make a difference is being in control of how much time you actually spend online so that it doesn’t take hours.
Ever been sucked in and thinking ‘where did all my time go’?There are several ways you can cut back on the amount of time you waste on social media.
Set a time slot
Set aside social media time in your day. Spending half an hour in the morning or evening being immersed in social media won’t ruin your day.
To make it easier for yourself, you can make a rule. For example: “I can only check social media when I’m in line and doing nothing, or when I’m using public transport”. Then you don’t even have to allocate a separate time.
Set a goal
Set yourself a goal that will take a long time to complete, and commit to hitting it quickly. Create a plan for each day, put up reminders and start working towards your goal from the very beginning of the day. In that way, you will have the whole day scheduled, including time slots for social networks.
Make a bet with friends
It’s much easier to change your habits with friends. Together, you can all make a fun bet to see how much you really need social media. For example, what about having an agreement that every time you meet your friends, none of you should touch the phone? It’ll help you be present and enjoy the moment with friends in the here and now. If you can’t stand being away from social media, you will better understand how much it sucks you in. If you can stay away, then you’ll realize it wasn’t that hard and you can do it more.
Use special apps
Several apps can help you keep track of your time online. For example, to better control the hours you spend on your device, you can set a limit for on-screen activity (access time). You can do this for specific apps as well.
Uninstall social media apps from your phone or simply turn off notifications. Make sure you check social media when you want to – not when social media tries to suck you in, so it will become much more difficult to be distracted by them. For example, you can still access Facebook from your computer, but you won’t be tempted to scroll through the feed on your phone. It can also be seen as a temporary measure. Many students take such steps during exams so that nothing distracts them.
Have days without social media
Scrolling through the feed aimlessly is not a necessity but a habit. And you will quickly get rid of it, having lived for some time without social networks. Set aside one day a week for socializing offline, meeting with friends, reading a book, or doing a favourite hobby. Put your phone aside.
Are you ready for a little challenge? Implement some of the above-mentioned ideas for the next week or two!