These days I feel like social media is taking over my life. While the word says social I feel myself gradually pulling away from face to face contact and becoming glued to my phone and computer screen. When you’re caught up in Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feeds, hours can slip by pretty easily—and all of a sudden, it’s 9 pm and all you’ve done is shared a few recipes you wish you’d made and read about how exciting everyone else’s lives are.
This has left me wondering that if we are so caught up in knowing what everyone else is doing with their lives does it leave much time for us to actually live our own? How many times have you gone out to dinner to catch up with your friends to find everyone sitting at the table scrolling their newsfeeds and talking to other friends? Have you ever looked at someone’s status and thought ‘I wish I was doing that’?
I feel it’s time to log out of these networks and log into something more fulfilling. You may not be able (or willing) to disconnect completely, but putting away your phone or laptop and taking a few hours to separate yourself from technology can have a big impact on you and your social life. Instead of comparing your days off to your friends you can spend that time doing something to enhance your own life like spending time with your family or actually trying that recipe you shared.
You don’t find time, you make time
Turning off social media feeds frees up time allowing you to do those things you never thought you had time for. Do you remember life BEFORE smart phones, apps and social media sites? Yes there was a time before Facebook believe it or not. And the way we spent our time then was (to my mind) far more social than most of my current days. But turning off social media for a few hours each day means I have found time to talk face-to-face with family and friends, and I’ve even had time to do some of those niggling jobs I’ve been meaning to do.
I have to admit, Facebook and other social media has become a bit of a bad habit, I find myself reaching for my phone and clicking into Facebook without even realising it. So how can we have a technology ‘cleanse’?
- Limit your time using social media to a few hours a day and at a time when you shouldn’t be doing other things – during a break whilst eating lunch or just before you go to bed.
- When socialising put your phone away so the temptation is not there. You can even take everyone’s phones away and put them into the centre of the table – first one to touch the phones can shout you dinner!
- Fill your free time with something that will benefit you or something that you enjoy. This will make you feel like you have actually accomplished something.
Social media isn’t going to go away, but we can limit the time we spend on the sites, if we want to. But like all bad habits we don’t think we have (until we decide to change them that is) they do take some conscious decision making on our parts.
Have you managed to cut your social media time? How did you do it? And what were the benefits?