I will be the first to admit that I spend too much time on Instagram. In fact, sometimes I spend way to much time and I’m not alone. According to an article published on socialmediatoday.com, teens spend up to 9 hours a day on social platforms and “the average person will spend nearly two hours (approximately 116 minutes) on social media everyday.” That is a significant amount of time and our addiction to our screens is growing.
The Upside and Downside of Social Media
Social media is a great place to meet people who share common interests from around the world. It can also be a source of inspiration. The downside, however, is that Instagram and Facebook have been intentionally designed to keep us on these platforms as long as possible. After all, they make much of their money by delivering as many eyeballs as possible to their advertisers. They also understand how our brains work and what features hook our attention to keep us scrolling. There is also a growing correlation between the amount of time people spend on social media and depression. After all, people tend to show the best parts of their lives, which can lead us to comparing ourselves to them and not feeling like our lives are as good.
So how can we tell if we are addicted to social media? Let’s take a closer look.
7 Signs That You Are Addicted to Your Smart Phone
You constantly check your phone for messages and to see how your posts are doing on social media.
You feel naked when you leave your home and discover that you don’t have your phone.
You put off other projects to scroll mindlessly through Instagram, Facebook, etc…
You regularly skip real world social opportunities to hangout alone on your phone.
You rely on the dopamine that your brain releases when you get new likes, followers and comments on your social media to make you feel happy.
You seriously get bummed out if your posts don’t perform well or if your number of followers go down significantly.
You immediately check your phone when you wake up in the morning.
6 Tips For Cutting Back On Screen Time
Set a limit for the amount of time that you will allow yourself to spend staring at your smart phone or other mobile devices per day. For example, you might give yourself 15 minutes at lunch and another 15 minutes in the evening. You get to decide what is reasonable for you. Instagram even has a timer within the app that alert that your time is up. It also gives you a graph of your weekly user time.
Put your phone away when you are working, trying to concentrate or eating meals.
Keep your phone out of sight when you are spending time with friends or family. Out of sight, out of mind right? Give your full attention in order to stay present. Others can tell when we are distracted and pulling our phones out in the middle of a conversation is rather rude.
Take a break away from social media for a whole week and notice how much better you feel. A social media detox can be good for all of us.
Do other activities, such as exercising or yoga that will boost your mood and your metabolism. Social media tends to make us stationary and that is not good for our health over time. We need to move and replace bad habits with good ones.
Set priorities and goals for your daily routines. Ask yourself if the amount of time that you spend on social media is advancing you toward your goals or holding you back. Too much screen time on our phones or watching TV can be rather mind numbing and rob us of time that could be better spent doing constructive activities.
Don’t get me wrong, there are many benefits to social media, but we also have to weigh them against the downside and make sure that we are not wasting our days away. So consider setting limits on your screen time and get out into the real world more often. Spend face to face time with friends and family, hike in nature and work on your dreams. With all things in life, try to do them in a balanced way that honors and elevates your soul and your destiny.
Wishing you a great week,
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