If you had to reduce the time you spend using social media or get rid of it completely, could you?

Social media addiction is a real phenomenon, and as time goes on, it only gets worse. Studies show that continuous social media use can lead to mental health issues such as depression, loneliness, low self-esteem, and anxiety. People rarely share their low moments on the internet, and as such, it’s an inaccurate representation of someone’s life. Constantly seeing others happy, achieving their goals, and making lots of money can make you unaccomplished or unworthy.

That’s why it’s essential to combat your addiction and rid yourself of the need to engage on social media around the clock. Here are four tips to help you succeed in doing so.

1. Admit you have a problem

With any addiction, the first step is being aware that a problem exists in the first place. If you find it difficult to admit you’re obsessed with social media, but your actions show otherwise, it’s time to face reality. No one wants to admit they’re addicted to social media, but it’s a very real thing that causes real-life issues. Overcoming it means you need to face it head-on.

If you genuinely aren’t sure about being addicted, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is social media frequently on your mind?
  • Do you experience FOMO when you aren’t actively engaged on social media?
  • Do you check your phone a little too often throughout the day?
  • Does social media stop you from completing work tasks, engaging with people in real life, and spending time on hobbies?
  • Is your phone on you 24/7? Would you feel lost without it for a couple of hours?
  • Do you experience sadness, emptiness, or loneliness when you don’t receive notifications?

If you answered yes to most of these, you have an attachment to your phone,t and to social media, you can’t deny. It’s time to assess the best way to tackle the issue.

2. Limit your screen time

It’s challenging to quit anything cold turkey, and the same goes for social media use. There’s a higher chance of staying away from it if you take baby steps first. Before you begin your detox, prepare yourself mentally and consider the benefits. A study by the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology saw significant decreases in anxiety and FOMO due to reduced screen time. 

Give yourself scheduled time slots to scroll through your favorite apps. Limit the amount of time you have to use social media so that, when time is up, you put down your phone and move onto something else. Whether it’s work, school, or quality time with loved ones, focus your attention on those things rather than your phone.

To help you stay away from social media, you can:

  • Disable notifications
  • Delete time-wasting apps
  • Turn on Do Not Disturb mode
  • Keep your phone out of sight

The key to this strategy is to familiarize yourself with limiting your time on mobile. By setting up a schedule and taking routine breaks, you train yourself to get comfortable using social media only some of the time. So, if a brand you love is running a giveaway or your favorite influencer uploads a new YouTube video, you know you have time slots to engage with that content.

3. Focus on your goals

Have you been meaning to learn how to install WordPress, crochet a blanket, or make a new recipe? Is there a book you’ve been dying to read but never got around to? Do you have a friend you haven’t seen in ages who you want to grab coffee with?

Most of us have things on our to-do list we’ve been dying to check off but haven’t. A lot of the time, we feel like we don’t have the time to enjoy life or invest in our passions, but this isn’t true in most cases. If you’re aware of where you spend your time and energy, you’ll likely see that you have enough time if you put social media aside.

4. Tell people about your detox

It’s more challenging to stray from the right path if someone holds you accountable. Humans are prideful beings. When you tell someone you’re determined to do something and then don’t follow through, it might cause feelings of weakness and hypocrisy. Having a buddy or loved one to remind you of your goals is essential to achieving them.

Talk to someone you trust and tell them about your detox journey and why you’re doing it. You can set up a rewards system so that, if you follow through, you get something for it. This could be anything of your choosing, such as a sweet treat or five extra minutes of screen time, for example. You can ask your friend to send you reminders in addition to setting them up on your phone. 

Publicizing your detox eliminates the stigma that people need social media to survive or be happy. It helps you solidify a routine to reduce the time you spend on your phone and, hopefully, encourages others to do the same. 

The bottom line

If you’re currently trying to stay away from social media and enhance productivity in your life, you’re not the only one. Too much of anything isn’t good for you, and when you spend prolonged time consuming other people’s content, it can take a toll on you mentally. Take baby steps to overcome your addiction and start feeling better instantly.