At some point, parents and children alike will experience Social Media Addiction. Research has shown that Social Media is programmed to be addictive. Have you ever noticed that you just can’t seem to stop going online?
Or you go on Instagram to check something and before you know it you’re on your friend’s sister’s child’s classmate’s page (how) or you’re scrolling aimlessly down your explore page before you suddenly remember you’re there for a different reason? Well, it happens to the best of us. Below are some tips to help you check and reduce your Social Media use.
It’s quite disturbing that we’re almost always connected. Imagine a couple sitting beside each other, but instead of talking to each other (in person) are chatting with each other on Instagram, sending messages and pictures back and forth. We really need these tips. Our children will learn from us as well because too much of screen time affects our kids.
1. Turn Off App notification
Those notifications that pop up all over your screen are little demons, always calling for your attention. Imagine there is no on-screen popup notification when you receive a message or when your post on Instagram is liked, you will not be drawn to pick your phone every time.
Turn off app notifications. Make it such that you don’t know you’ve received anything on WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat and the rest till you actually open those apps.
The logic is simple, when you see notifications on your screen, or that red dot with a number in it at the top right corner of your apps, you will be tempted to check, but imagine it’s not there, you’ll be less curious.
2. Turn off Phone Alerts (Tone or Vibration)
Have you ever picked up a book to read or tried to sleep, but every time your phone beeps or vibrates, you pick it up to check what’s up? Yes, turn the alert off or create a new profile or setting such that your phone beeps or vibrates only for phone calls and maybe your email. But more efficient is the next
3. Turn your phone off (more often)
When your phone is turned off, you don’t even know any message is coming in, actually, no message is coming in, so there is nothing to check. You can start from turning our phone off when you want to sleep or take a nap, when you are about starting a task or when you are at work. Just turn it off and put it in your drawer or somewhere away form you.
4. Create a Schedule to use your phone
You can create a schedule for your phone usage, set time where you are allowed to use your phones and when you are not allowed to. Like for instance, say you are not allowed t use your phone in these period;
- One hour from wake up time – Have your devotion, pray and plan your day instead.
- First 3 hours after resumption – Focus on the task for the day, you are most productive at those hours.
- 2 hours after you’re home from work/school (assuming you’ll have used your phone during your commute. Use the time to freshen up, and get something to eat)
- 2 hours before bed (read a book instead)
5. Use alternative Devices
Some people say, “…but I use my phone for my work or business”, the solution is simple, use alternative devices, use your laptop for checking your emails. Use an iPod or walkman for your music.
There are some types of phones now with limited capabilities, just phone calls, and short texts, get those instead so your Social Media phones don’t distract you all the time.
6. Use Apps that will help reduce your screen time
There are quite a number of apps that help with managing your app usage and general phone screen time. iPhones have built in Screentime. See examples if apps you can get below.
- Offtime (iOS, Android)
- Moment (iOS)
- BreakFree (iOS, Android)
- Flipd (iOS, Android)
- AppDetox (Android)
- Stay on Task (Android)
- Off the grid (Android)
- Antisocial (Android)
- Freedom (iOS)
7. Ensure that Dinner time is phone free
Phones should not be allowed at the dining table so that yo all can have actual conversations with each other and spend quality time together.
8. Have a leave-my-phone-behind day
Have you ever mistakenly forgotten your phone at home or somewhere and had no way of getting it back till the following day? Yes, the hours without the phone must have been horrible, but did you die? No! Good, so have at least one day of the week where you leave your phone at home or with a friend or turn it off completely, you’ll be fine.
If you follow these points, they will help you achieve sustainable progress in spending lesser time on your phone.
If you have other tips that can help, kindly share with us