5 Tips on Taking Back Your Time on Social Media

5 Tips on Taking Back Your Time on Social MediaAre you one of the millions of users who find it almost impossible to go an entire day without checking social networking accounts multiple times per day? You are not alone. According to recent studies, social media use among 18 to 49-year-old users has climbed to a staggering three to four hours per day, which is the equivalent of two full months of wasted time. With the proliferation of social media access through a seemingly ever-increasing array of internet-accessible devices, social media use has skyrocketed. So, how can a few minutes of casual use lead to hours? Don’t think it can happen to you? The reality is that even the most disciplined among us have fallen prey to the lure of social media and its time suck.

Many of you see social media use as a way to relax, connect with friends, follow trending news, or just be entertained. But at the end of your device-filled days, many of you may start to feel a bit empty. After all, what have your hours of scrolling Facebook, tweeting, and posting pictures on Instagram accomplished that is of any lasting significance? Has it expanded your network? Has it generated any revenue for your business? In fact, due to the vacuous, banal feelings caused by the overuse of social networking sites, many users are now starting to fight back against having their time dominated by staring at screens rather than engaging in more meaningful activities.

You have more important matters to tackle in life. Spending every waking moment checking how many people liked your status update should not be one of them. Instead of wasting vast amounts of time clicking and scrolling, consider these tips to help get your time back:

Schedule It. Pencil in a block of time everyday for social media use, instead of checking your accounts at random times or when boredom sets in.

Log It Off. Once you have decided how much time to spend on your social media accounts, set a timer and power off the computer when your timed session is up. This also means putting the smartphone and other digital devices away, and reconnecting with the real people in your everyday life.

Work It Through. For those of you who struggle with spending too much time on social media, what better ways could you be using those countless hours of taking frivolous quizzes or looking up endless ideas on Pinterest? Why not try actually living life instead of just watching it for a change?

Set Goals. What are you trying to accomplish online? Is it your intention to reconnect with old college friends or seek out new design ideas for your living room? Having a goal in mind will help make the most out of your time online.

List It Out. What are some things you could be doing instead of spending so much time online? For those of you who are parents, the precious years you have with your children are too short for your eyes to be glued to a screen. Reconnect and start a conversation at the dinner table. Relationships with other loved ones and friendships deserve face-time, too. How often have you sat in the same room with loved ones, silently scrolling your screens, ignoring each other? How tragic that we have reached a point in our social media-saturated culture that entire meals can go by where family members, glued to their various screens, may be together physically, yet remain miles apart mentally. What other areas in your life have you neglected?

The only viable solution to this intrusion into our real lives is to set firm limits on our social media time. Once those limits are in place, we need to make every effort to let those we love know that they are more important to us than Facebook. Why not take out your calendar and actually schedule social-media-free blocks of time? Be sure to fill this time constructively by scheduling rewarding, meaningful activities that you enjoy, such as reading books, exercising, playing outside with the children, going on outings with loved ones, or getting work done around the house. You may even want to consider installing blocking software to help you avoid being sucked back into the habit of social media overload. After you break away from overuse of social media, you will notice how satisfying it can be to have time to think, interact, and live your life with the people you love, free from social media’s constant distractions.

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