Social media is highly used by smartphone owners across the globe. People have different reasons to use it from sharing updates about their lives to staying connected with their close ones. It is okay to use social media but the usage must be under control.
Social media companies always bring in new user-centric features and updates to attract as well as engage users on their applications.
Recently, I broke streaks with my friends and family members which I had for around 4 years (sadly, it is true). It was a tough decision but I had to for various reasons. Read this blog to find out more.
To give you a little background, I stopped using Facebook around 3 years ago (since my uncles and aunts started sending me friend requests). Now, I only use Facebook in case of any work and on my desktop (that is once a month or even less).
I use Twitter on my desktop for work-related information or to get updates for a maximum of 10 minutes a day.
I have 5 Instagram accounts. 2 for my work, 2 for my writings and checking updates from my favorite influencers, and 1 personal-private account. I hardly use my personal, 1 of my work, and 1 of my writing-related accounts. I focus on my work account and I use my writing account to check other people’s content. On average, I use Instagram for 15-30 minutes (depending on the work I have to do and the time I have). Once in a while, I use Instagram to scroll my feeds for minutes.
I stopped sending snaps to people on Snapchat recently and now, I only use it for 5 minutes a day to check my previous snaps, stories, checking snaps, etc. I wanted to delete the account, but I just kept it to send snap stories once in a while. No more streaks. Why send blank snaps, driving snaps, food snaps or etc to anyone?
I have muted most of the notifications from social media applications as I don’t like them making sounds and asking me to check them.
I don’t feel left out when I miss any messages or shares or tags. This is one of the perks of decreasing my usage.
Why I don’t use social media much?
I don’t use social media much for various reasons. These are:
- Distracting: Social media is a distraction from our daily life routine. Once we open Instagram, we forget what we were doing and how upset we were, and so on. For me, it is a distraction because I cannot focus on my work properly.
- Annoying: I have a limit on using social media applications. I get bored easily by checking other people’s stories and posts as well as feeds or reels. The notification on social media is pretty annoying and I have switched it off.
- Waste of time: Social media is a waste of our time. I follow doctors and get some good information related to health. Apart from that, I watch dance videos. But it is a waste of time to scroll and swipe. In that amount of time, we can learn a course or upskill.
- I don’t want to share whatever is happening in my life with people who are not concerned about me even if they are related to me. I want to keep my life as private as possible. I don’t want people to stay updated about my life. (This is one of the main reasons for me to stop sending snaps to people)
- Doing something productive: The amount of time we spend on social media can be utilized on improving our skills or learning something good and new.
- Privacy: Whatever we share on social media, stays there forever. It might slip out but will not disappear. This concerns me a lot and we should be careful of what pictures or videos we are sharing with all the hashtags or location tags.
- Addiction: Social media is addictive. People want to open their social media accounts to check the latest posts, stories, or feeds of people. This addiction can lead to destruction, after all every addiction is bad in some form.
- Advertisement: Social media ads will track our histories and suggest to us what to buy next and we make impulse purchases. We buy things we don’t need or we try to spend money we don’t have.
- Depression: Social media can give you the fear of missing out (FOMO) as well as stress. We see other people’s happy pictures and feel, that they are so happy in their lives and are successful. We feel bad about ourselves. This leads to stress and peer pressure. If the stress continues, it can lead to depression.
What can you do?
If you want to decrease the time you spend on social media, you can do the following things:
- Turn off app notifications: Mute all the notifications you get from social media applications. This way, you will only open the app when you want to and not when the company wants you to. You can also limit the notifications if you don’t want to turn them off.
- Set a time limit: Limit the time you spend on social media or set some specific time duration to use social media. This can be in the form of 10 minutes break between work, after lunch, or before going to bed.
- Social media detox: Social media detox refers to not using social media apps for days or weeks or months. It is a way to break the habit of constantly browning social media. I will explain this in a later article in detail.
- Upgrade or upskill: The amount of time we spend on social media can be utilized by upskilling or upgrading our knowledge. I could have checked my social media, but I am using my free time to write this blog.
- Log out or uninstall: This might sound insane as well as a tough one but it is the best way to stay away from social media. Log out from social media applications and uninstall them. This way you will not use it.
- Prioritize: You and only you can set your priorities. You can control how much time you should spend on the things you need to do.
I know not using social media might be hard for you initially. But trust me, it is going to help you not get addicted to it. There are side-effects of using a smartphone or any electronic device for that matter. Also, we spend endless hours on social media and have become prosumers. I am not asking you to stop using social media forever (that’s impossible). I am just saying to reduce the usage. It is not for my benefit, it is about you and prioritizing things.
Remember, not everyone’s life is as happening as it appears on social media. People like to show off what good is happening in their life and you feel miserable about yours.
Pooja Chandak is an avid reader and an experienced content writer. Apart from blogs, she writes quotes and poems. She started writing when she was in school. Pooja currently works as a Content Development Executive for a Mumbai-based company.