Social Media can be a great thing. It allows us to communicate with friends and like minded people, collect news stories, follow awesome Blogs like this one, and also follow other products and people. What it also does is steals time away from you, manipulates you and how to feel and perceive the world and what is going on in it. It creates anxiety and reduces your ability to focus by constantly giving you something new to watch or think about without much actual thought.
If you find yourself getting more and more distracted or unable to focus like you used to, regardless of age, this is why. Social Media and all the apps we have on our phones are training our brain to not focus, to be anxious, and to not shut down for good sleep. The conflict that can be created by the constant slew of emotion stimulation activities and stories are killing your mental health, your physical health, and stealing the most precious commodity you have – TIME. You are literally spending and wasting HOURS of your life each day seeing what someone else is doing or saying instead of living in your own life in the now. So, to stop worrying, reclaim your life, sleep and happiness we need to make changes. I am sure I love watching and spending time with my son, more then I do then care about what some talking head on Facebook or Insta or Tiktok has to say. I am making memories for me and him.
So – how do we fix this problem? A few simple ways actually.
1. Declutter your apps on your phone. Keep those ones you need most – browser, messages, email and phone – on your main page and maybe a weather or work app. Nest all the other apps together on page 3 or 4 or in folders where it becomes a challenge to get to the social media apps.
2. If you are so brave – delete the social media apps and only go on them on a web browser. This will reduce your accessing them as they are now also not as easy to get to.
3. Make your phone black and white. The colors and blue light our devices emit are like crack for our brains and keeps you wanting to look back for more. If you make the screen black and white, you will be less tempted to use the device and you will get better sleep due to the reduction of blue light.
4. Make a conscious effort to keep the phone in your pocket/bag/desk etc whenever you are with your family and friends. Human interaction will trump messaging and shit via electronic device and create good memories and habits for you and your kids. And as a parent, I know I don’t want my kid wasting his life not having real meaningful talks, relationships and interactions like we all did before social media, cell phones, or the internet.
I know – sounds easy – its not at first. Be honest with yourself and do the hard things to make your mind more focused, less cluttered and frantic and improve your happiness. I know it sounds crazy, but quitting social media, or at least reducing your use of it has been proven to improve your well being.
Here is a great article explaining this more fully and with other advice with the scientific backing I spoke of.
Thanks for reading.