How do you know if you are a social media addict? That’s simple. Is checking your Facebook the first thing you do when you wake up? Do you always Instagram a photo of your food before you eat it? Do you get furious when you send a friend a Candy Crush life request and it takes them foreverrr to send it to you? Can’t remember the last meal you got through without checking your Whatsapp notifications? Do you live-tweet your conversations with friends? Do you update your relationship status every time you guys break up and make up?
Being overly attached to your digital presence is a legitimate problem. In the spirit of “detoxing” and unplugging, here are some tips that might work for you:
1. Admit it’s a problem
The first step to solving any problem is admitting it exists. You must understand that being hooked on anything is unhealthy. Your continuous urge to see what others are doing online instead of being engaged with what’s around you is a broblem ya man. Real talk.
2. Disable push notifications
Why are you so keen to be notified about about every little thing, anyway? You don’t need notifications to stay alive. Here’s a fact: Your body needs air, proteins and vitamins to keep going. Push notification are scientifically proven to be irrelevant to people’s health and happiness.
3. Deal with your boredom
Mostly, people use social media because they are bored or just lazy. Really, though? Go learn a new language, pick up a book, watch an indie film, discover new hobbies, take an online course – just turn off your phone and go do something new.
4. Stop following trends
I know being on tumblr is uber cool nowadays, but not everything that’s trending is good. Vampires are also popular, but they all suck.
The point is, do you really need tumblr or Pinterest or Snapchat? Think with me here for a moment: Are you creating that new account just because you’ve picked up on the trend from other people’s posts on your news feed and you want to follow the flock? You might want to just stick to the social media necessities, especially if you’re already addicted to them.
5. Think before you type
Stop word vomiting every thought that comes to your mind online. Think about your audience: strangers on Twitter, work colleagues and former teachers on Facebook… The truth is, no one is interested in your genius observation of someone sitting next to you poking their nose. Why would you force that visual upon me?
Most people decorate their lives on social networks to make it sound better – or omit the crazy parts to make them appear more stable. One of the worst things about social media is that it has created the illusion that everyone has an Instagram-filtered life. But we all know that your boyfriend isn’t that great and, frankly, most of us are annoyed by how many photos you post of you together eating sushi.
6. Enrich your real relationships
Are you proud of your “friend” count on Facebook? Do you get a thrill when you see that you’ve got a new follower on Twitter? Maybe it’s cool to have many friends or followers on social media by today’s modern definition, but you know what’s really cool? Having real friends with whom you can hang out and share your good and bad times, or having people who really follow your advice and ideas.
7. Live in the moment
Here’s a crazy idea: Instead of instantly sharing online that beautiful view or hilarious event captured on video, try genuinely enjoying the moment.
Take in a concert with your actual eyes and ears because it’s a great show – instead of through the lens of your camera because you want to throw it up on Vine. You know that your eyes have a higher resolution than the screen of your phone, right? Your eyes are totally super HD.
Instead of Instagramming your meal, let that sandwich tackle your taste buds – a much more satisfying experience than getting 1000 likes for its picture. You know people can’t lick their phones and taste that sandwich for you, right?
Memories are best recalled through your own thoughts, not through your Facebook timeline.
8. Try a week off
Billions of people existed before the advent of social media and the human race survived without apps just fine. You had a life before social media, you know. Stop logging into your account for a week – relax, it’s just a week – and see for yourself.
9. Really express yourself
You can’t really say how you feel in only 140 characters. Of course you can tell a joke or say something witty with that kind of limitation but does it fully represent how you think and what you really believe in?
If you see social media as a tool for self-expression, try blogging. You’ll get as much space as you want where you can really express yourself and tell the world what you think of it! Believe me, it’s much healthier and more meaningful than a tweet or status update.
10. Make your “likes” count
I will say this: Social media has become a speedy way to get information and explore content created by some of the most brilliant minds of our time. Try changing the way you consume your news feed by being mindful of what type of posts you like, comment on and share and also which pages you like and follow – use those buttons responsibly and make them count. Also, turn off all game notifications and hide them from your home feed. You can thus tweak your feed in such a way that you’ll wake up to incredible photos from a provocative artist or an inspiring story about a worthy cause instead of mindless memes and late-night party pics.
WE SAID THIS: Check out “12 Social Media Networks You Didn’t Know About“.