Let me start this post by stating that I love the power of social media. There, I said it. I love it. I really do. Although many have flocked away from Twitter, I still enjoy the benefit of capturing a thought in less than one hundred and forty characters. I am a visual learner and have a love for beautiful photography; therefore, Instagram is currently my top runner. While Facebook continues to surge and dominate most of our time, it’s actually my least favorite social media platform. I can’t even speak on Snapchat because it wasn’t as user friendly as I hoped it would be.
I’m guilty of waking up in the morning and grabbing my phone to post some sort of inspirational quote/image. I’m also guilty of taking time to thumb through my timeline to see what’s going on in the cyber universe. On Twitter, I’m searching for some sort of motivating tweet that will help me shape my day. On Instagram, I’m taking a moment to be purposeful and inspirational, but I’m also catching up on the latest shade/celebrity news from users like @theshaderoom and @balleralert. (#DontJudgeMe) I seriously don’t know why I waste my time on Facebook. I can’t tell you how many times I have deleted my account. Most of the posts on Facebook are negative, or dramatically written, or just plain stupid. My brain can’t figure out why people post selfies or have inappropriate dialogue every single day (at their place of employment) or share fight videos…or give us a play by play of every single minute of their day (rolls eyes).
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with indulging in some form of entertainment from these social apps, but I also think that we need to possess the ability to check ourselves when we notice that we are spending too much time “thumbing”. Many people use social media as a way to promote their hustles and businesses, so those people will probably spend a large amount of their day logged in, unless they have the capital to pay a Social Media Manager. And let’s be honest, not a lot of start-ups are spending their coins on a position they feel they can manage themselves, so this post isn’t about them. There would need to be a different post on mixing personal and business posts, as well as investing in content apps that can help professionalize their pages (Yep, you shouldn’t ask me to pay $80.00 for a dress from an infographic that has Tweegram written in red…not a good look).
If you find yourself wasting a considerable amount of time just “thumbing”, here are four easy tips to help you get control of your social media addiction.
Sidebar: I’m not even going to start with the lurkers. You know, the people who never post anything but can tell you all about the latest gossip/posts on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. If this is you, you’re just nosey. No shade, just truth.
1. Delete time-consuming social media apps from your smartphone. This will keep you from picking up your device at stoplights, or when you should be busy being present and productive at your job or with loved ones. You can still log on at the end of the day from your desktop/laptop when all of your daily tasks have been completed. When apps are downloaded onto your phone, it’s super easy to passively click on an icon and waste valuable time idly going down your timelines when you can be doing something else a little more productive.
2. Remove “friends” that you don’t really know. Facebook doesn’t update chronologically, which means you spend a massive amount of time scrolling through updates that you don’t really care about. When you limit your friend list, you will only see updates from people you are interested in. The goal isn’t to have a thousand friends; it’s to have genuine connections and follow people/pages that appeal to what you’re into.
3. If totally deleting the apps from your phone isn’t an option due to a limitation of devices, limit auto-log-ins. This means that you can set your accounts to settings that require you to input your username and password each time you attempt to login. This simple trick will give you a minute to determine if you really have time to thumb through your accounts. If nothing else, you’ll get so aggravated with constantly inputting the same information, you’ll just say screw it.
4. If all else fails and you have an important deadline approaching, temporarily delete your accounts. Make a mental note not to reactivate your accounts until your tasks are complete.