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Do you know what is the estimated time spent on social media for an adult over a life?
I am not sure about you, but I want to actually live my life, not spend years of it watching a collection of well-put-together highlights from others’ lives.
I am not against social media; I do enjoy using it, for it enables me to connect with family members abroad, connect with my business audience, and share a bit about myself too.
However, lately, my social media scrolling habits have been a bit out of control. I have used social media a lot more in my business, so I have ended up spending a lot more time on it, falling into those algorithmic traps that kept me going and staying on the platform longer and longer, but also distracting me from feeling what I had to feel.
I have quite often felt really unsettled after leaving the space—feeling out of control, unable to stop, reading posts and comments from people with different opinions, observing the misunderstanding, witnessing the bullying and name calling. I have often left the space feeling disheartened, discouraged, and sometimes even a bit hopeless.
The wish I have for humanity is for us humans to come to a place of true understanding of each other and love—despite the differences.
So I decided to limit my exposure to social media and be more intentional in my use of it. After just a few days, I managed to regain control, stop distracting myself, and truly felt a shift as my energy went back up.
If you are feeling a bit low these days after having scrolled on social media longer than you were wanting to, it may be time to review your usage of it.
Here are a few practical and transformational ways to reduce and reclaim your social media usage:
1. Limit and schedule your time on it.
Set a timer! Mine is set to 45 minutes per day on social media. You can go in your phone settings to set that up. Life-changing.
Have a schedule, especially if your work involves posting on social media. Plan the moment when you will work on your social media strategy and execution. For me, it is two hours a week, planning and scheduling my social media for the next three weeks.
Have a day a week free from social media. Try to make Sunday a “Social Media Free” day! Make it a family adventure! I love it. I actually often extend it to Sunday screen-free day.
2. Disable all social media notifications from your mobile.
Turn off all notifications from all your platforms: Facebook, Instagram, ClubHouse, Twitter…this is how the platform brings you back on it and keeps you there.
3. Buy an old-fashioned alarm clock for your bedroom.
If your cell phone is your alarm clock, chances are you go to bed checking your social media and wake up with the same habits. Change that! Wake up with a breath of fresh air, a walk, a glass of lemon water, a gratitude practice, a hug to your partner and kids. See how it transforms your day.
4. Set an intention for your social media use.
I think this is a bit overlooked. But what is your highest intention to sign up to those social media platforms?
My intention is to connect to friends and family who are far away. To connect with my audience for my business and educate, inspire, and inform.
Therefore, anything that goes against this intention, we should let it go. Clean up your account, take a break, unfollow whatever is misaligned with your intentions—at least for a while.
(I am not all for creating a bubble of friends with all the same views and opinions. No, I like having diverse views of the world in my group, but if this is impacting your mental health right now, give yourself permission to take a break from the triggers while you are getting back on track to a stable, resilient mindset.)
Stop the scrolling if you start feeling disconnected, frustrated, or numb. (See next point on how-to!)
5. Notice the time you come to social media for numbing—choose otherwise.
This is the most important point.
Humans tend to fill the blank, the moments of silence—of solitude—by distracting themselves with mind-numbing things like scrolling on social media (it could also be with food, TV, alcohol, and other creative ways).
This is done to avoid feeling what is happening within, the beneath emotions, for fear of what we could find there (discomfort or pain)—and for fear that we would not be able to handle the discomfort of that emotion.
Give yourself permission to observe what you are distracting yourself from. This is the key to stopping the behavior. And know that feeling or observing the emotions might not be as bad as you think.
Breathe, stop scrolling, listen, feel, and when you are ready, let go.
6. Replace the time you spend on social media with the things that lift you up.
Read a book instead of screen time, go for a walk, dance, sing, horseback ride, call a friend, move, do some yoga…anything that makes your whole mind-body system vibrate!
7. Take a long break from it—a few days, a week, a month. Whatever feels right!
I am turning off regularly, going camping or holidaying with the kids or by myself. And I don’t know where my phone is during those times.
Time to disconnect to reconnect.
See how all those changes make you feel. And never look back!