The Journal

5 Tactics I’m using to kick my social media addiction

July 7, 2020

Hello. My name is Sarah and I’m addicted to social media. Ok ok. Let’s be real, 99.99% of modern humans are addicted to our cellular devices. We’re the most technologically “connected” yet relationally disconnected generation…since…well…ever. This addiction has only gotten worse since the world shut down and really revealed to me how much I needed to wean myself off of my little blackhole…erm…I mean phone. I’ve managed to reduce my screen time from 5 hours a day (so shameful) to 2 hours a day. So if you are feeling convicted about the amount of time you are mindlessly scrolling or notice how your anxiety levels spike after being on Facebook- I highly suggest minimizing your exposure. So today I’m sharing 5 tactics I’m using to kick my own social media addiction and hopefully it will help you too!

My own personal addiction looks something like this:

  • Pick up phone
  • immediately check Facebook for notifications
  • then check Instagram and scroll
  • get sucked into someone’s stories or post and then google a product I saw/article/etc
  • get interrupted by life/half listen to kids or husband when they talk to me
  • repeat once every 30 min or sooner if a notification pops up

Does this sound familiar to you? I spent FIVE hours doing this. That’s five hours I will never get back of playing with my kids. Or connecting with my husband. So here are the steps to I’ve taken to at least get three of those five hours back.

1. Delete your apps off of your phone

I’m not saying delete your accounts (although that would be helpful). But delete the actual app off of your phone so you will be less tempted to check them. I don’t have a Twitter account but I have personally have deleted Facebook and Instagram off of my phone. Now I’ll only check my accounts during naptime on my computer. And once the kids are up, time’s up.

2. Go to your settings and set a limit for time sucking apps

After I deleted Insta and FB off of my phone, I went to my phone settings and set time limits on any other apps I spend too much time on. (You can check which apps you spend the most time on in your settings). For me those were my email, Amazon, and a few other shopping apps. I only allow 1 hour combined to look at any of those.

3. Schedule your social media posts

In case you’re new here, I run a photography business where I do a chunk of my marketing via social media. But instead of posting in real time, I collect all of my content (posts, captions, videos for stories) and then schedule them out using a third party app called Planoly. When I use Planoly, I get to see what my feed looks like before anything is posted, I write out and schedule all of my posts and stories at the beginning of the week, and I don’t have to spend a single minute on Instagram to do it. So this may be a shocker but NONE of my stories are recorded or shared in real time. You are seeing things that have usually happened a few days prior to when they are shared. #secretsout #latergrams

4. Leave your phone in one room of the house.

I don’t know about you but if my phone with me at all times, I will then check it all the time. So I have recently been keeping it in my room or somewhere I don’t go very often during the day. Out of sight, out of mind.

5. Walter Mitty the moment

Have you ever seen The Secret Life of Walter Mitty? Well there’s one scene where Walter (Ben Stiller) finds Sean Penn’s character (a photographer) in the Himalayas trying to photograph the elusive snow leopard. One finally appears, and he doesn’t take the photo. When Walter asks why, he replies, “Sometimes I don’t. If I like a moment, I mean, ME, personally. I don’t like to have the distraction of the camera. I just want to stay…in it.” Here’s a clip of the scene.

So often I’m tempted to pull my phone out to photograph my kids and immediately share it with the world. Or as a wedding photographer, seeing guests and family watch the bride come down the aisle through their phone screens instead of being immersed in the moment. I understand the temptation to record memories…trust me….but some moments are best kept sacred and aren’t meant to be broadcasted to the world. They aren’t meant to reside on our phones, but instead in our hearts. So whenever my husband or I am tempted to record every little thing our kids do so we can share it with the social media world, we tell each other to “Walter Mitty this one” and immediately put our phones away so we are present and stay IN the moment.

So there you have it! These are the 5 tactics I’m using to kick my own social media addiction and spend more time engaging in the present, in cultivating true relationships, and actually living my life. I hope this encourages you to put your phone down and participate in the present as well and let me know which tactic is most helpful. Alright go unplug!

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