5 ways to limit how much time you spend on social media

After Facebook Whistleblower revealed Tech giants’ clever ways to entangle individuals in the web of social media, people have become more worried about how prvalent social media addiction has become.

Irrespective of age, social media addiction has dire consequences for the mental health of users trapped in this vicious cycle. However, some awareness and media campaigns against such companies as Facebook have compelled these social media platforms to restrict their actions and limit the damage they are causing on individuals and young kids.

Your own efforts to limit social media can go a long way than restrictions by companies. Here are a few ways you can try to limit your social media usage.

Track your time

Phones usually have a screen timer, that tracks the amount of time spent on your phone each day telling you exactly which app you spent the most time on. Android Google phones have the Wellbeing feature which tracks your phone usage, while iOS users have a built-in Screen Timer that offers the same service. If your phone does not have a built-in timer, you can install any of the various apps on the play store that will begin tracking your progress.

Once you know how much of your time during the day you are spending on your phone, you will be able to decide how much of a social media detox you need.

Screen time app lock

Many phones have built-in or external app services that help you limit screen time by disabling certain selected apps, like Facebook for certain hours. No matter how much you may want to use it, you will be locked out of the app. Instagram CEO, has announced recently that the company would be running a trial of ‘Take a Break’ feature to encourage users to step away from social media for a while.

Turn off notifications

This simple hack helps keep social media addiction under control, because when you don’t receive any notifications from apps, you automatically don’t get distracted when they pop up on your screen. In the beginning, it would be frustrating and you may be tuning in to the application over and over again, but over time, you will get used to the peace and silence of your phone not ringing and notifying you of every social media update.

Use browser extensions instead of apps

Instead of using installed apps for social media, try logging in through browsers on your phone or desktop. This means you will have to fill in your login details every time and you are then less likely to keep coming back to the app. Using browsers for social media would also mean getting no notifications for updates, thus no clutter, in your notification bar. However, some apps like Snapchat cannot be used through a browser extension, so the only way to use it is through the installed app itself.

Find something to do in your newfound time

If you plan something to do in your newfound time instead of just sitting around getting bored, your plan of social media detox is likely to fail. Before you begin limiting your phone time, find a hobby or something you have been planning to do for a while to fill your time. You may want to spend more time with your family, study, read, exercise or catch up on work deadlines. Once you have planned out what you intend to do, you will be occupied and busy, and less inclined to use your phone.

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Written by Atif Hasnain


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