Yesterday I decided to take the full day off social media. Now more than ever I’m finding I’m spending hours on end trawling through feeds not looking for anything in particular, but feeling my mind getting sucked into the vortex that I call the ‘scroll hole’. Some days I think I can actually feel my brain cells draining out of me!
Now before I begin, I should start by saying that I think there are lots of positives to social media! It allows us to connect, follow and help thousands of people at the click of a button, enables us to share knowledge, ideas and creativity and learn from others, it can be an amazing platform for businesses and let’s be honest if you get it right you can earn a lot of money off it. HOWEVER, with all of these positives there is of course a flip side to the coin. The biggest one I believe is the fact that WE ARE ADDICTED.
So, going back to yesterday, my rule was to not go on any social media platforms. I had breakfast and took myself off for a long walk (on which I try to never use my phone anyway as that’s my ME time) and then I got back and as it was Sunday I totally chilled and watched TV most of the day. Throughout the day I counted 8 TIMES that I subconsciously unlocked my phone and just clicked Instagram before I even had a chance to think about it. HOW SCARY IS THAT! Every time I instantly closed it down, locked the phone and carried on my day. Let’s be real…most of the time we trawl our feeds because of boredom, and right now things are really bloody boring! But rather than scrolling being a couple of minutes of entertainment it turns into hours… it has well and truly got us, we can’t get enough of it! We’re hooked!
Here’s the thing… I am sure a lot of people will be there saying “well to be fair I am only on it a lot at the moment because I’m bored or there isn’t much to do”, and I agree to an extent. However I always think about when things like social media didn’t exist… everyone still found things to do to fill their time, and most probably they were more rewarding things like reading a book or going for a walk or baking a cake to name a few. Bit of a tangent but I guess the point being everyone wasn’t sitting around staring at a wall waiting for social media to be created, there is always something you can do when you’re bored.
I sit there and think about the amount of time I waste on pointless scrolling. Take for example my digital wellbeing times from last week on my phone:
Total daily average screen time 3hours 57minutes
Roughly 18 hours this week spent on social media
Now I have no idea how bad or good this is compared to other people and of course will naturally be a little higher than if I was at work all day. However just think about those hours across a year. That is around 936 hours every year I am spending achieving nothing. Imagine if I had spent those 2.5hours every day reading, or meditating or learning a language or helping other people or developing a new skill I mean the list is absolutely endless. When you think about it like that it surely hits home a bit. It certainly does for me!!
I have thought about deleting my social media so many times because of this very reason, however I also know that I can use my profile as a platform to share knowledge and to help others and this is something, I am really passionate about (there is always good with the bad!). So for now I’m sticking with them, but making some changes.
This has been on my mind for a while now and yesterday’s little ‘digital detox test’ really showed me that I need to make some changes to the way I use my phone and social media in order to STOP WASTING MY TIME, therefore I have come to this:
- Conscious usage – before you know it your phone is out, insta is up and your fingers are sore from scrolling so much is a NO NO. I am going to try to engage my brain every time I seem to just open social media up to ask myself ‘what did I come on this for?…. if I can’t give myself an answer then I close it back down
- Understand where social media fits into my day – For example if I am needing some workout inspiration, a new recipe, some advice on something or just a bit of a laugh and release… by knowing this I can then target my usage into what it is I actually am looking for. As I say there is a lot of POSITIVE content on social media you just need to know what you are looking for.
- Bedtime Ban – This one is becoming a savage for me to the point I sometimes think I can still feel my eyes scrolling when they are closed!! 30 minutes phone free is a minimum before bed to support a healthy night’s sleep. Fall out of this habit and you soon realise why you set it in the first place.
- If it doesn’t make me feel good, I don’t follow – SUCH an easy one this one! Anyone’s content who makes me feel inadequate, belittled, useless or envious I just simply click the unfollow button it’s that simple. Ask yourself does this person’s content either help & educate me or make me feel positive in some way or another.
- Accountability – That same old word I go on and on about in my posts. I am setting myself limits each day. Most of us have phones now that actually track our digital wellbeing so you will know full well how much time you have wasted. You can even set timers to bar the app if you go over your limit.
- Digital detox days – I liked my Sunday vibe so I am going to try and make Sunday my day off. Maybe this might work for you too?
Use your phone, but use it wisely😊
Lots of Love