Is social media ruling your life?
You head out to dinner with your family and friends, seated down at a beautiful booth table with a menu in hand; you look around. You notice that a majority of the guests at this restaurant are heavily focused. The guests are not focused on each other, you rarely see a family seated at the booths talking to each other and laughing over great conversation. What the guests are focused on is their smartphones. Technology seems to have taken over our way of life. No more do families sit down to a meal at a restaurant and enjoy great conversations. The old tradition of reconnecting over a meal has been lost upon most of society. As you watch these families indulge in technology, barely taking note of their family members at the table, a little piece of you feels frustrated.
It’s not uncommon to feel annoyed with people who do this, but perhaps you are guilty of a similar experience. Do you find that social media is ruling your life behind closed doors? Maybe you have found that you are one of those families that are seated at a restaurant booth with their heads buried in their smartphones. Whatever your reason for reading this article, please know that you can keep social media from ruling your life, and I will tell you how.
Make Rules about Social Media
Rules don’t only exist to keep children in line; sometimes, adults need some guidelines set forth so they don’t fall victim to social media addiction. Set some rules for yourself, such as when you will peek at social media and when you will put that smartphone down to be present in the lives of your loved ones. Set clear rules for all family members so that social media is less tempting. These rules can be daily or situational, meaning you can be that family that has a rule of no smartphones at the dinner table regardless of whether you are home or dining out.
Be Mindful of Family and Surroundings
Your family may not speak up for you when they feel social media has become an addiction. You will find most family members, especially children, will often have heavy sighs or make facial expressions to display their feelings regarding your social media addiction. Be mindful of how your family feels about your social media addiction, and keep an open mind when they express their concerns. Always remain mindful of your surroundings as a means to be emotionally present versus merely physically present. When you practice mindfulness regarding your use of social media, life changes for the better, and your family becomes happier.
Become More Self-Aware
Get to know who you are and why you often reach for social media during the day. Are you searching for ways to feel connected? Do you suffer from the fear of missing out? What about social media gets you to ignore those in your life so you can get your “fix”? Start to watch your own habits, notice when you reach for that smartphone, what’s going on in life at that moment. Start changing the habit of going on social media when you feel this way and learn to interact with your family and friends instead. Interpersonal relationships are far more valuable than you will miss when limiting interaction on social media.
Make a List of what Social Media is Costing You
You will find that social media costs you more than time, it begins to cost you money. If you haven’t already done so, make a list of all the things social media has cost you. For example: time spent with your family, time spent at work, opportunities to network and gain new clients, sales from your online business, or simply the opportunity to live in the moment. The list can be endless once you start to realize how much social media has taken over your life without you even realizing it!
Schedule Time for Social Media
Now that you have made a list of all the things social media has begun to cost you, it’s time to schedule social media into your day. Remember those rules you set? Well, it’s time to start following them! Set a specific time for social media use, and stick to that schedule. If you only allow yourself 30 minutes per day on social media, then make sure you only spend 30 minutes on social media. Once the 30 minutes is up, sign off and be done with it until tomorrow. This will help break the habit of mindlessly scrolling through your newsfeed for hours on end.
Breaking the cycle of social media addiction can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. It will require some effort on your part as well as understanding from family and friends. But once you do break the cycle, you will be amazed at how much time you have to focus on things that are truly important in your life. You will find your relationships with family and friends improve, and you will become more productive both at home and at work. So go ahead and give it a try – your life may just depend on it!