The best way to reduce the amount of time you waste on social media is to first create barriers, turn off all notifications of activity, and lastly replace that time with a hobby.
With social media being right at our fingertips, it is essentially easy to spend hours a day scrolling through Instagram, snapping pics on Snapchat, making funny TikToks, and going into a rabbit hole of threads on Twitter. If you are looking for the best way to reduce the amount of time you waste on social media a day without going cold turkey, we got you!
Social media acts as a quick and easy way to stay in touch with our friends, but what many people do not know is that our brains become chemically addicted when it releases dopamine (a neurotransmitter responsible for making us feel pleasure) as a result from all the likes, comments, shares, and followers. This dependability can also lead to more serious health concerns including depression and anxiety due to feelings of loneliness and disconnect from reality.
First, deleting the apps off your phone to eliminate the number of times you open them is a great way to begin reducing the time you spend on social media. According to Nina Raemont on CNET, “the browser version on my laptop is clunkier than the mobile version, which serves as another deterrent to prolonged use. For example, posting content on the web version is possible but takes a bit more work than on the mobile version.”
For those with a bit more self-control, setting a screen time limit on your social media apps is also an option from your settings. However, this is easier to bypass, as you can give yourself 15 extra minutes of app use or ignore the limit for the day, so for those who know they will bypass the limit, it is best to delete the app overall and relay to a browser version on a laptop or computer.
Next, turning off your social media notifications including emails for activity (likes, comments, requests, etc) via your settings reduces the amount of times you open the app or login to the browser and start scrolling, tweeting, or snapping. Remember, if it is important, you can always have someone reach you through text or phone call. This will also limit your distractions throughout the day and help you focus on your task at hand!
Lastly, replace that time you have on your hands with something you enjoy doing just as much to reduce the amount of time spent on social media is to. Many people fall out of touch with hobbies they once had like drawing, reading, crosswords, or biking, which they slowly forgot about. Making good use of your time in place of social media will create a sense of productivity and accomplishment so much so that you may even forget to check your social media!
Overall, reducing the amount of time you waste on social media is in your control. The best way to reduce the amount of time you waste on social media is to first create barriers, turn off all notifications of activity, and lastly replace that time with a hobby. As a result, you will receive dopamine from real-world interactions and hobbies can reduce the risks of long term health risks associated with prolonged social media use.