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Daily Authority: 🧑🤝🧑 Top tips for snoozing social media
Hello again, and welcome to the Daily Authority. I woke up far too early this morning to beat the planned power cut, but the scrumptious bowl of fruit I had for breakfast mostly made up for it.
Slow your social media roll
When I was younger, I begged my parents to get internet for our household but not because I needed it for school. Instead, I desperately wanted a Facebook profile to connect with friends online. How times have changed. Now, social media can be an angry, divisive land, distracting us from the real world. Last year, I slowly decreased my social media usage, and I’ve never been happier. But it’s not an easy process.
Thankfully, we here at Android Authority have tips and advice to wean yourself off social media effectively.
The pitfalls of social media
- There’s no doubt that social media has been great for connecting with others, discovering new friends with common interests, and keeping in contact with loved ones abroad (or during lockdown).
- However, like most things, too much social media is not good.
- It’s not always easy to ignore it, either.
- Social media is designed to be addictive. It preys on our pre-historic brains, psychological biases, and vulnerabilities.
- In a world where screen time means more advertising and data-gathering, human attention is a commodity.
- Incredibly, the mechanics of some social media mimics a slot machine.
- “Every time you pull down on the screen to refresh your content feed or swipe back and forth to see what’s new, you are spinning the wheel hoping that something exciting pops up.”
When things go too far
- We spoke at length about phone addiction earlier this year, which goes hand-in-hand with social media.
- Recent research has highlighted how detrimental social media addiction can be to our physiology and psychology.
- Effects may include cognitive issues, from a lack of an attention span to increased impulsivity.
- Remarkably, studies have noted a reduction in gray matter in the amygdala, likened to cell death seen in cocaine addicts.
- Other effects, like neuroticism, anxiety, eating disorders, and anger, have also been noted.
- More tangibly, social media affects our sense of self-presentation, disconnecting our sense of the real world and distracting us from our immediate surroundings.
- All in all, there’s plenty of evidence that social media is a luxury that should be used in moderation.
What can you do?
- As phones and the internet aren’t just a hobby but a job for us at AA, we have a few tips that might help you.
- For starters, the most effective way to break a social media habit is to delete the app and never use it again.
- That’s far easier said than done, but you can make the platform more forgettable by disabling notifications and using an app timer.
- Focus Modes is a great way to drown out distractions if you own an iPhone.
- You can also compartmentalize your life.
- Keeping a healthy work-life balance is important, and we feel the same about social media.
- If you have a secondary smartphone, consider using one for social media while keeping the other devoid of all platforms.
- This works for us in separating our work lives from our personal lives.
- Additionally, it’s important to reevaluate what social media does for you. What do you get out of it?
- “It all started with Facebook. I thought about what I actually got out of using it, and the answer was, not much.”
- Consider if a platform truly adds value to your life when you use it.
- Finally, it’s important to know when to tune in and tune out.
- You may still need some platforms for work, to keep in contact with others, or up to date with local news.
- Consider using these platforms on a device other than your phone to keep the craving to check up on things at bay.
There’s no one magic solution to kicking a social media addiction or reducing your usage, but these tips should go some way to start you down the road.
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Oh, and in case you haven’t checked the calendar recently, it’s December! We’re 20 days away from Christmas, so enjoy a topically appropriate meme.
My partner and I have already started our annual Christmas movie binge. There’s plenty to get through if you’re a Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max, or Prime Video subscriber. Click the links for some of the best holiday flicks of the past year and previous.
Have a great week!
Andy Walker, Editor.