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Parents : Is social media stealing our attention?

It’s 5 am on a Saturday morning. I open Instagram and begin scrolling.  Hundreds of videos of cats, memes, people’s food and much, much more.

I check my phone: it’s 6 am. I feel that sense of shame- another productive morning wasted. I should have continued sleeping. What is the point of waking up early if I am going to be browsing the internet? I am punishing myself at this point.

As a mom who tries to be productive, we have all been here. Perhaps you are reading this article as a mean of escaping your reality. If that’s the case, I hope you find this read compelling enough to keep you going till you get some inspiration.

At the same time, a part of me wishes you stop reading. In fact, don’t read this if your child is looking at you crying for your attention. Come back here when you have given him/her your 100% self. That’s the best advice I can give.

If you are still here despite having something important to do- I have another advice: avoid “addictive” media. It is designed to grab your attention and hook you from the minute you log in. It’s easier to keep scrolling on your phone than to get out of bed. 

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The problem with designs:

If you take a few steps back and recognize the design of these apps. you will be shocked. I stayed in bed scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest until I needed the bathroom- my basic physiological need-stop me from the desire to continue clicking. Even then, I took my phone with me to the bathroom. It is terrifying.

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Social media is stealing my attention. It is nice to tell a friend she looks good in a recent photo or to reach out to a family member. And if you are like me, a blogger then the need to post daily for the sake of consistency is important. Social media is meant to be a positive tool for social and economical reasons-but the endless scrolling does not satisfy our basic physiological need which is a human connection. 

What is the purpose of a life spent just sitting behind a screen?

The problem is corporations, and predatory groups are fighting for our attention. They use seductive methods to keep us glued. They are eating up our time in an unhealthy way, all because they have made it so easy for us to continuously scroll.

Consuming media, talking to people who probably don’t really care about me and worrying about the news is how I spend some of my time with technology. I don’t feel good about it, and, looking back, rightly so.

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Life is not just about being productive- I would never equate social media with loss of productive time. But, unhealthy use of technology is a form of stealing our attention. It takes our eyes away from people who really want to talk to us.

It is much easier to scroll through Snapchat and Netflix because it is entertaining and looks familiar. It is that entertainment and familiarity how these apps and social media companies keep us coming back.

The idea that apps are so easy to use, we find ourself continuously log in to it. So how do we stop this? Continue reading if you are having this issue.

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The solution

Having in mind how easy social media company have made scrolling for us, starting a new routine can be scary. What if I miss out on important information? What if no one at Mom groups talks to me? What if my child is playing happily and no one speaks to me in a baby sensory class?  Those feelings are exactly what corporations are preying on.

They know they have an app that would grab your attention because the other options are not easy. In that instant, they have gotten you hooked.

I have tried many ways to find a solution to this problem. The self-help gurus I have turned too tells me the same advice “overcome your desire to look at your phone.” This really never works for me. Just sets me up for failure.

Instead, the one thing that has worked me is to put it a lot of effort into my phone that it does not appeal to me anymore. I have made my phone hard to use that getting out of bed has become a lot easier.

I am now a productive mom who wakes up at 5 am and goes straight into my blogging without distraction. When my baby is awake, I never have my phone with me. My 100% self is for my little one.

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Here is how I make my phone hard to use & spend less time on social media :

1. Switch off notifications

You don’t need to be interrupted by every “like” that your latest Facebook post receives. Or with messages that your favorite follower is live right now.

The easiest way to cut down distraction is by switching off notifications for all the apps you use. To do this :

  • Go to settings
  • Notifications to control your preferences

As for me, I only allow notifications for email, Whatsapp ( cause that is how my family connects with me unless Whatsapp group is always set to silent) and calendars. Everything else is off.

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2.  Greyscale screen  

One of the best ways to reduce screen time is to make it look as less desirable as you can.

Changing your phone to greyscale will reduce your willingness to unlock your phone.

I found this tip incredibly effective in keeping me off apps such as Facebook and Instagram.

To switch on greyscale in an iPhone go to “Display Accommodations” and then turn on “Color Filters.” On an Android device, find “Vision” and then scroll down to “Grayscale.”

3. Use a regular alarm clock

Don’t let the phone be the last thing you see at night and the first thing you check in the morning. I have started using a regular alarm clock to wake me up in the morning. The charging station is located in another room so I don’t get tempted to check my phone in the middle of the night.

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Here are other tips to you keep children safe in the digital age : 

Tips for Non-Tech Savy Mums :4 tips to digital parenting for non-tech savy mums

10 things you can do right now to keep your children safeEasy and clever online safety tips

3 dangerous places for children to be online : 3 places kids should have limited internet access

Finally, don’t forget click below:  

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