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. Social media addiction is kicking into my system.
I check my phone: it’s 6 am. I feel that sense of shame- another productive morning wasted. I am punishing myself at this point.
Social media addiction is real and we may not realize the fact that we may even be the victim of it.
It is so real, that there are even some quotes about social media addiction.
Here are some famous social media addiction quotes :
- “If social media controls you and is robbing you of your freedom and good emotional energy chances are you’re addicted and it’s time to find another hobby.”―
- “Social media sites creates [an] illusion of connectivity .” – Malay Shah
- “Distracted from distraction by distraction.” – T.S. Eliot
- “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” Annonymous
- “The word ‘friend’ has become so utterly void of meaning in a world governed by social media. How can anyone truly claim to have eleven hundred friends? In my book that would involve making time to meet at least three of them every day of the year.” – Alex Morritt, Impromptu Scribe
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Social media addiction facts:
- 210 million people are estimated to suffer from internet and social media addiction
- 71% of Americans sleep with or next to a mobile device.
- 45% of people check social media instead of sleeping, and roughly 10% of teens check their phones more than 10 times per night.
What are the signs of social media addiction?
Perhaps you are reading this article because you realize how social media addiction is affecting you.
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.
Before we get into the details of addictive media, let’s first look into some of the signs of social media addiction:
- Feeling nervous when you have no access to social media
- Social media takes priority in your life
- Feeling obsessed with “likes” and “followers”
- Feeling the need to constantly check your phone when there is a notification
- You rather spend time on social media than building human connections in the outside world.
The real reason behind social media addiction:
The biggest cause of social media addiction lies in the design of it.
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, and Tik Tok 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 addiction 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 a loss of productive time.
But, the unhealthy use of technology, i.e. social media addiction 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 Instagram because it is entertaining and looks familiar.
It is that entertainment and familiarity with how these apps and social media companies keep us coming back.
The idea that apps are so easy to use, we find ourselves continuously log in to it. So how do we stop social media addiction?
Continue reading if you are having this issue.
The solution to social media addiction:
Having in mind how easy social media companies 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 can grab your attention because the other options are not easy. In that instant, they have gotten you addicted to social media.
I have tried many ways to find a solution to my social media addiction.
The self-help gurus I have turned too tell 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 in 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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How do I stop my social media addiction?
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.
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.
Finally, Don’t forget to check out the Growth mindset activities which can be a useful tool for your child to be reminded of how unique and amazing they are.