A decade back, people used online world to take timeouts from the real world. Today people are yearning towards real world to escape the virtual world. Reason – Excessive Online and Social Media Addiction.
What is Social Media Addiction
Internet and social media have been deeply engraved in our daily lives lately, especially in the urban life. Increasing use of online portals, websites, mobile apps and digital devices have made our lives simpler than before. Internet and other dependent technologies are making a mark in all walks of life and constant technical disruption is certainly the future of the world.
You can find yourself addicted to internet or social media if you think you are spending majority of your time with your phone or laptop or computer not for work, but to browse Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram, Whats App, Snap Chat, Face Time, YouTube or any other application or websites. The time spent on these platforms is utterly to quench your anxiety of looking at what others are doing, see your timelines, update your connections of your status, check on messages and chats, browse pictures and videos or anything which makes your fingers crave for your device.
Why Social Media Addiction is Harmful
This definitely comes with its own shortfalls. The increasing usage of devices have made human lives prone to things which are harmful, and are leaving a negative impact on our personal and professional fronts. The results of being obsessed with internet, devices and social media are drastic, and the bigger issue is they are realized mostly after they have made a loss.
How to Overcome Social Media Addiction
Now when you know why online or social media addiction is harmful and if unfortunately you are stuck with this, curing this is purely a matter of choice and self control. This is more about prioritizing things which are important in your life. You definitely cannot totally cut-off being online or using your devices or browsing social media, but this has to be monitored and restricted.
A few tips which you can use to curtail your social media addiction are here.
- Limit usage of Social Media Platforms : There are hundreds of online social networks available, and you can find your connections distributed over many different places. This does not mean you need to be all over the internet to be in touch with your connections. Think out which platforms make more sense for you to be on.
Also, there is no meaning being in touch with the same people over multiple platforms. Find out which platforms you have most of the connections at and are of the most usage to you. Close your other social network accounts and limit to the ones you like the most. This would help you spare minutes or hours you spend unnecessarily browsing the same things at multiple places.
- Limit whom you follow : Apologies to be blunt, but there is an unnecessary sense of achievement for many to have hundreds of connections. For example, If you have more than 100 or 200 connections over your LinkedIn or Facebook account, try running through all of them once and analyse whom are you practically in touch with and how many times you have talked to that person. You will find that many of them are just a part of the network.
Un-follow who does not really makes sense to be followed. This would take some pain, but this will really limit the number of feeds you get. On the contrary, the feeds you would see would be more sensible and you would soon realize enjoying them rather than being distracted by unnecessary feeds from here and there.
- Be judicious : Be judicious while using social media or being online. For example, it is not a good habit to be in bed and keep yourself hooked to your phone. You are losing a quality sleep time. Similarly, try to get engaged more with your family when at home, talk to your friends on phone rather than commenting over their posts and then endlessly reading follow up comments and replies to them. Realize that bonding with your relationships is more important for you than your bonding with your devices.
- Engage in an online learning course : If you are mostly alone and have time which is being spent online in excess, enroll yourself in an online course related to a skill you always wanted to have, or something which can upgrade you and help in your work or profession. This would ensure that the hours just being spent online are not being invested, plus, you are ensuring returns out of your investment of time.
- Go back to the basics : Remember the days 15 years back when there were hardly any mobiles or internet. Life was simple then too. I am not asking you to dump your mobiles, devices or internet by saying this, but try to keep a basic phone or landline at your home. Make a habit to switch to your home phone when at home, and keep your connects informed to reach you over the same whenever they would like to. Using a feature phone will ensure you are not losing out of connectivity, but will save you hours you would have wasted to endlessly check the smartness of smart devices you have.
- Pick a sport : What’s better than getting out and playing with your friends, family and kids! Engage yourself in a sport. Running, Yoga, Jogging, Badminton, Tennis, Cricket, Football – endless options available when it comes to spend your time with quality and qualitative after affects. If you are more of a “in-the-walls” kind of person, engage yourselves in board games. Starting from Ludo, Snakes & Ladders, Chinese Checkers to Monopoly, Brain Vita, Uno, Chess and so on… there are hundreds of options of board games easily available outside in the market. Indoor board games makes a great time with your family and the happiness it spreads is unmatched!
- Understand Social and Virtual Behavior: This is most important to understand. With social media, you feel that you are connected to everyone you have in your network, but practically this is just a misconception. The reason is that there is so much clutter online people do not remember you even, or no personal touch which practically prevails. A better option is to be practically social with your network. Make a network of your family, friends, colleagues or whomsoever you like to hang out with, and just go out and spend time with that network and grow it. This would make your social relationships stronger and wider, and you would find yourself surrounded with real people when in need than just “social media comments”.
Do you think you can follow these simple tips? I would strongly suggest you to do so if you are struggling with this anxiety and share your experiences. Let us know in comments of other ways you think can be of use to come out of this situation and help others.