It seems a little odd that someone who spends a lot of time on her laptop working on her blog, would want to discuss disconnecting from social media. However, I have always had a love/hate relationship with social media. Yes, it is a great way to stay connected with family and friends, be up to date on news, and a great platform to learn and share on your favorite topics (shout out to nutrition!). But....what about when we spend way too much time on our phones, scrolling endlessly through Instagram or Facebook, just to walk away feeling agitated that once again we got sucked into the black hole of social media (ha!).
Fortunately (and unfortunately), every summer when I visit Switzerland, I am sometimes unable to access the internet. Simply not being able to roam while in Europe means I am restricted to getting online when I have a Wi-Fi connection. Imagine going about your day in a beautiful country like Switzerland unable to share it immediately on Instagram (gasp!).
In addition, this summer we went without a reliable internet connection so I had to make trips to a nearby cafe to get work done. It was nice to have to consciously decide when I would make a trip to the cafe to use internet, and then once I left, I wasn’t able to waste more time online simply because I was bored. Don't get me wrong, every time I made it back home I immediately felt a slight wave of panic when I realized I wouldn't be able to get online at all for the remainder of the day. However, this experience gives me a chance to observe my on-line habits and appreciate the times when I can’t get Wi-Fi.
I don't think there are many of us that wish we spent more time online and on our electronics, right? So how do we keep a control on our addiction to constantly checking the latest post or update? Below are a few tips that I work for me. Let me know what you think!
Limiting Our Time Online
1. Create a schedule for when you plan on being on-line, whether for work or pleasure. Give yourself an amount of time you get to spend on your favorite sites. Even if you don't follow the schedule completely, this will give you a sense of how much time you are spending on your phone or computer.
2. If you find yourself wasting time online when you are bored, try to come up with tasks that you can do that don't require you to stare a screen. Force yourself to read a book or go for a walk. Listen to a podcast or call a friend. There are so many more productive and enjoyable things you can do besides spending hours on Pinterest.
Tip: Turn your phone off for a little bit, or keep it out of sight. This way you can avoid grabbing for it out of boredom.
3. Don't let yourself on your favorite sites until after you completed your work. Most of us rely on our computers for work or school, and along with that comes procrastination. Don't let yourself get on Facebook just to avoid doing work. You'll end up wasting precious time and only be annoyed at yourself later.
4. Keep electronics out of the bedroom. We have all heard this before. Our electronics can keep us up way later than we usually would be if, say, we were reading a book. Sleep is a universal issue (or the lack of it) so by keeping our electronics out of the bedroom, we can ensure a better sleep routine and less time wasted watching a whole series on Netflix or scrolling through Instagram till we get cross-eyed.
5. Use apps that record how much time you spend on your computer or phone. I downloaded the app, Moment, on my phone and it lets me know at the end of day how long I spent on my phone, and which apps I spent the most time on (hey Instagram).
Of course, these various forms of social media can all be fun to use and it is unrealistic to expect any of us to not use them regularly. However, if we are constantly feeling like we don't have enough time in the day, why not try to control the amount spent online so that we can use some of it on more rewarding and fulfilling activities?