It’s been a long, exhaustive day. You finally throw yourself on the soft bed, hoping to drift off into a dreamless sleep, which will rejuvenate your energies for the next day. While the dim-lit surrounding is as peaceful as ever, your mind is still abuzz with thousands of incoherent thoughts. You try to push them out, and for a short while, everything is calm. But then, your hand finds the cold touch of your smartphone, and you know what that means.
No. More. Sleep.
You’re compelled by an invisible force to pick up your phone, and to start playing with the ever-enticing icons glittering on the screen: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. The list goes on indefinitely.
With your exhaustion-ridden eyes, you browse through your feed like it’s a completely natural extension of yourself. Nothing else matters in the face of this glorious, never-ceasing experience.
But what are the consequences? For one, the replacement of physical reality with a virtual one.
You stop living in the ‘real,’ trouble-laden world, all the while feeding yourself on a virtual fantasy of perfect online existence.
This is not healthy behaviour. You know it, and I know it. But you can’t help it, and I can
But worry not: I have devised a systematic plan for you to gradually let go of this social media addiction. Follow the steps mentioned below, and I guarantee you that you’ll feel a positive change in yourself.
Step #1: Believe That You Can Do This
First of all, you need to register the intensity of the social media pull. Isolate yourself from it as an experiment, and record the number of times you feel a twitch in your hand to pick up your phone.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you think about getting likes on your latest status during a shower?
- Do you obsess over your crush’s Snapchat story while eating lunch?
- Does your mind automatically play those funny cat vines whenever you open a book?
If you answer these in the affirmative, then yes, you’re a social media junkie.
Next comes the acknowledgement. Admit your addiction, and accept it as a weakness. Only after this can you focus on changing your dependent behaviour. Have total faith in yourself that you can change, be your own disciplinarian, and have a reformative attitude towards this.
Step #2: Sort Your Needs from Your Wants
After a deep breath, open your social media accounts and start prioritizing. This is going to be hard, but remember that you can do this! Begin with limiting the number of your online friends to only the most important ones. Often enough, you add someone you met over coffee once, but never again after that. Yet their lives keep springing before your eyes.
- Do you really need this many number of online friends?
- Is the reason why you still haven’t excluded them from your list because the more the people, the greater the number of likes?
- Are you running after hearts and followers?
- Do you really pine after this sort of exposure?
Once answered, block out the people who were in your past and who hold no place in your future.
Next, cut off those online chat platforms which are completely useless, and are most prone to waste your time. After this radical downsizing, your phone should have only the most vital social media platforms.
Step #3: Limit the Time Spent Online
This is an incredibly difficult step, and it will take all of your self-control.
You can do this in three different ways:
- You can set alarms on your phone or clock to dehypnotize you out of your social media trance.
- You can kill those push notifications that have you instinctively reaching for your phone.
- You can appoint a sibling or friend to give you hourly reminders so that you don’t get carried away.
Whenever you are compelled to exceed your social media usage, wait it out, and use your inner strength to block it out. I’m not saying that you should stop using social media cold turkey – that would also be extreme behaviour. But I am suggesting that you set aside a certain, segmented time of day in which you can freely send hearts, comment, and share to your heart’s desire.
Step # 4: Take Up Real-Life Alternatives
Once you limit your social media usage, a gap will appear in your life which needs to be filled right away. Seek out alternative hobbies, like carving wood, knitting, baking, guitar-strumming, or whatever appeals to you.
Other than that, you could always spend more time with your loved ones, catching a movie here and enjoying a feast there. Play video games or go to arcades with your friends. Have parties and wild outdoor adventures. Start living in physical reality, and you’ll see that it tastes way better than the shallow virtual one.
Step # 5: Go on a Tech-Free Vacation:
If nothing else works, you can always distance yourself from all sorts of technology and go on an adventure of self-discovery, into the heart of the wild. Travel the world, experience new cultures, enjoy good food, and then you’ll finally see how limited and narrow your life has been under the control of social media.
If you follow these steps one-by-one, you’ll be able to free yourself of the social media spider web. Be a moderate user, and make use of Charter deals to spice your network up like nothing before.