During this day and age, we’re only a few phone taps away to connecting with the world around us.
As I constantly refresh my social media apps, I find myself going down a rabbit hole of memes, tear-jerking videos and TikTok challenges. While this entertains me for the time being, I often end up wasting hours of mindlessly scrolling through my phone instead of doing work.
Social media use is at an all time high. On the palm of our hands, we can simply chat with our mates, comment on someone’s selfie or find out about an acquaintance’s wedding without directly speaking to them.
A Harvard University researcher pinpointed that receiving a notification of a like or a comment releases a ‘dopamine’ chemical in our brain. This triggers a rewarding sensation that’s similar to eating food or being love-struck! While it can give us a sense of pleasure, excessive use of these platforms can take a toll on our mental health; potentially leading to an addiction. Like with a lot of things in life, social media use should be kept in moderation.
Here are ways to help reduce your screen-time on social media:
Silence your notifications to eliminate cravings
It’s nearly midnight, and your phone is still going off on Messenger and your mates are still tagging you on Facebook posts. Well, it wouldn’t hurt to take a step back and mute or turn off your notifications for your 8-hour sleep.
Set time limits on your social media apps
Avoid spending 3 hours straight on your Instagram page by setting a time limit on the app. Once your time is up, you can snap back to reality and live in the moment. It’s time to reconnect with yourself, instead of the Instagram influencer.
Detoxify by deleting your apps
If you have a FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), remember that it’s totally fine to unplug from the online world by deleting your apps for a couple of days… or even a week! (You can re-install them later). Your social media account will always be there, but not the time you’ve lost from watching highlight reels of other people’s lives all day.
It’s okay to stay connected through social media during these tough times. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up with these platforms and it has become a part of my nature to use them. But, it’s also important to remain self-aware and not detach from your real life.