I hate getting to the end of the day feeling like I accomplished nothing except scrolling through Facebook, pinning a few things to Pinterest, and binge watching YouTube. Even answering an email or writing a blog post feels more productive than checking social media.
Mindless social media absorption sounds like the perfect way to spend an evening after going to class and writing a thesis all day, but I graduated. I get the summer off. I can live now. I can do whatever I want to with endless free time.
Why on earth do I spend it stuck in front of a screen reading inflammatory online comments and not-so-funny memes?
But I just can’t convince myself to get rid of my Facebook account, that most notorious timesucker. I just can’t do it. All of my friends and family live in other states and other cities. I love seeing their photos, reading their updates, and sharing my own. Plus, I get all my breaking news on Facebook. (Remember that time when your Facebook feed was 90% Black Lives Matter and Pokemon Go? If anything else newsworthy happened during that time, I’ll never know.)
I made a smaller change with a huge impact: I deleted all my social media apps off my phone. All of them. No more instant access to Facebook or YouTube. I had to use the torturous mobile versions or get onto Facebook via my computer.
This made mindless social media usage mindful. I couldn’t just scroll through Facebook when I was bored or had thirty awkward seconds to kill. I had to be intentional about it. And apparently, I’m lazy enough that the extra effort to type in the URL deterred me from checking social media at an every-waking-moment rate.
Now I hardly touch my phone except to answer texts and calls. What a novel idea!
I did the same thing with my computer too. I log out of Facebook, adding a two-step checkpoint of entering my email and password every time I want to mindlessly hop online. And then, for extra measure, I turn off my computer. That’s another five minutes to contemplate my social media obsession. (My computer is like me in the morning: slow and cranky.) And I can’t kill the time by looking at Facebook on my phone, either.
Obsession: 0. Intentionality: SCORE.
How do you combat your social media addiction?