It takes discipline not to let social media steal your time

I never thought a year ago that I would need to monitor and manage the amount of time I spent on social media. It got to the point where I would pick up my phone and fall in to a black hole. Have you ever gone to pick up your phone to check the time and then ended up 2 hours in forgetting why you went on it in the first place? It would suddenly be 11pm and my whole evening would be gone. This is the “social media black out”

When I think back to all that time I’ve spent, I wouldn’t be able to recall what I had learnt in that time. Its not until your in a social environment do you realize that your friends didn’t need to tell you about their holiday because you already knew. On top of the time taken in this “black hole” obsession with comments, likes and followers takes a toll. I try my best not to watch my Instagram like a clock, counting the new followers or the amount of likes on my latest post. Then followers disappear or unfollow you and then you asked “what did I do wrong?”

Man, it is hard. Here are a few ways I manage:

1.Turn off your Notifications

I have turned off the notification on my instagram. This helps me as I get to choose when I log on and it leaves a surprise. It like a mail box, more time and energy is spent when you are watching out the window waiting for the mail man. Plus, when my notifications accumulate I get that good feeling that we are all searching for. The need to be likes and needed. Don’t deny it, we all need it.

2. Don’t read the Comments

Of course you can read the comments on your own post but avoid the comments in shared news articles or controversial posts. I find that it is so easy to get lost in reading all the comments and searching for the negative. I don’t add fuel to the fire but I do like reading what other peoples opinions are. There has been a few times where I have been featured in a share article and some negative comments have been said. Someone left a very racist comment once on how I was not a “real kiwi” because I was half-Asian. This made me so mad but I did not become a “Keyboard Warrior” I so badly wanted to argue my case, scripted my argument and evidence in my head of why I was a true kiwi but held back because I knew that I did not have to prove myself to someone so ignorant. The best part was that I didn’t have to say anything because complete strangers came to my aid and defended me. I felt a great sense of satisfaction that this person had been shut down. However, what I have learnt it not to read the comments at all, to not go fishing for something negative. This why my time and energy is only spent on things that bring me joy (cat videos).

3. Allocate Time

I barely touch my phone during the day, especially when I am teaching. I hate using my phone in front of students and usually tell them when I am going to use it to play music for the class. I try and allocate an hour or so to respond to comments, browse peoples lives and products I might want (Instagram is my shopping mall haha). I have not perfected this yet but hopefully will.

3. Engage 

This part is important. I try my best to visit the pages of my new followers to find out about them and to share some love. I get sad when my followers have private pages because I can’t find out anything.This is important to me as it helps me value followers as people. There is a person behind that like, comment or follow. I love leaving positive comments on peoples photos. I avoid anything negative because that just doesn’t need to be passed on.

4. Put the PHONE down

Easier said than done. I struggle with this one a lot. There is this weird anxiety I feel when I am separated from my phone. Even if its in my room on charge and I am in the living room. I always feel so refreshed when I realize that I have forgotten about my phones existence. It usually happens when I am cooking dinner, or watching a movie or spending quality time with a loved one. I feel proud of myself when I forget.

5. Live life with your eyes not your camera

I am not going to lie but I do take photo’s of my food and lately I have been adding more to my Insta Stories. However, I hate living life looking through a phone. Instead of using your eyes to experience things in real life we tend to pull up a phone to mediate that experience. How sad. This is the reason it took me so long to get SnapChat and even now I barely use it. I don’t want to look like a crazed tourist everywhere I go. Take your photo/video quick and then enjoy.

These are strategies that I have not perfected but have given some relief for the social media blues



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