How to limit the amount of time spent on social media

Does it surprise you that over 4 billion people use social media on a daily basis? And that the average person has over 7.6 social media accounts to their name? Whether we’re interacting with family or friends near or far, our favorite brands, looking for inspiration or just a way to pass the time, social media has become a part of our daily lives and interactions. While social media can be fun, there have been recent reports that have dived into the effects it has on people across all ages and genders, and that on average, users feel envious and anxious by not being able to keep up with their colorful feeds and the accounts they follow. 

A popular way to limit social media consumption is through a social media detox. A social media detox is exactly what it sounds like. It’s taking active steps to limit the amount of time one spends on social media, whether they want to scroll less and be more in the ‘now’, or simply take a break from the ‘perfect world’ curated posts and grids, it’s a common and healthy practice that has seen success. According to a recent study published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, a social media break of just a week can reduce anxiety and depression. The same study found that even short breaks from social media can positively impact a person’s overall well-being, life satisfaction and emotions. However, it’s unreasonable to expect to just be able to go cold-turkey. There are ways you can take a social media break without feeling like you’re missing out on what’s happening in the App. In a way that’s comfortable for you, that lets you enjoy the perks of social media while taking care of your mental health and wellbeing at the same time. 

What are the most popular social media sites worldwide?

According to Statista, it’s estimated that in 2022 social media sites will reach almost 4 billion users and that number will only keep growing. Right now, Facebook is leading in terms of total users as they just officially surpassed 1 billion registered accounts and almost 3 billion monthly active users. 

Following just behind Facebook, is everyone’s favorite video platform, YouTube, with an average of 122+ million daily active users, 2.2 billion monthly active users, and almost 1 billion hours of content. And in third place, falling back under the Facebook / Meta umbrella, is Instagram with 2 billion monthly active users. Out of the 3, Instagram is the most visually-focused platform and has proven to be one of the more problematic platforms because of its endless scrolling feature where you’ll never truly see the end of your feed, and the way it produces social media envy, worsening the mental health of its users, specifically teenage girls

With that being said, Social Media can serve as a fun place, an engaging community and experience when used in moderation. 

Benefits of a social media detox

There could be a number of reasons why you want to take a break from social media. Maybe you simply want to be on your phone less to enjoy in-person interactions more. Perhaps you want to limit distractions from your day-to-day tasks or just need a break from the stressors of the online world. Here are some benefits you can see and feel after just a week of a social media break. 

Improved Focus & Increased Productivity
When we minimize the digital distractions in our lives it’s no surprise that we’ll see an increase in our overall focus and productivity. Endless scrolling, the urge to check notifications, story views are time consuming and take away from the focus of our core responsibilities whether at home, socially, or at work.

Better Sleep
Yep, your social media habits before bed could be impacting the way you sleep and therefore, impacting your following days. It’s been proven that disconnecting from your devices just a few hours before going to sleep can greatly improve the quality of your sleep. One study found that using social media before bed could lead to anxiety, insomnia, and shorter sleep durations.

You can read more about the benefits of a digital detox here.

Our tips to limit your social media use

Create Boundaries
A good place to start with your social media break is setting achievable boundaries on when you want to check your accounts, where you want to check them – at home, during your commute – and how long you’ll check each account for. Setting a boundary could look like putting your phone away during meals, or muting notifications when you’ll be spending time with people you care about.

If the self control aspect proves to be a bit challenging, which is completely normal, you can utilize BlockSite’s scheduling feature which will enable you to set the times of day you want to be off your phone. For example, if you decided that 30 minutes before bed you don’t want to look at Instagram, you can set that schedule in your BlockSite account. You don’t have to go through a social media detox alone, with BlockSite we’ll help you set your boundaries and make sure they aren’t being ignored.   

Develop New Hobbies

With a social media detox you might find yourself with more free time in your day. So how can you fill that time where you would usually be scrolling? You can start with taking yourself out for a 30 minute walk 1 to 2 times a week. In fact, just being outside for 30 minutes each day is beneficial in more ways than one. It helps in lowering blood pressure, reducing stress, improving your mood and so much more. Don’t feel like walking? Learn one new recipe each week and share it with your friends and family. Working with your senses is always exciting, engaging, and teaching you something new. 

Reward yourself! 

It truly is not easy to take a break from social media. The platforms are designed to keep us there for as long as possible. It’s important to remember not to be hard on yourself and to make sure you’re rewarding yourself for the wins, no matter how small or big. When you reward yourself you’re not only celebrating your achievements but you’re creating something for you to look forward to throughout this process. Rewards can range from buying yourself a pastry from your favorite coffee shop, watching or renting your favorite movie, or taking yourself out for a nice meal. Whatever you decide, it should be something that brings you joy. With BlockSite, you can actually track your progress in monitoring how much time you spend on each App or website. 

It’s important to keep in mind that limiting the time you spend on social media is not a sprint, but more of a marathon. As you get used to a schedule and days without so much social media intake and consumption, it will start to feel more natural to not check each App multiple times throughout the day.  Take your time, enjoy being in the moment, and use BlockSite to help guide you.

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