Feel like social media has taken over your life? Do you spend half your time with friends scrolling aimlessly on your phone? Social media addiction is a growing problem in America, and it can be damaging to your mental health. Read on to learn how to stop social media addiction with these simple lifestyle adjustments.
Take a Break (1 Week, 1 Month, 3 Months, etc.)
Checking social media is a habit for you. The best way to change that habit is to take a break – give your mind and body a chance to reset. Log out of your accounts, or put your account on a hold. You can set it for however long you want your break to be, and you can log in again when you feel the time is right.
How long should your break be? That’s up to you. If your social media use is mild, a couple weeks may be sufficient for you. If you’re on social media for multiple hours a day, you may need a three month break. The first few days will be the hardest. You may find excuses to get back on “just this once.” Fight the urge, and stay off social media until you no longer need it to fill a void in your day.
Turn Off Social Media Notifications
Once you get back on social media, turn off the notifications for each app. In your phone’s settings, you can select which apps you want to receive notifications for. Every time you see a notification, your brain releases a small dose of dopamine. That’s the driving factor in social media addiction. You see the like, the comment, or the share, and you get excited about it. Turn off the notifications, and you will only experience that addictive quality when you physically click into the application.
Share Your Stories with Select Friends
When something happens in your life, do you immediately hop on social media to share it? As an alternative, send that photo or story to a select group of friends. You could start a group text chat with your closest friends, where you vent about things you may not want online. Of course, you can also share this information in person. Having an outlet for your thoughts, ideas and milestones will make you less tempted to rely on social media.
Limit the Devices You Use for Social Media
Only log in on one device, whether that’s your phone, your tablet, your home computer, or another device you use. Limit your usage to that device specifically. This will control the time you spend on social media because you will not have that device at all times. If you need to take it a step further, identify times of the day you’re allowed to be on social media. Set alarms to remind you to get off, or only get on when you know you’ll have a limited time (example: lunch breaks at work).
Remove Social Apps from Your Phone’s Home Screen
This is the same principal as turning off your notifications for social apps. If you see something every time you open your phone, you’ll be tempted to click into it. If it’s buried within your apps, it will take more effort for you to access social media. This won’t stop you, but it will cut back your temptation tremendously.
Talk to a Therapist about Social Media Addiction
Have you talked to your therapist about social media addiction? This could be a contributing factor to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and other mental health issues you may be facing. Your therapist can help you find personalized solutions for social media addiction and other challenges in your life.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with a therapist, contact Heron Ridge Associates. We have therapist offices in Ann Arbor MI, Clarkston MI, Bingham Farms MI, and Plymouth MI. We will match you with the best therapist for your individual needs.