Social Media And You (Part 3): 9 Practical Steps For Overcoming Social Media Addiction

This is part 3 of the 4-part series on Social media and you.

 Read the part 1 here and 2 here

Overcoming social media addiction is a challenge to many. Although they are aware of the bad effects, they have always found it a difficult task to accomplish. To be honest, I sometimes find myself caught in this cycle but, on realizing, I would quickly call myself to order and control the social instead of it controlling.

Are you always under the influence of social media use? Do you really want to break free from the cage of social media control and don’t know how to go about it? If your answer is a ‘yes’; if you truly desire to smash social media addiction to death, and focus on your most important goals, then, this piece is for you.

Here are 9 effective steps you can take.  

Step #1: Admit that you are an addict

The first step in gaining control over social media undue usage is to realize and accept the need to break free from the cycle. Until you accept your mistakes, you cannot correct them. It is only when you accept the fact that you spend too much time on social media, or being influenced negatively, that you can take steps to make amends or stop it.

Step #2: Create and stick to a schedule or timetable

Set a particular time of the day that you will go online networking. This can be 2 or 3 times in a day. E.g., you could choose to go online once or twice in the morning, afternoon and then once in the evening, instead of staying logged in all through the day or going online every now and then.

Step #3: Set a time frame or timeline for which each of the session will last

You must give yourself a time frame, i.e. the numbers of minutes you will spend. For instance, you may decide to use between 15 to 30 minutes or even 1 hour in each of the sessions in step #2 above, depending on what you have to do, and how important it is.

Step #4: Set an alarm

Use your device as an alarm clock to inform yourself once the time to stay online is over. The moment the alarm rings, call it a quit without compromising.

Step #5: Create a limited access to the internet

By this, I mean that you should have a reduced budget for data bundle subscription. Bearing in mind that you have a limited data bundle to access the internet, you will be more conscious of the time you spend online. This is because you would not want to exhaust the available data too quickly and be stranded when you really need it to access the internet.

Step #6: Set aside days for social media fasting

“Social media fasting? Is there anything like social media fasting?” Yes, I will explain to you.

It is generally understood that fasting days are days we live without food. So here, social media fast is a fast where you live or stay without accessing the internet you desire. Social media fast can also be referred to as social media vacation. You know, during vacation, you stay away from your work. So, social media vacation is the period you stay away from social media activities.

You can decide to go on social media fast or vacation during the weekends or any day of the week. During this period which could be some hours of the day or even 1, 2,or 3 days depending on what you want, you simply tell yourself, ‘No face-booking, or what-sapping for this period.’

Step #7: Use an App (Software package) to block or limit your access to social media sites.

There are applications or tools that you can use to control the time you spend on social media sites. Some of these tools can completely deny you internet access to social media sites. Others help to remind you so you can stay on track on your current important task, and while some other ones tract the time you spent on the internet. Here are some examples of these apps or tools:

1  Minutes Please

2. Anti-Social (PC and Mac): This tool helps you to block social media sites for a given time period.

3. Leechblock (FireFox). Here, you also set a time period that blocks given websites.

4. Stay Focused (Chrome). This also functions as Leechblock, only that it is for Chrome.

5. Self Control (Mac): This is a free Mac application that help you avoid distracting websites. It enables you block your own access to distracting websites, mail servers, or any other thing on the internet. How does it work? Simply set a period of time to block for, and then add sites to black list, and click “Start.” Until the set time expires, you will not be able to gain access to the sites on the black list, even though if you restart your computer or delete the application.

6. Facebooklimiter: This software helps to block Facebook and limit Facebook access to your kids, workers and yourself.

7. RescueTime: RescueTime enables you to track the time you spent on social media sites and also helps you control distractions.

Step #8: Set rules 

Make it a rule that you will never check in to social media sites whenever you’re in some places or when you’re doing certain things. For examples, you can say to yourself:

·        I don’t open Facebook, WhatsApp, etc. when eating, walking, bathing, etc.

·        I forbid using social media when in the church, class/lecture room, meeting, rest-room etc.

Step #9: Discipline yourself to practice all of the above steps.  

To be able to overcome being an addict of social media, self-discipline is a nitty-gritty. Without it, it may be difficult to win your excessive appetite to taste the seemingly sweet juice of social media.

In closing, I am fully convinced that you will become a happy and better you and live more meaningfully if you take the decision to put to work the above 9 steps, among others.

I hope you got value from this article.

This is part 3 of the 4-part series on Social media and you.

Read the part 1 here and 2 here

Do you have any other way to overcome the challenge of social media addiction in addition to the above mentioned steps? What has been your experience in dealing with the use of social media? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

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I’m Oghovemu Daniel Okpu, a Writer, Book Editor, Author, and the Founder of Happy Better You.
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