Ah I hear you, I do. Living in the day and age of insanely pacing technology, we find that a lot of our
lives are now virtual, dependent on social platforms, and rightfully so. While social platforms serve
the very important purpose of making you feel occupied, connected and united in times of various
global crises; it also inevitably has addictive qualities. Which is why, this blog isn’t about the ill
effects, but instead about how to regulate the usage in a responsible manner.
A considerable amount of social media dosage per day is actually healthy and helps users become
more knowledgeable, learn different opinions and perspectives; leading to minds that are open and
willing to learn and grow.
On the other hand, we have troubles like hyper fixation (being too invested in a preferred social
platform to an extent where you cannot focus on other areas of your life.), addiction (Using
something so intensely that you experience difficulty in functioning without it.) Adverse effects on
your health (lower levels in physical activity and constant exposure to screens has resulted in a
considerable amount of posture and eyesight damage.)
That being said, it is not possible to completely let go of a virtual presence and life. Therefore, our
best bet today is to indulge hacks that help strike a balance!
- Make Use Of Wellness Features
Most devices today come with in-built features that monitor your screen time and notify you
accordingly. You can set alerts for when you’re exceeding preferred screen time limits, and
get notified accordingly. These help greatly in making you aware of the time spent looking at
a screen, so you know when it’s time for a break. It’s important to set an intention or a goal
for yourself, and realize how many hours a day you wish to dedicate to lit up screens.
Electronic devices are no strangers to the impact of screen time and therefore most recent
ones include features to help you regulate it. All you’ve got to do is enable it and let it help
you! The option to ‘hide apps’ is also a great feature to keep addictive apps out of sight till
you look for them specifically.
- No-Phone Zone!
Establish activities in your daily routines that are device free! It could be a pastime involving
your friends and family or even just time alone. Dinners are a great time to implement this
rule, and it gives you the chance to truly catch up and connect with friends and family.
Walks, jogs, or reading are other solitary activities where your phone isn’t required to have a
jolly good time. The no-phone zone need not turn into a compulsion, but should be practiced
regularly in order to give yourself a break and a chance to focus on elements outside of your
devices. You never know, dinner might become your favourite part of the day!
- Spend your time online learning new stuff!
Have you ever run out of things to watch/read on the internet? Do you sometimes refresh
the same pages over and over in hopes of something interesting popping up? Why not
indulge some learning instead? That way, you give into the desire to be connected to the
internet at the moment, but also acquire the skill and perhaps, the motivation to manifest it
afterwards. The internet is full of platforms that offer a variety of online courses, hourly
sessions, and informative content that is meant to inspire and guide you to take action. It is
the perfect way to spice up mindless scrolling and jerk your brain out of it’s slow humdrum.
- Practise mindfulness
Mindfulness is the quality of being aware, and providing yourself with thoughts and
activities that bring you peace of mind. While it takes practise to commit to mindfulness,
there’s a wide range of apps and techniques that help you get started. Activities like
journaling (writing down your thoughts, intentions, goals, etc.) regularly, physical activities
like sports, dancing, etc, are effective ways to build a better headspace. A mindful person
finds it easier to not be tempted and spiral into the sinkhole of social media entertainment.
It makes decision making easier, enhances confidence, and makes you more aware of your
likes, dislikes, interests and strengths.
Your journey towards lesser screen time need not be a burden, taking baby steps is the best
way to ensure you’re feeling healthier instead of more frustrated. Disabling notifications for
a few applications is a really useful method to reduce social media usage. Most notifications
are designed in a way to make the update look urgent, eye grabbing, and hard to miss. While
some apps have to offer genuine and useful updates, most social media updates are actually
not that urgent and can be waited upon till you have the time and desire to indulge the
virtual world. The disable option is hassle free and can be revoked if need be, but guarantees
that your device is not constantly distracting you.
- Buy an actual alarm clock!
The way you start your mornings affects your entire day! When we set an alarm on our
devices, we make sure that our mornings start with picking them up in order to turn the
buzzing sound off. This allows us easy access to the virtual world first thing in the morning.
we might convince ourselves that the scrolling will only last 5 minutes, and then we’re out of
bed, but it is easy for habits to turn into full-fledged routines that affect our energy levels,
both mentally and physically, throughout the day. A real alarm clock might be out of style;
but it’ll make sure your mornings are spent nourishing, reflecting, and getting ready to face
the day head on!
- Grow with the flow
The older you grow, the more you discover about yourself. Perhaps you considered yourself
a big fan of someone’s work a year ago, and this year you feel differently about it – that’s
okay! It only means you’re growing, and relearning your likes and dislikes. There is no harm
in admitting the changes in you, and taking action so the content you are shown is in
alignment with the current version of you. An important part of using social media
responsibly is to make sure you’re not mindlessly consuming content that no longer serves
you. Make it a habit to regularly update and prune your feed so that you’re exposed to
different elements that are in keeping with your interests!
There is a fine line between enjoying the perks of technology and being disconnected from reality.
To avoid this, make sure the content you’re exposed to helps you become a better you, adds more
to your skills and most of all, brings you joy and peace of mind! These hacks are easy, fun, and
hopefully useful to you!