Are You Using Social Media Wisely?
We want to understand social media's strengths and drawbacks, but are you practicing what you know?
The average user spends 2 hours and 22 minutes per day using social media. We only have 24 hours in a day and we typically spend 6 to 8 of those hours sleeping, which means social media is a pretty huge part of our typical day.
Now, this number is an average according to TechJury's number-crunching on social media usage. That means there are people spending 5 or 6 hours a day on social media and others that only spend about thirty minutes using it. There are extremes on both sides of the spectrum.
Most of us want to believe that we're past the era of social media addiction. There's a lot we know about social media usage and its negative effects now. Alternatively, we also know a lot about social media marketing and how it can be used as an advertising tool.
If you're a hustler, it's hard to control your social media time. If you're not, well…it can still be hard to control your social media time. We all know that too much isn't a good thing.
Be mindful of how often you're using social media and if you start to overdo it.
Habits and routines are two different things. You could have pretty solid habits about not using social media too often, but habits can be bent a little.
When your routine changes, if you find yourself with a little extra time or more time with your phone in your hand, it's very easy to seamlessly reroute that time to wasting time on social media.
Routine changes could be from your work schedule, your social life, or just the time of the year it is. For example, if you have any time off around the holidays, it's easy to waste that time scrolling
This is where I've gone wrong between Christmas and New Year's. I've visited a ton of different family members, which requires a lot of driving. During times when my partner would drive or when get-togethers would start to disperse, I've been picking up my phone and scrolling Facebook.
I usually only open Facebook every few weeks, but I've been checking multiple times a day around the holidays. It's not a good change, but the departure from my usual routine with work opened me up to wasting my time scrolling when I should be enjoying the present.
Using social media a lot isn't a bad thing if you use it productively.
While it might sound odd to social-haters, you can use social media productively. You can also use social media professionally; it's both a tool and a resource for connectivity.
We usually use social media to kill time. We open it up, intending to look at some stuff, see what people are up to, maybe laugh at a few funny memes.
The problem is that we get hooked on that routine and then we start spending more time on social media when we do have better things to do.
If you use social media more as a marketing tool to promote your work or your side-hustles, that's adding value to how you use it. Alternatively, if you make interesting comments on things and start valuable conversations with people, that's also making your social media time more productive. You're engaging with people, not just aimlessly scrolling.
Analyze your habits and see where you should make better use of your time.
We can all benefit from using social media to actually connect with people and not just silently like or heart posts, but we honestly don't do that enough.
From there, you need to see when you're overdoing it. Make a list of all the times in the day that you start aimlessly scrolling and mindfully stop yourself each time one of those occasions roll around. See if you can channel that time into something different and productive.
If your social media habits need improvement, start looking at when you use it the most.
You're standing in line somewhere. You're sitting on the train or bus savoring your data connection. You open up Twifaceagram - pick your poison - and you scroll down idly for a bit.
You're using it, sure, but are you doing anything with it? Are you really maximizing the time you spend commuting or waiting around by simply scrolling? You like a post here and there, perhaps post a one or two-word comment that doesn't really stimulate conversation.
This is largely meaningless. That sort of social media use is what drains your time, gets you hooked, but doesn't better you all that much.
If you're in too deep, uninstall some of your apps.
Uninstall some of your social media apps, particularly the ones where posting from the web is easier than on your phone. Twitter and Facebook are both perfect examples; you can still do just about everything you want to from the desktop site.
If you can only mindlessly scroll when you're on a computer rather than when you're on your phone, that little bit of extra effort it takes should make you think twice about using that time on social media in the first place.
Alternatively, if you do most of your scrolling and browsing on your computer rather than on your phone, remove your shortcuts to your most tempting platforms. Putting things out of sight and out of mind can encourage you not to default to pointless scrolling when you could be doing something more enjoyable.
Depending on which platforms you use, this might get hard. Since Instagram makes posting without a phone challenging, if your only vice is Instagram, you may need to simply get stricter with your screen time for that particular app.
Admit it when you realize that you're using social media too much. Realize when you start to swim too far into the deep end and start taking the steps to improve your habits.