How to Cut Your Social Media Use by 75% For Good
When The Social Dilemma came out I saw some classic all-or-nothing reactions.
“I’m getting off Facebook, see you in person!”
Cut to a low-key return to Facebook-land a month later.
I get it completely! There are many days I wonder what I would be doing and thinking if social media never existed. But, then I think of the amazing ways I use it. Our family has a private group to share updates we wouldn’t call or text about, there’s a group for my son’s school that is great for sharing resources, and sleep training groups got me through the first 6 months of my son’s life. Oh, and a big part of my business is run through Instagram and my own Facebook Group.
So I always felt kinda stuck. I didn’t want to be on as much as I was; I knew it affected my mood and confidence, but I also needed to run that arm of my coaching practice by being on and participating.
I decided I needed more structure than simply, “being on less”. Luckily, I found a few guidelines that instantly helped me cut way back, and also feel so easy that I can do this long term.
Log off on the weekends
This is where I started. I wanted to experience my weekend without the influence of what others were doing which affecting my mood. It wasn’t a crazy roller coaster, but seeing other coaches offer instantly made me start thinking through my offer and if there was anything I should be doing differently. Not bad thoughts, but not what I wanted to be thinking of when hiking with my family.
I’m going to be honest, the first hour or so of being up those first few Saturdays I felt like, “I’m I really going to do this? I’m waiting for the coffee to finish brewing, am I really just going to stand here?” Yes! Yes, I did and I missed nothing. If you decide to do this, you’re going to have to fight a pretty strong urge at first, but I promise it gets easier as the day goes on.
That right there knocks 7 days down to 5.
How much do you look forward to the weekend? Do you really want to spend those precious days staring at your phone seeing what other people are doing?
Set designated check-in times
Whether you use social for a business or not, you likely do not want to miss messages or events. The pull of, “What if I miss something!” is what keeps you checking it non-stop. Instead of checking it whenever you think of it, set designated times. This could be literal times like 9am, 2pm, and 8pm, or you could do like I do and check it during natural flows of your day. For me, that’s before my son is up, sometime in the afternoon when he is napping, and before bed.
I have no idea how often I was opening Facebook and Instagram before setting these times. My guess is around 4,387. Now, it’s 3 each. I get to all my messages, comment on the posts I wish to, and reach out to anyone I need to. No one has fallen through the cracks, and the number of women joining my group or following me on IG has not slowed down.
Institute scroll limits
Getting on 3 times a day versus 37 doesn’t make as much difference if you are scrolling for an hour+ each time. Be mindful of the time by either setting a timer or looking at the clock when you open your app of choice. You might even decide you don’t scroll anymore. WHAT?! You can get on, check your DMs, post your post, and get the hell out of there. If you do enjoy scrolling, great! Set a time limit in the range of 5-15 minutes.
I installed this extension to Chrome so when I am on my laptop and log into Facebook, I can’t see a feed. I check what I need to and am not even tempted to see what anyone else is up to. If I am, I have to search for it which, as you can guess, I don’t unless I am looking for specific information.
I have more time! I read instead of reaching for my phone, or I look out the dang window for a change! I text a friend or talk to the person next to me or just people watch if I’m out. It’s so freaking refreshing!
I’m more efficient. I still take pictures and share them with friends or our family group, but I upload the whole weekend and no longer have the urge to check if anyone commented. I know I’ll see comments and make the connections I want to make, but it’s on my terms.
Do you wish you were on social less? What has worked, or not worked, for you?