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The first step in beating any addiction is admitting that you have an addiction in the first place. So, if you’re reading this article, congratulations – it means you’ve taken the first step on the journey to recovery. No more checking social media before you go to bed and immediately when you wake up, no more surreptitiously checking your social media profiles at work, and no more lost time and productivity. With that in mind, here are some of the first steps to take to beat your Facebook or Instagram addiction.
Step 1: Limit your social media usage to 1-2 times per day
If you’re like most people, you’re probably checking social media way too often. Yes, social media can be a way to avoid wasting time in your life (such as when you’re lined up in a huge queue at a supermarket, bank or retail store), but far too often, social media begins to take over our lives. We promise to spend “just five minutes” checking social media, but a photo here, a comment there, a like over there, and those five minutes can turn into 15, 30 or even 60 minutes. As a result, pledge only to check social media one or two times per day.
Step 2: Scale back on the number of social media platforms you use
At times, there can seem to be a lot of social pressure to be on every single social media platform. (Oh, you’re already on Instagram… What about TikTok?) But that doesn’t have to be the case. Decide what works for you and spend most of your social media time on just a handful of platforms.
Step 3: Swap out your social media interactions for real-life interactions
Catching up with friends shouldn’t mean checking out their Instagram account and leaving a comment. Why not catch up with friends and family in real-life? Meeting up for a coffee, or planning to work out together, are easy ways to rediscover the joys of face-to-face interactions. Share a laugh in real life rather than just leaving behind a smiley emoji.
Step 4: Find new hobbies and activities
Another way to break your social media addiction is by engaging in new hobbies, activities or groups. Instead of staring at photos of people’s breakfasts, lunches and dinners on Facebook, why not sign up for a cooking class? Instead of admiring people’s gym photos on Instagram, why not start a physical exercise regimen of your own? And instead of obsessing over people’s latest Twitter posts and getting yourself worked up with anxiety, why not discover meditation or yoga? You can still be social, even if you scale back your social media usage.
And, if all else fails, don’t overlook the value of an extended break from social media. Whether you call it a “sabbatical” or a “detox,” it really doesn’t matter. Unplugging from social media even for a few days can be a great way to regain perspective and help you achieve your goals in life. We’re still early enough in 2022 where you can make this the year when you finally cured your social media addiction.