A Few Simple Nudges to Help Reduce Social Media Use

Social media use has been likened to addiction scientifically. My level of “addiction” isn’t very much, to be honest, but I’m still choosing to work on cutting down on the distractions that keep me from getting into “flow state” (see video at end) for some activities, rather than time poorly used. If you want to use narcotics terminology, I’m choosing prolonged highs over micro dosages of dopamine.

To help myself reduce social media use, I have compiled a short list of relatively easy and painless ways which I access it so I don’t get on social media much in the first place. They can be annoying when you’re not used to it, but hey, nobody ever said weaning oneself off anything was easy! See if some of these may work for you, and maybe pick some combination what can work for you. Any amount helps if you value your time enough!

  1. Let the most important people in your life know to contact you directly for anything needing an urgent response. And know anything really important you might miss out, will come up again because they will have a lasting impact on someone’s life that they won’t ever just mention it once.
  2. Move your social media app icons to a screen other than the main screen on your device, so that you have to swipe left or right to swap screens before you can open them.
  3. Remove all notifications, or some combination of noise, lock screen, badges, so you are less distracted, interrupted, or tempted to open your social media. When you get curious to check despite not seeing notifications, or even if you do see one, realize you’ll have to do that extra swipe to get to those app icons.
  4. Maybe set “alarms” to check your social media, but discipline yourself so you can only check it during those times, and minimize how much you check with another timer for how long you can spend on it at a time.

These are not hard to do. If you were not comfortable with jumping right in, maybe try just one, or even just one for a few apps you use, but use least, if you really want to just dip one toe in the water to see what it’s like. I think most people can do one thing for their most common apps to start with. I jumped right in, and have really enjoyed a few test days completely devoid of social media as outlined in this post a few days ago.

Good luck if you try list! And please comment to share other techniques you have that worked for you, or you heard of and at least thought it was a good idea, even if not for you. Thanks!

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