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How to Quit Social Media - top tips (2022)


Author: Sonam Singh

David

(8 minutes read)


If you are reading this, you are probably looking to quit social media because you’re wasting time scrolling social media platforms for hours then; HOWEVER, you might also feel a little anxious about cutting ties and feeling left out. Luckily we created BeTimeful with you in mind. By installing the BeTimeful extension, we replace the distracting, often toxic newsfeed with a motivational quote. This way, you can stay connected with your friends and family on social media but not hooked into scrolling for hours.

BUT if you are keen on getting those pesky social media apps off your phone, for once and for good, below are the best scientifically-backed research you can find online (summarized for your ease of reading).


1. Define the situation


To overcome any challenge you need to fully comprehend what you’re up against. This is the hardest part, but before you run away trust me that it will be easier following the next sentence.

Is social media bad for you? Well, no, according to studies only excessive ‘social-comparison’ is bad for you. This is a social-psychological trait of human beings probably evolved through survival instincts so don’t take this personally. Even if we’re not aware of it, our brains are engaging in social comparison (which often occurs while scrolling the news feed since its algorithm is designed to show you a highlight reel) is the cause for the prolonged and excessive negative emotions.

[trigger warning] The demographic that is most damaged by this is aged between 12 and 17. Physical hormonal fluctuations along with fluid self-esteem are is a recipe for disaster. Especially since teens are spending 4, 5, 6, sometimes 12 hours a day … scrolling on social media.

Another important definition is what is Social Media? Does Netflix count as social media? Does texting count? No, those do not count as social media because social media refers to any online publication where you share media with friends, family, and the public. Most social medias have a ‘Feed’ that keeps people hooked.


2. Don't quit social media, make it less addictive instead


Getting rid of social media cold turkey right off the bat might not be the best solution despite the initial reaction.

An interesting study by Best et al. they 527 participants aged 14-16 and the results showed that 48 percent used social networking sites to seek help (1). An interesting finding in this study was that young men & women who reported messaging online friends about personal problems showed statistically significantly higher levels of mental well-being.

This is another reason we suggest adding BeTimeful to your browser so you can stay connected not distracted when the newsfeed is gone.



Quitting social media can lead to withdrawal symptoms similar to quitting drugs or smoking such as anxiety, stress, and boredom.



3. Reframe the situation


The next step is to reframe this situation not as a problem but as an opportunity.

The first step is to clearly envision what you could achieve if you give up the bad habit of spending hours on social media. To do that, let’s take a look at the amount of time you actually spend on social media and let’s do some basic math:

Daily Amount of hours on social media: Times x365 to get the year. If you continue at this rate for the next 60 year years. Here is what you could have accomplished:

If we take an average of 2 hours per day times 365 then times 60 we get 43,800 hours which is 260 weeks or ⅔ of a year.

In that time you could have finished a PhD, save enough money to buy a car or invest in a house.

Take note of all the things you could have accomplished and then ask yourself whether you’d be proud of yourself at the end of your life to look back and see what you could have accomplished if you have been able to get less distracted.


4. Replace the habit


Now that we have defined our challenge and what we can achieve if we overcame our bad habits, it’s time to use this energy to build new habits!

Building new habits requires a couple of critical ingredients:

The first is productivity. Working on accomplishing a goal will give you the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. The goal is to replace as much of your dopamine hits from social media with the satisfaction of achieving goals. If you need help with productivity, we have the top productivity hacks to stay focused and the top productivity coaches blogs.

Next, since achieving your goals is like being challenging, you want to make sure you can stay motivated. We have written our ultimate guide to staying motivated for your benefit. Motivation is like holding water in your hand, squeezing it doesn’t work. You need to learn to recover and give yourself time to replenish your energy levels.

Lastly, replacing the habit of scrolling social media is a great time management skill! We highly recommend managing your time by blocking extended periods of deep work.

5. Set time limits


If you’re taking a break to go on Social media, take note of the time and set an alarm or time for a maximum of 20 minutes. Not to keep tooting our own horn but BeTimeful helps you set limits.



6. Turn off Notifications for prolonged periods



Push notifications make it harder to focus. With constant reminders and interruptions, social media pulls you back into scrolling. Turning off all notifications except emails can ensure less distraction and increased focus. Try out BeTimeful which has a unique feature of enabling focus mode instead of website blocking that takes out.



7. Detox with a friend


Extra support makes quitting easier. Tagging along with a friend or buddy to accomplish this activity will make you more accountable and smoothen the process. One is more likely to stick to the goals with a buddy to lean on. Check out Top 7 productivity Tools and Apps for Students (2022) for helpful tips.



8. Practice Mindfulness


Practicing mindfulness not only helps with stress management but also helps with being more conscious and mindful about what we do and where we invest our time. There are many videos that can help you relax and calm down. Check out Top 18 time management tools for more information on organizing your schedule.




9. Assign Physical reminders


If you use social media constantly and find yourself wanting to check it impulsively then putting a rubber band around the phone can serve as a reminder. Using stickers or setting a motivational quote as on lock screen can help keep your impulse in check.




10. Get a Real Alarm clock


Switching to a real alarm clock instead of a phone can reduce the temptation to check social media. Replacing digital time in the morning and at night can significantly help reduce the urge to scroll on social media.


11. Embrace self-care


Keep yourself and your health as a priority. Make sure to spend some Me time reflecting on yourself. Use this time to explore your hobbies and interests. Accomplish that reading list, start your fitness journey or volunteer for a good cause. You will be astonished to find how much you can achieve in this time. All the tips mentioned above can help you start your Digital detox journey and break free of social media addiction.



The benefits of breaking free from social media addiction will help you realize how much more is there to achieve and you will start embracing your life. Check out Break Social Media Addiction with a free browser extension! If you are thinking of starting your digital detox journey. Or, try out BeTimeful to experience the phenomenal shift in your browsing activity.



Sources:

  • Best, P., Manktelow, R., & Taylor, B. J. (2014). Social work and social Media: Online Help-seeking and the mental well-being of adolescent males. British Journal of Social Work, 46(1), 257-276. doi:10.1093/bjsw/bcu130