Do you ever feel like you spend too much time on social media?
The average person spends two hours on social media every day. That is equivalent to spending more than 30 full days on social media each year!
Even if you don’t spend quite that much time, you would probably benefit from reducing your time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so on. In this article, you will learn three steps to cut back on social media.
Note: Is this your first time at StrongerHabits.com? If so, you can click here for a free assessment that measures your habits in four areas that impact how you feel and perform each day. You’ll also get 3 free videos on how to break bad habits and make good ones last.
Step #1: Remove social media apps from your phone.
When you cannot access social media sites through your cell phone, you will naturally spend much less time on social media. The opposite is also true.
One of the leaders that I interviewed for Work Stronger is Robin Thurston, CEO at Helix (a consumer genomics company). Robin told me that he previously had several social media apps on his phone. It was way too tempting and easy for him to look at them whenever he had a spare minute.
So, he deleted the apps from his phone and decided that he would only use them from his laptop. As a result of this simple change, he spends significantly less time on social media these days.
If it seems too strict to delete your social media apps from your phone, remember that you can still visit these web sites from a computer. It’s not like you have to abandon social media altogether.
Having said that, another option is to keep the apps on your phone and disable all social media notifications. While that would not be as effective as removing the apps, it is definitely better than allowing notifications to interrupt you all day.
Step #2: Establish a Personal Policy for social media.
If you can use social media wherever and whenever you feel like it, you will waste a lot of time on these sites. Why not establish some boundaries on how and when you will use social media?
A Personal Policy is my term for a voluntary, self-imposed guideline that reinforces your long-term interests. These guidelines provide clear directions about what you do and what you do not do. As a result, you don’t have to waste time or energy deciding if, when, how much, or how often you can do something.
Establishing some boundaries for your social media usage will prevent you from mindlessly using these sites whenever you get bored or have a free minute. You could implement a Personal Policy that you will only use social media during certain times or from certain locations.
Note: Steps 1 and 3 make it much easier to follow whatever policy you decide to implement.
Step #3: Unfollow all (or most) of your social media connections.
When your social media feeds are full of hundreds of updates each day, you will spend much more time on social media. Rather than try to resist the temptation to scroll through these feeds each day, why not remove or reduce the temptation?
When there are few posts (or no posts!) in your social media news feeds, you will naturally cut back on social media. Years ago, I unfollowed all my Facebook friends. These days, I do not follow anyone on social media.
This approach is a major reason why I usually spend less than 15 minutes on social media each week. In comparison, the average person typically spends 14 hours on social media each week.1 Over the course of a year, that means that I have over 700 “extra” hours versus the average person.
If it seems too strict to follow no one on social media, you could follow a very limited number of your favorite people or groups. Do you really need updates from hundreds of people or groups every day though? Most social media posts add no value (or worse).
Would you like to cut back on social media?
The average person spends 14 hours on social media every week. Even if you don’t spend quite that much time on these sites, you would probably benefit from cutting back on your usage.
If you want to cut back on social media, follow these three steps:
- Remove social media apps from your phone.
- Establish a Personal Policy for social media.
- Unfollow all (or most) of your social media connections.
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Is this your first time at StrongerHabits.com?
You can click here for a free assessment that measures your habits in four areas that impact how you feel and perform each day. The assessment takes less than 3 minutes, and you get your results immediately. You’ll also get 3 free videos (sent to you over the next week) on how to break bad habits and make good ones last.
About the author: Pete Leibman is a consultant, speaker, and author who helps leaders and companies thrive. He is the creator of StrongerHabits.com and he’s the bestselling author of Work Stronger; Habits for More Energy, Less Stress, and Higher Performance at Work. Before writing Work Stronger, Pete worked as an executive recruiter at Heidrick & Struggles, a leadership advisory firm who serves the majority of the Fortune 500. In his free time, he teaches one of the largest group exercise classes in the Washington, D.C. area. He has also competed in the Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) World Championships.
References for this article:
- Asano, Evan, “How Much Time Do People Spend on Social Media? [Infographic],” SocialMediaToday, January 4, 2017, https://www.socialmediatoday.com/marketing/how-much-time-do-people-spend-social-media-infographic.