Social media, like Facebook, has a way of taking over your life. Most people – especially retired seniors – check their feeds for updates or notifications every chance they get. For the average internet user, according to a Statista report, that’s a massive 2.45 hours a day spent just checking their social media feed, day in and day out.
This is not a desirable state of affairs. Not only does it make you dependent on the platform, but it also stops you from using your time constructively or going out there and building meaningful relationships with people (in the material world). Your – everyone’s – time on this planet is limited.
If you’re desiring a Facebook-free life, Submit companies offers this guide on how you could wean yourself off of the platform:
Quitting won’t be easy
First, it’s crucial you understand that your social media use has, by now, become a habit. It’s like an alcohol or smoking addiction – you can’t just kick it to the curb. Social media users who delete their accounts report feelings of boredom, listlessness, and general distress afterward. According to NIH News and Health, your brain will work against you if you try to unplug without a strategy. You will be drawn back and tempted to log into your account quickly, and you will likely give in.
Work up to it
You should, ideally, slowly and surely work up to deleting Facebook. Below are some suggestions:
- Reduce your screen time: Slowly begin cutting back on your screen time. You could go from two hours a day to just an hour over a period of a few months, for instance.
- Do fewer things: Don’t make as many posts, don’t respond to as many people, and don’t consume as much content as usual.
- Go cold turkey for a week: You could try going cold turkey for a week – and then do it again later next month. It would prepare you to be Facebook-free.
- Do something else: Last but not least, whenever you feel like checking social media, remind yourself of something important you need to do instead. You could make a list.
Remind yourself why social media is bad
Social media, like any other bad habit, rewards you for engaging in it. You could attempt to associate the positive feeling with negativity instead by focusing on the ill effects social media use may have on you. Here are some reasons examples:
- Distraction: Social media stops you from focusing on what’s in front of you, whether that’s work, your family, or yourself.
- Mindless content: Social media is the junk food of content. It’s convenient and fills you up but leaves you empty in all the ways that matter.
- Health effects: Extended, excessive social media use affects your sleep quality, your mental health, and overall well-being.
- Can give you low self-esteem: You end up comparing your life with others’ seemingly better ones.
- Invades your privacy: Your personal data – and life – become an open book for Facebook and associated third parties.
Replace social media with what you love to do
A tried-and-tested way of doing away with a habit is replacing it with something else. You could replace your social media use with activities that you find fulfilling and benefit your life in lasting ways. For instance, instead of commenting on someone’s “wall,” you could call them and set up a meeting instead. You could also spend more time with yourself – go outside in nature, read a book, learn something new, get a new hobby, or do things on your bucket list.
Making changes to your home environment can help
One of the main reasons why you may check your social media often might be feeling disengaged with your life right now. Your environment has a massive influence on how you feel (and your health too). If you’re in a positive, supportive environment, it will help center you and give you more peace. You likely spend the most time in your home – making changes to it can help. Add houseplants, reduce clutter, let in more natural light, and make other constructive changes to your house.
Remember – it will take time for you to remove Facebook from your life. You will have to find something meaningful to do and be self-disciplined and motivated. If you keep at it, you can expect to be Facebook-free in about 66 days (it’s different for everyone).
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