Now a days, you walk through campus on your way to class, the library, the cafeteria, etc. and all you see is people walking with their phones glued to their hands. We as current college students, we are the first generation to really get to grow up with social media and cell phones. We have somehow become addicted to these little boxes that light up and now control us. College is supposed to be the best four years of your life, don’t spend it staring at a screen. Think of all the better activities you would rather be doing. I know when I first started to cut back on social media I saw that it really helped my grades because I was able to spend more time studying and getting ahead of my work. You could have more time to spend with your friends and family, join a new club, play an intramural sport, the possibilities are endless! Accoriding to Market Watch, teenagers spend about eight hours a day ob their phone. That blows my mind! Limiting time on social media can also help with stress and your mental health as well. Here are some ways that have helped prevent me from being addicted to social media:
1. Limit your time spent on social media by using the Screen Time Setting You have to start somewhere, right? By using the Screen Time setting on your phone you are able to set limits for yourself for how much time you are allowing yourself each day to spend on certain apps, for me, I did all of my social media apps such as Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. I think it’s so great how now on iPhones it shows how much time you have spent on each app each day. By looking at your previous times, you will be able to know how long to allow yourself each day. Start with two or three hours each day, once you have hit your limit it will turn those apps dark and you will be unable to get back on them until the next day. By having less time to spend on social media, it will result in being smarter about your usage. You will soon realize what you want to see on social media and what has become a waste of time such as seemingless scrolling for hours looking at the same posts.
2. Do a social media cleanse With only being able to spend a limited time each day on social media, why not spend that time looking at positivity? People’s accounts that you look up to as a role models and inspiration and those who you actually care about. I’m not talking about those random girls from middle school you never talk to anymore. Take an hour and spend it going through your social media and unfollowing or muting all of those accounts that aren’t lifting you up. I had a friend in high school who had to unfollow all models, celebrities, and even girls we knew that had amazing bodies because she was personally dealing with some body issues of her own and by seeing others post was only bringing her down as she would catch herself comparing her body to others. This happens to so many girls and women today. I’ve even caught myself at times comparing my life to someone else on social media. People’s lives on social media are so manipulated. They only post the good things in their lives happening to them. No one would dare to post about the bad day they are having and everything that’s going wrong. As my mom always calls it “Bragbook” instead of Facebook. Do yourself a favor and go ahead and do a social media cleanse.
3. Make this a lifestyle change Take small reasonable steps at first, don’t jump right into cutting down on all social media or you’ll end up deleting your limits and having to start all over again. Don’t waste your time on negativity you see. Set your own personal boundaries, such as choosing times to put down your phone. Examples would be putting your phone away while in class, don’t sleep with your phone next to you, and don’t be on your phone while eating meals. Begin to spend more time engaging with others around you. A big lifestyle change we all need to remember is to prioritize yourself, this will help you better know yourself offline too. Don’t just love your on-line presence, but love your real presence. By making this a lifestyle, you will be implementing these different ideas into your life. It would be beneficial to involve others in what you are doing and advacate with me for healthy living on social media. I’m not cutting out social media, just using it more wisely.
4. Being authentic on social media Strive to be authentically yourself on social media such as don’t photoshop or edit your photos you post. Our generation has become so consumed with these unrealistic standards of beauty. Young girls are growing up these days thinking they have to edit their photos in order to look “perfect”. There are hundreds of editing apps out there, some now even completely edit your face and your body. Other editing apps now can digitally put makeup on your face for you. People spend countless amounts of time trying to edit their photos before they post them, for what? To get a bunch of likes and comments from people you don’t really know? Let’s stand together to keep it real on social media.
Not only is social media taking over, but it is also becoming a barrier for a lack of communication as people are so consumed with their phones. In the digital world we live in today, people continue to use social media as a flaw platform. Social media shouldn’t be about the follows and amount of likes, but the encouragement and relationships that come about through social media.
Though making a new lifestyle change is a challenge for anyone, especially for our generation and college students, taking these small steps will help you be less controlled by your phone and engaged more in everyday life.