Social media addiction is a common problem amongst millennials. It’s actually a big deal guys. You might not even know you are suffering from it until you do a proper internal review of yourself. Its a problem you might have to diagnose yourself and most probably treat all by yourself. I struggled with it for a while which I documented in this blogpost here: and while I’m not totally “cured”, I can confidently say I’m no longer as addicted as I used to be.
Deleting, taking a break or fasting from social media is one way to manage social media addiction but its not the only way. Its easier said than done and Its also not sustainable for some other people. There’s the issue of your work or business depending on social media to grow or Social Media being the only way you can communicate with family and friends.
I really like social media, just like so many other people. I enjoy scrolling through Instagram, retweeting tweets and liking posts on facebook. I found my current apartment on facebook, I know Lagos traffic hotspots from twitter, I started a side business and a full-time business on Instagram, I’ve met people, gotten educated, and worked with clients on social media. So many good things yea, but there are many downsides too, the biggest to me it the time I have spent and wasted on social media. Because of this, I started to research and put in practice activities that will help me maximize all the time I have to send on social media. This way I still spend some time online, but I get a lot more in return.
Here are some things to do to make the best out of the time spent on social media.
- Schedule time for Social media: Make out 30 minutes, 1 hour or 2 hours of your day for social media. Put it on your todo list and make out time in your google calendar for it if you have to. Yea this might it feel like a task but knowing that you have time already scheduled for Instagram later in the day might make you click on notifications a little bit less.
- Follow people in your field and with similar interest to you. As a product manager, following other product managers on twitter helps me to see what they are learning, resources they are using and challenges they might be facing. This has been of immense benefit to me. I know so many devs that have gotten jobs and clients on twitter. Look for people with job titles similar to yours and follow them. Some people write educational threads that you could learn from, others share their experiences in real-time. This means that every time you log into the app, in between the memes and ads, you still get some info that will boost your learning/ awareness or career.
- Block people, Mute words if you have to: If a topic that’s trending offends you, mute the topic. You don’t like the person tweeting, Unfollow or block.. No hard feelings. A picture is making you feel inadequate, mute… Secure your mental health and stop leaving social media angry and sad. I prefer to mute for a while than unfollow because there are just some people you don’t want to unfollow for a reason.
- Clean your feed: Feeds work differently in different social media apps based on the algorithm. For some, your feed determines the content you see. For others, it determines the ads you get. If you want to stop seeing certain content, you might need to adjust the kind of content you like, Retweet or follow. There’s also this trend of old tweets coming back to haunt people… Clean your feed guys! and if you’ve had tweets and opinions that might be problematic, please delete them.. In my own case, I was following too many people on Instagram and twitter and had to unfollow everyone and cherry-pick who I follow so that I could get a newer, fresher feed.
- Make social media profitable for you. Put a price on your time. The price may or may not be monetary in value. Using myself as an example once again, I looked at my set goals and tried to see how social media could be a tool to reach them. e.g.: You have a goal to get a new job… 10 mins of your time spent on social media can be reading articles on cv writing, another 10 minutes can be spent following and interacting with recruiters or other people trying to get a job… You might not get a job asap.. but ensure that every-time you close the app, you are 1 step closer to your goal in either knowledge, leads or funding.
- Create valuable content: Don‘t just be a consumer on social media… Be a Creator. There’s valuable fulfilment that comes with creating anything positive. When you create content, think about how you can help others. Content is valuable and is in great demand. Don‘t just post anything.. Post valuable things.
- Use App blocks and timers: this is for you if your situation is critical or you have issues obeying yourself. (we’ve all been there). An app block will automatically shut down an app when you exceed a particular timing threshold. some have countdown timers which you can see. These can help you force a hard stop to time-consuming app habits. If you have no issues obeying yourself, use a manual timer or the inbuilt timer on your phone and close the app at the sound of the beep.
- Replace social media time with time spent on learning apps: this is my best tip. I started to learn another language via duo-lingo and every time I got the urge to mindlessly scroll on Twitter, I saw the duo-lingo app instead and used that. There are other learning apps which are super interactive and you can use instead. Set a goal to learn something new and download an app for it. Trust me.. If you have space on your phone for Twitter, you’ll have more than enough space for Duolingo.. and they are both free.
- Make your social media SEO ready and professional: If you google your full government name and your twitter comes up as the number 1 search result, I’m sure you’ll be careful of the content you post on there. Make your social media pages professional, attractive and interesting. It helps to boost your image, give a form of credence to what you say which in turns make your posts valuable and your time productive.
- Adjust your mindset: think of your social media as a tool, not a distraction: Social media can take you far and can take you down This just depends on how you use it. Spending all your time on an app is not you using an app, it’s the app using you. Because let’s be honest, If you don’t have to pay for it, Your data is probably the price. Also. Don’t ever forget that once it goes online it can’t be taken back.
- Bonus: Have fun. It’s also ok to have fun and relax on social media… This life is short and you didn’t kill anybody.
I hope I have given you somethings to think about and put into practice.
In what ways have you made social media better, productive and more profitable for you? Share your tips and tricks in the comment section below.