Modern life technology demands us too many things that keep us from maintaining our balance.
Too much screen and social media keep our minds working.
We forget to keep our balance and mindfulness.
How do we handle screen and social media addiction?
It is nearly impossible to go back to a time where people don’t use screens and social media accounts.
And even if we can put it off, it would not solve the underlying issue.
I believe that the problem could not be solved on the outside – but on the inside.
In almost all cases, when we work on the world within us, the outside will follow.
If we can change what’s within us, if we know how to manage the power within us, the outside will follow without putting off anything.
It all starts within us.
In my previous blog, we’ve become aware and have a more in-depth understanding of why screens and social media is an issue.
This time, let’s find out these actionable tips on how to manage them.
If you haven’t yet, click here to read the 8 Reasons Why You Should Stop Screen and Social Media Addiction Before It’s Too Late.
TIP #1 : TIME LIMIT
- Pick a time of the day when you’re not going to use your phone. Personally, I start putting off my phone from 10 PM, and I only let myself use social media accounts starting by 7 AM. To make it easier for me not to be tempted is by changing the screen time settings on my phone. As an iPhone user, there’s an option in settings that we can control the downtime, app limits, and which apps to always allow for emergencies (e.g., calls and SMS). The other brands have those options too. But whether or not you can always practice with your own strategies that work for you.
TIP # 2: TURNING OFF THE NOTIFICATIONS
Noticed how our senses get pumped up when we hear the sounds of messenger notification, tweet, or Instagram direct messages, and we get those irresistible, urging feelings to check those notifications – even in the middle of doing something important? Also, noticed how you’ve become so used to getting notifications? And when you get none, you look for ways to get them by posting something even the most nonsense? By turning off your notifications, except calls and SMS for emergencies, you can have great control over your screen by checking on them only when you need or want to – with your own decision to do so, not by the urging feelings caused by those notification sounds.
TIP # 3: GIVING MORE ATTENTION TO THE ACTUAL PEOPLE
When you’re going out with your family and friends, put off your phone. Remember that if you spend more time on your screen than interacting those people who’re there with you, your mind will get the idea that your phone or those people who aren’t there with you are more important than those who are actually there – that may lead you to feel loneliness over time. You may also have those people who are important to you in the distance but set another time for them when you’re not splitting your focus or attention with those you’re hanging out or actually spending time with.
TIP # 4: ENJOYING IDLENESS
When you’re bored, practice not using your phone as a pass time. Because when we’re in idle mode or bored, these are the times that your most exciting ideas will naturally come to your consciousness – this is also developed through mindfulness practice. Don’t let your screen distract your mind during those times. So, whenever you’re in an elevator or in waiting lines, enjoy the stillness and presence of being. If you make this a habit, you will naturally nurture your intuition and the creativity of your mind.
TIP # 5: RELAX YOUR MIND BEFORE BEDTIME
The last thing in your mind at night is the first thing you wake up with. In bedtime, don’t use your phone at least 30mins or an hour before you go to sleep. Lie in your bed, relax your mind, enjoy your soft blanket, and enjoy the comfortable sense of stillness. This way, even if you’ll only sleep for a few hours, you’ll wake up feeling energized because you slept with a relaxed mind. If you do the other way around, scrolling down your Facebook feed until you fall asleep will overwhelm your mind. Also, the brightness of your screen will trigger your brain to perceive that it’s in the middle of the day and it’s not sleeping time – this usually causes insomnia if you make it a habit. You’ll probably wake up feeling sluggish even if you had enough hours of sleep. So, make sure to relax before bedtime.
TIP # 6: RELAX YOUR MIND WHEN YOU WAKE UP
Make a habit of not having your phone in your hands right away for at least half an hour after you wake up. Checking social media accounts early morning is unhealthy to the mind in the long run. The first hour in the morning is our Alpha state of mind, it means it’s the most vulnerable time in gaining information to the subconscious. So, choose your thoughts during these times. I usually wake up at 5 AM, and as I mentioned in TIP #1, I only let myself use social media accounts by 7 AM. You don’t want to wake up with dramas in the Fb newsfeed or dashboards, or scary news and celebrity issues. What you want your mind to wake up with is stillness and peace of mind.
TIP # 7: EXPRESS GRATITUDE WHEN YOU WAKE UP
As mentioned in TIP# 6, choose your thoughts when you wake up. By binging your screen, you may gain unhealthy information or even cause you to compare your life situation with those people you see in your Facebook newsfeed. But by gratitude, you will be getting used to noticing your blessings more than what you don’t have. The more you appreciate the things you have, the more good things will come to you – that’s the law of attraction. Personally, the moment I wake up, I express gratitude about the good things that happened from the previous day and all the blessings I can think about; my family, my job, my talents, my friends, my pets (Rexy and Choichoi), my newly arranged bedroom, my beautiful face (yikes!). The more you get specific, the more it makes you feel happy – that’s why gratitude is an excellent cure to depression and a key to happiness and contentment.
TIP # 8: CHANGING YOUR NEWSFEED SETTINGS
You can control what you can see on your social media newsfeeds. We are given a choice for that. It’s all in the settings. You can choose who or which pages you follow that you can see in the newsfeed. Personally, I unfollowed all the pages and groups that are not doing me any good anymore (e.g., a dramatic page about relationship quotes or emotional breakup quotes, lol!). And I followed pages and groups that support my self-development, my writing development, art development – or anything in my interests that’s good for me, such as great music and influencers.
I know these steps may not be easy to follow consistently.
I didn’t achieve them right away.
It took me for a while to make them a habit, and there are a few steps that I’m still practicing.
But that’s the point, we don’t stop learning and practicing.
Even those people who mastered a great habit will sometimes lose track because of circumstances.
The important thing is we always go back to the track and continue to grow.
To achieve consistency, start by doing something small.
Focus on one goal at a time.
Don’t do them all at once, or you’ll just get disappointed.
Every skill or habit that you want to learn and do consistently needs to be easy and is enough with your will power.
You don’t have to work harder with your sweat of blood to achieve something – I’m not a fan of that.
You just have to be consistent and don’t miss a day – that’s what I’m a fan of.
Over time, you’ll get used to it. So, which tip you want to take first?
Let me know your answer in the comments below. 🙂