Six ways to control social media before it controls you

Six ways to control social media before it controls you

For most people, checking their social media feeds is the first thing they do when they wake up and the last thing they do before they fall asleep. It’s such a bad habit of the 21stcentury that world-renowned psychiatrists are talking about ‘FOMO’ – the fear of missing out – as the catalyst for medially recognised social media addiction. It’s a worrying, albeit common problem. 

At first we were wowed by the connecting powers of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but now social media is controlling our lives; it’s become our life source. Applying some common sense to this issue is vital; would we be checking in on more than 500 of our friends over the phone every day? Then why do we need check our Facebook every hour?   

Here are six practical ways to revaluate the role of social media in our lives and use it for business purposes in a time-effective manner.

  1. Turn off notifications As mentioned in my post Noise verses silencewe are constantly bombarded with messages coming through our computers, which in turn interrupts our working hours. Say ‘no’ to notifications appearing on your phone, because let’s face it – if it’s that important, the message would not be coming through Facebook.
  2. Delete your social media apps One way to minimise your social media interaction is by making it harder to access these networking tools. Set it so that you have to log in to your Facebook, which means you have to make the conscious decision to go online.
  3. Have a one-day social media detox Every week choose a day where signing in to your social media accounts is not an option (if you can refrain from logging in to your computer for 24 hours a week this would be even better). Weekends are a great opportunity to pick up the phone or have a coffee with your friends and family in the good old fashioned way.
  4. Do a cull Be honest, 80% of your social contacts are probably of no relevance to your current business and future endeavours. Consider deleting them from your accounts, or hiding their posts from your feed. Cut out the unnecessary noise and create your own criteria for accepting new requests such as: ‘will this person benefit me now or in the future?’, ‘will I learn from this person?’, or ‘is this connection in line with my business and brand?’
  5. Limit your online time Schedule your social media time in your diary as you would going to the gym or a coffee meeting. Physically set a timer of half an hour a day to log in to your accounts to prevent failing into the social media vortex, which is incredibly easy to do. Ten minutes of this time could be used to schedule posts to maintain an active presence on social media throughout the day without having to connect several times.
  6. Use your time effectively Log in knowing who you’d like to connect with and what you’d like to achieve. You’d never go in to a meeting without taking notes, so why would you go online with no clue as to what you’re trying to communicate? Writing a list helps here.

So take back control of your time make sure you are making the most of social media without it making the most of you!

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