Social media can be a useful tool (for businesses) But when we’re unable to disconnect or manage our time, that’s when it can start to take a toll on us and our well-being.
Feeling less satisfied with our own lives, compared to other’s highlight reels. Feeling pressured to stay connected, 24/7. Not wanting to miss out on anything, even if it’s not relevant/beneficial. Huge chance of exposure to haraam things plastered all over social networks. Notifications buzzing and screaming for your attention.
Tech companies like Google and Facebook are not dumb. They craft their sites and apps in such ways, that it becomes too easy to capture your attention. And to keep you coming back to their app, unconsciously, on auto-pilot. It’s designed to keep you hooked. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that people on average check their phones 150 times a day.
When it comes to unhealthy social media usage, some blame the technology. Others blame information overload. But more often than not, we are completely in control of our own actions. We are capable of setting our own goals and rules when it comes to social media. We are capable of using social media to our advantage.
Do you feel like you never have enough time to work on your projects? Do you feel busier than ever but are you not accomplishing a lot? If you feel like you are not making any progress, take a closer look at your social media usage (Whatsapp included!)
1. Decide which resources you really need right now.
You may be in a dozen of Facebook/Whatsapp groups, trying to benefit from all of them, without taking a moment to ask yourself: what do I actually need right now? Which resources are aiding me? And which ones are distracting me? Analyse YOUR goals (not the ones set by others), YOUR personal situation and decide what YOU need. Are any of those resources/messages/articles you are constantly exposed to helping you reach your goals or end up making you feel more confused/pressured (to do what others are doing)?
2. You don’t need to be online 24/7 to run/promote your business
Posting doesn’t have to take a lot of time, most of it can be automated/planned in advance to save you lots of time and headache! When posting, you don’t need to browse. Browsing Facebook timelines and Instagram feeds endlessly will often distract and could make you feel worse too. (Comparing, feeling dissatisfied with your own progress/life and so on.)
3. Identify underlying reasons and uproot desires/feelings
When you feel like you cannot take a break from social media, and you keep checking your feeds frantically, ask yourself what makes you come back to it? Analyse underlying reasons so you can uproot those feelings. Such as FOMO, fear of missing out – you can’t miss what you can’t see! Or maybe you like to see inspiration, feel inspired. But make sure you don’t turn into an inspiration-hoarder! Just accumulating all things interesting, resource upon resource, without ever acting upon it.
4. What gets measured, gets managed
If you want to start managing your time, it’s good to know what you spend it on most. Track your time to know exactly how much time is spent on social media. Please note that stats may not be the best indication to see how productive you have been or not. Maybe it says you used Whatsapp for an hour, while you were keeping in touch with your family. So not everything is necessarily negative! There are also Chrome extensions, such as StayFocusd and others to block sites. You can also track your time, but I haven’t tried all these extensions. I’ll share more in the group later, insha Allah!
Quality Time (Android)
In the Moment (iOS)
Battery settings on your iPhone: tracks app usage of the past 24hr and week.
5. Be picky when it comes to notifications
Which notifications are beneficial, which ones are essential? And which ones are simply distracting? I switched most notifs off years ago, never looked back! You should be the one to decide what deserves to pop up in your home screen or Facebook notifications! What if you don’t? Everything can feel equally urgent, constantly disrupting your workflow or simply your day – not everything is urgent, not every message is urgent, and most questions, emails etc. can wait. Pick a moment where YOU want to catch up on certain groups, messages, apps, so you can create your own schedule that suits you better. Instead of being “told” what to tap on next.
6. Give yourself quality alternatives to keep yourself busy/to unplug.
Lastly, in order to use social media in a balanced way, give yourself quality alternatives to keep yourself busy/unplug. I love social media for businesses, but you do need time off to actually WORK on your business/projects. Switch your phone off, or at least the internet if you can, in order to work on an important project, connect with loved ones and/or play with your kids for example. Find ways to unplug and recharge, not your phone but yourself! Be present, and set your own social media schedule to use it more consciously.
What are some of your favourite tips to manage your social media use?