Did you know it only takes 21 days to form a new habit? With all this time we’re spending at home, it’s only natural that you’ll start using your phone or laptop more for shopping, video calling and scrolling social media. All of these are positive things but can start to have a negative impact if they become habitual. For example, we spend a bit too much money on the latest sale (oops!), get video calling anxiety or overuse social media to the point that it affects our wellbeing.
But don’t panic! We’ve got some handy tips to get you back on track to creating a healthy relationship with screen time.
1. Set boundaries
Using your time wisely to hop on social media is key – whether that’s using Instagram for an hour a day or only in the morning/evening is helpful. If you work from home, keeping your phone in another room or drawer can really help resist the temptation to just pick up your phone out of habit!
2. Turn off notifications
This is a great way to create a sense of calm. If your phone is constantly flashing with notifications, it’s bound to be a distraction throughout the day. Switching off notifications (even if it’s just for some apps) can help you stay focused and less likely to be distracted with incoming notifications. It means you’ll only check notifications during your allocated social media time – much better!
3. Unfollow accounts that aren’t bringing you happiness
Have a look through the accounts that you follow. Are they creating content that’s going to benefit you positively or negatively? Social media can be such a powerful tool when used for good but can start to bring us down if we’re consuming content that isn’t good for us. It’s helpful now and then to have a look through all the accounts you’re following and have a little cleanse!
4. Monitor your usage
Most phones have handy tools to help you monitor your usage (hands up who’s usage went up during lockdown?!). You can even set limits so you get notified when your daily usage is up – very useful when time seems to just disappear while scrolling! There are also some great apps out there that can help you reduce screen time like Moment, BreakFree and Space. Why not consider using your Bullet Journal to track your social media usage?
5. Don’t check social media when socialising
If you check your phone often while out with friends or family, it can often become a habit that’s hard to stop – you probably don’t even realise you’re doing it! Keep your phone away in a bag or pocket (with notifications off!). This way you can give your friends 100% of your focus and stay present. Another handy tip is if you’re out socialising, take plenty of photos but post them or share them later on, once you have some downtime.
6. Follow positive and informative hashtags
Stay up to date with certain topics or movements by following hashtags on Instagram. It’s a really easy way to see content related to a subject, place or brand and a great way to discover new accounts or products.
7. Take a longer break
A really healthy way of managing social media screen time is taking a break for a longer period of time such as a whole week or month. Have a think about what might suit your lifestyle. If you are able to take a whole month off it might be the best thing for you! It can also cut out any bad habits that might be manifesting without realising. Why not use the new year as a way to detox and take all of January off social media?