Mental Health

How to Use Social Media Consciously

Taking accountability for your social media use and understanding ways to cut down is critical when you want to use it in a mindful manner. Learn ways to cut down on social media so you can take care of your emotional well-being.

By URLife Team
04 Jul 2023

In today's digital age, social media has become an integral part of our lives. While it offers numerous benefits, excessive use of social media can lead to negative impacts on mental health, productivity, and overall well-being. If you find yourself spending too much time scrolling through feeds and feeling overwhelmed, it might be time to take control of your social media usage.


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According to a 2023 report by American Psychological Association, individuals who restricted their social media usage to 30 minutes in a day, experienced reduced anxiety, depression, feeling of loneliness and fear of missing out.


In this article, we'll explore actionable tips to help you manage and cut down the use of social media, allowing you to regain focus, productivity, and maintain a healthier relationship with technology.


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Ways to Cut Down Social Media Usage

1. Set boundaries and create a schedule

Establishing boundaries is  essential in managing your social media usage. Decide on specific times or windows during the day to access social media. This way, you avoid mindless scrolling and regain control over your time. Additionally, consider setting a time limit for each session using apps or built-in features on your device to help you stick to your schedule.


2. Remove triggers and distractions

Identify the triggers that lead you to spend excessive time on social media. Is it the constant notifications, content or boredom that’s leading you to visit the app repeatedly? Take proactive steps to eliminate or reduce these triggers. Turn off unnecessary notifications, unsubscribe from irrelevant content, and remove social media apps from your home screen to create a more intentional and mindful browsing experience.


3. Curate your social media feeds

Take time to curate your social media feeds by following accounts that provide value, inspiration, and positivity. Unfollow or mute accounts that consistently evoke negative emotions or make you feel inadequate. Surround yourself with content that aligns with your interests, passions, and personal growth.


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4. Practise mindful usage

When you do use social media, practice mindfulness. Be aware of your emotions and mental state while browsing. Notice if you're seeking validation or comparison and remind yourself that social media often presents a filtered reality. Limit the urge to mindlessly scroll by setting a specific purpose for each session, such as connecting with friends, gathering information, or seeking inspiration.


5. Seek support and accountability

Consider sharing your goal of reducing social media usage with a friend or family member who can provide support and hold you accountable. Discuss your progress, challenges, and successes regularly to stay motivated. You can also join online communities or forums dedicated to digital well-being, where you can share experiences and learn from others.


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6. Audit Your Social Media Accounts

Take a critical look at the social media platforms you use. Consider which ones add genuine value to your life and which ones do not. Unfollow or mute accounts that do not align with your interests or cause unnecessary stress.


7. Limit Notifications

Constant notifications can be overwhelming and disrupt your focus. Take control of your notifications by adjusting your settings. Choose specific times to check your social media accounts rather than constantly being bombarded with alerts. This helps you maintain a sense of control and reduces the potential for distraction and anxiety.


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8. Implement the Two-Minute Rule

When you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through your feed, ask yourself if what you're doing requires immediate attention. If not, and it takes less than two minutes, hold off on engaging with it until you have dedicated social media time.


9. Remove Temptations

Make it easier for yourself to cut down on social media by removing temptations. Rearrange your phone's home screen to hide social media apps, or better yet, uninstall them temporarily. You can also log out of your accounts or disable notifications to minimize distractions. These simple steps will reduce the impulse to constantly check social media.


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10. Make Real Life Connections

One effective way to reduce reliance on social media is to prioritise face-to-face interactions. Meet up with friends, join community groups, or engage in activities that promote real-life connections. These interactions not only provide a fulfilling social experience but also reduce the need to seek validation or connection solely through social media.


11. Practice Digital Detox

Consider taking regular, extended breaks from social media. This could be a day, a weekend, or even a longer period. Use this time to engage in activities that nourish your mind and body, connect with loved ones offline, and explore the world beyond your screen. Disconnecting periodically can provide a much-needed reset and restore balance in your life.


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12. Mindfulness Meditation

Practising mindfulness meditation can help cultivate awareness and reduce impulsive behaviours, including excessive social media use. Spend thirty minutes each day focusing on your breath, observing your thoughts without judgment. This practice can enhance self-control and reduce the urge to mindlessly scroll through social media feeds.


13. Narrow Down Your Social Media Apps

Evaluate which social media platforms truly add value to your life and consider uninstalling or limiting the use of others. Focus on the platforms that bring you genuine joy, information, or connections, and eliminate the ones that contribute to mindless scrolling or comparison.


14. Use Instagram's "Take a Break" Feature

Many social media platforms now offer features to help users manage their time. Instagram's "Take a Break" feature allows you to set reminders for when you've reached a certain time limit on the app. Utilize this feature as a gentle nudge to take a step back and engage in activities outside of social media.


15. Set Daily Limits for Specific Apps

If you find yourself spending excessive time on a particular app, use the built-in screen time or app usage settings on your phone to set daily limits. This will help you become more mindful of your usage and prevent mindless scrolling.


Need all your wellness solutions in one place? A whole new world awaits just a click away.


Taking control of your social media usage is essential for maintaining a healthy balance between the virtual and real world. By implementing these actionable tips, you can manage and cut down on social media, allowing yourself to focus on your goals, improve your well-being, and foster more meaningful connections with yourself and others. Remember, it's not about completely eliminating social media but rather creating a healthy relationship with it that enhances your life.

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