Netizen. Social media guru. Digital native. These are just among the adjectives young millenials would describe themselves by in this increasingly interconnected world. But just how much time are you spending on the world wide web?
On several occasions, there have been reports of young people taking their lives due to social media usage.
How many times have you seen this? You enter into a matatu and as soon as the car starts to move, everyone fishes out their phones. You enter an office building and everyone – including the receptionist are busy on their phone – oblivious of the unserved clients bemused at their insensitivity.
According to Fortune, the average worker spends 8 hours a week of productive time on their phone. Yes. You are probably reading this at work. Wait! You are already here, let’s finish?
With the struggle for attention – due to the multifaceted nature and gazillion of things clamouring for our attention it is reported that young people nowadays have the attention span of a goldfish, a study by Cision shows. That means by the time you are done reading this sentence, you would have lost track of what I am saying.
Everyone is familiar with the saying that too much television rots your brain cells, so what about the other technologies we are always using? Social media is becoming more and more prevalent amongst millennials, with younger generations now growing up surrounded by it.
‘Social Media Apocalypse‘ may actually be a thing of the future seeing at how much time young adults are spending online. There is a certain dopamine feeling one gets when they scroll through news feeds. Whenever we want to distract ourselves from an activity we are doing, we turn to social media which means that we are now gradually ingraining this habit into our day to day habits.
Social Media is now an enabler of Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) rather than a distractor.
Brian Mbunde, a Digital Strategist at Scanad, and with an eyewatering 52k followers on Twitter advices to observe proper conduct.
“I only check social media when I am free,” he says.
“I am more concerned about people thinking that in order to feel good about yourself, you must be popular or famous.”
Curbing Phone Addiction
Here are 5 ways I have used in my life to limit how much time, I spend my phone.
1. Get rid of nonessential apps
If you don’t use it, refuse it. We have so many apps in our phones some which we have never even opened. List down your five most used apps, and see just how much junk apps you have. That dog memes app? You probably don’t need it now.
2. Make time for social interactions
Not online, but offline. When was the last time you had a REAL conversation with an actual human being? I thought so. Do it now.
3. Pay attention to your patterns
As human beings we are creatures of habit. For a long time, I used to struggle with getting off my phone. Now I struggle with replying messages. Set yourself an indulgence hour so to speak where you do everything you need done on your phone. Scroll. Like. Reply. Then get back to work.
Interesting right? Many of us use our phones late into the night and check it first thing in the morning, hence unregular sleeping patterns. If there is something I have discovered, is that there is nothing you miss out here by sleeping. Rest. Your body will thank you for it.
5. It’s not reality!
Social media images are careful edited realities. They appear real but they are not real. Beating yourself up over someone who is living ‘their best life’ would be laughable were it not tragic. It is far much more important to live the experience than to document it.
Brian Kimanzi, a social media influencer wraps it up well, “There’s no specific timings to being on social media. Work life balance just requires you to have proper planning. We spend more time at work than anywhere else so try as much as possible making that time good for both your work and life. Don’t get too consumed in work ; take a walk, go for lunch with a friend, catch up with friends.”
Need I say more?