What started as a creative outlet has now become an addiction for over 210 million people. Back in the day, Twitter allowed you to sound off in 140 characters or less. Instagram let you post filtered landscape photos or your meal of the day in exchange for likes. Facebook connected you to your family and friends. That was then. Today, studies show social media is as addictive as drugs. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to navigate my life with an addiction of any kind. When I noticed that I’d miss important parts of a movie or TV show because I was busy scrolling on Facebook and Instagram, I knew I had a problem. My phone was the first thing is saw in the morning, the last thing I saw at night and it occupied all of my time in-between. My friends would tag me in memes and my response would be, “I saw that already.” It was time for a change.
“Internet and social media addictions continue to grow as our dependence on technology increases. Estimates posit that over 210 million people suffer from internet and social media addictions worldwide.” –Media Kix
My addiction to social media went beyond scrolling. I’d visit popular gossip pages and leave comments addressing the negativity. There was a lot of it out there and I couldn’t understand why and how people would say the things that they’d say on social media. Like me, they were battling their own addiction with the internet. Fortunately for me, I’d see myself engaging too much and pull back. I’d comment and then quickly delete it. I began to notice people that I follow leave comments and it shifted my perception of them. “You really think that?” I’d say to myself. It was time to disconnect.
“The average person spends nearly 2 hours a day using social media, which amounts to 5 years and 4 months of his/her lifetime. In that time a person could run more than 10,000 marathons or travel to the moon and back on 32 separate occasions.” -Media Kix
I decided it is time to take my power back. As a social media strategist and content creator, I made the conscious decision to limit my app activity to 30 minutes per day. This includes checking emails, bank accounts or anything else on my phone that distracts me from being in the moment. I want to be fully engaged with the people around me, watch a movie without having to rewind it and enjoy a sunset instead of trying to capture it. My goal is to go from 30 minutes a day to engaging just enough to keep Introvert N the City afloat.
What if we replaced all of that extra time and energy with something more productive? For me, I’m going to channel my time into meditation and exercise. What we consume is extremely important to what we produce. Have you considered doing a social media fast? Have you done one in the past? If so, what are your suggestions?