A latest study has found that one out of five teenagers wake up at night to check social media messages and updates, thus making them feel three times more tired at school compared to their classmates who stay off the Internet at night.
The research conducted by Wales Institute for Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD) in the UK also observed that it is girls who log on to their social media accounts at night more than the boys.
Here are 10 ways to overcome social media addiction:
1. Admit that you are addicted and it is not a good thing. You have to realize that hooking on to the net to watch what others are doing is unhealthy – for your body, mind and brain. This will be your first step towards de-addiction.
2. Keep yourself engaged in other offline activities when you are free. For example, when you get some time off studies or work, hang out with “real” friends rather than virtual ones.
3. Disable all notifications from your social media pages on your smartphone.
Because whenever you hear that “ping” on your phone you automatically feel the urge to check emails, texts or WhatsApp messages.
4. Take the weekend off from all your social media accounts.
Two days are not enough to cure your addiction but with you taking breaks every weekend, you will start realizing there are better things in life than checking out what someone had for dinner or what song he is listening to right now.
5. Check on your accounts with a purpose. Instead of aimlessly scrolling up and down social media pages, log in with a purpose – maybe to fix a movie date with an old school-friend you reconnected on social media.
6. Edit what you share. Before you post a status update or a photo, ask yourself why you are doing so. Is the status for showing off?
Is the photo of yours that you are sharing is the fifteenth one this week? If so, instead of posting it on social media, share it with your mother or a friend and laugh over it on phone.
7. Be more active offline. For example, on your friend’s birthday, instead of posting a Happy Birthday message on his wall, call him up and greet him personally.
8. Prioritize your study or work. Even when you are online working on a project for school or college or office, resist the urge to sneak into your social media account.
9. Replace your boredom with creative work. Many net savvy people will agree that they log into their social media accounts to overcome boredom.
Instead of lazying around and wasting Internet data packs, try doing something more creative – maybe, learn a new language, or nurture your hobbies or watch your kind of films.
10. Don’t do something because others are doing. Do you really need that Tumblr or Pinterest or Snapchat account, or you just creating new social media accounts every day just to “stay in trend” .
Stick to basic necessities when it comes to using the social media and you will start counting its benefits rather than getting addicted to it.
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.