Are you clicking on Facebook and Instagram multiple times a day, usually without thinking about it? If so, you might be more addicted to social media than you realize. While social media can certainly be useful for connecting with friends, it's overtaken many people's lives. When we spend so much time on social media, we start to lose sight of what reality actually is. Here are some ways you can balance social media with real life.
Limit your usage
There's really no good reason to be checking social media sites more than once or twice a day. Unfortunately, it becomes second nature for far too many people. When you're pulling out your phone like a reflex every five minutes to check your Facebook, you really need to ask yourself why you're so compulsive. Make a plan to limit your social media usage to no more than about 10 minutes a day. A good idea is checking it at the end of the day, right before you go to bed. This can give you something to look forward to during the day and keep you from checking things constantly.
Remember the value of real-life interactions
Social media isn't good enough to replicate the feeling of face-to-face interactions. Though you can't see all your friends all the time, you can definitely make time for the ones closest to you. Instead of spending all your time liking photos and commenting on statuses, you should actually make time for your friends. Invite people out for food or drinks. They'll appreciate knowing that their friendship is valued beyond social media. When it comes to friendships, it's quality, not quantity, that ultimately matters.
Treat people like people
It can be easy to forget that there are other people involved in social media discussions. During tense arguments, people can become insensitive and demeaning. Even if it just seems like words on a screen, remember that there's a person on the other side. They might be emotional about certain things, but that doesn't mean you have to be insensitive to one another. Should an argument be getting especially contentious, there's nothing wrong with simply ending it. Civility is an aspect of interactions, both on and offline, that we should never forget.
Find new hobbies
You might be using social media constantly not because you want to but because you can't think of anything better to do. It can become a crutch for people who are unwilling to take a chance and try something new. Social media doesn't create long-term satisfaction. Look for hobbies that will build your confidence and give you new perspectives, such as cooking, yoga, or bike-riding. You can use social media to help you find activities in your area and connect with passionate people. As you focus on hobbies, you can become less attached to social media.
Take extended breaks
Can you imagine going without social media for a month? How about for a week or even a day? If these seem unfathomable, then you need to have a long, hard look at your relationship with social media. By no means should it be something that you are utterly attached to. Give yourself a sabbatical from social media for at least a week. See what kind of difference it makes. When you're not filling your days with scrolling through your phone, you have to actually force yourself to step outside your comfort zone. A week of no social media can teach you a lot about your sense of self-control.
Balancing social media with real life means you are able to avoid making your life revolve around getting likes or accepting friend requests. You can still enjoy social media, but you don't have to feel like it's everything. By following these tips, you can remind yourself of how much there is to experience with life, outside of social media.