I can’t even believe I am writing this. But then again, this is what this blog is about: living a life of intention. A life of intention is a life that calls us to reevaluate our habits, and live fulling, purposeful lives. It is from this place of reevaluation and intention that I have realized my need for a social media routine. I’m reclaiming my time and making 2019 my best year yet and this is just a start.
I am thankful that I am able to have an honest conversation with myself. I am able to accept the fact that like 210 million people worldwide, I may have a social media addiction. For the longest time, I have refused to own this. I masked my addiction and called it a different name. I somehow believed that “I don’t have a social media addiction or a phone addiction, I just have a slight dependency”. Truth is, that dependency as I like to call it is definitely on the addiction spectrum. Curbing this dependency requires some stringency. This is why I am creating this routine and holding myself accountable.
My social media usage has grown exponentially in the last two years. I find myself constantly checking for my phone, scrolling through twitter and refreshing feeds constantly. It never seemed like a problem for me because I assumed everyone is always on their phone so; I wasn’t alone. But after being called out by my aunts and a friend earlier this year, I came to the realization that something isn’t 100% right.
When my aunt called me out for always being on my phone even when people were talking to me, I tried to defend myself. A social media/phone addiction completely goes against the slow & intentional lifestyle I embraced. There was no way I could accept that I wasn’t as present in reality with people as I thought and wished I was. But as much as I tried to defend my phone usage, deep down, I knew she was right. I was always on my phone. I would randomly pick up my phone even while I was in the middle of a conversation with people.
How can I live in the moment and enjoy the presence of the people I am spending time with if I can’t even keep my phone down for an extended period of time?
Last year I got the usual notification from an app that monitors my phone usage. I had picked up my phone 60 times already that day. By the end of the day, I had spent over 8 hours on my phone. That was one of my bad days. A huge chunk of time spent on my phone was spent on social media. Even though it was in the summertime when my schedule was less packed, it didn’t make sense to me to spend nine hours daily on my phone. Nine hours a day amounts to 810 hours in three summer months and 3,285 hours annually. That’s about 135 days spend on my phone annually.
On average, we are spending close to half the days of the year on our phones. Insane.
When you break this down even further and compare it to the amount of time invested in other activities, you’d realize just how little time we actually dedicate to other things. We’d spend less time on hobbies, less time challenging ourselves to do the things we love because we’re spending more time watching other people share their perfectly curated lives and experiences on social media.
Moreover, I recently learned that human attention span is now shorter than that of a goldfish. I have actually noticed that my attention span has declined. I notice my struggle with a simple Pomodoro method. Most times, when my phone is not with me, I get slightly anxious. Even when I’m not using my phone, I always want to have it on my person. This is in contrast to my memory and attention back when I wasn’t on social media or when I deleted my social media accounts for years.
But social media and technology are not inherently bad.
This technology like everything else can be great if consumed intentionally and with moderation. That is why I am making the decision to do differently from now on. I will create a social media routine that prevents me from spending so much of my time and life on social media. A routine that allows me to still utilize social media mindfully while still enjoying life offline. Balance is key!
So here goes it…
My Social Media Routine
First, ensure that I continue to only have and use social media platforms that directly serve a purpose in my life. I deleted my Facebook account back in 2012 and haven’t looked back. It was one of the best decisions I made for myself. I recently created a Facebook account strictly to manage this blog’s Instagram page. Nothing personal. The Facebook dilemma, a documentary on Facebook’s impact on users’ privacy and data collection reminded me of all the reasons why I deleted my personal Facebook page.
For now, I picked 3-4 main social media platforms that I want to use and focus on for my blog and brand. My focus is on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and youtube. These four allow me to create meaningful contents, engage and network with other creators.
I set a limit on how much time I spend on my phone within the hours of 8:30 am-10 pm. My goal is to not spend more than 3 hours daily on social media. This three-hour limit will be done in 15-minute increments because I know how easy it is to spend an entire hour just scrolling.
Lastly, Other than for emergencies, I stay away from my phone from 10:30 pm-8:30 am. This allows me to wind down, and allow myself to get a good night’s sleep, have a slow morning and be intentional with anything I have to do within those hours. I am hoping to make this a 6 pm-8:30 am eventually. But baby steps 🙂
I will try this routine for all of February and report back on my progress. So far, it’s been a somewhat difficult transition. It is possible and I am reclaiming my time! I know many of you reading this blog
Always with love,