Be honest – how many of you have found yourself scrolling social media during the different pockets of your day? In between Netflix episodes, on your walk upstairs, waiting for your kids to get out of school — anyone? Well, I definitely have, especially these past two years! I have found myself relying on social media to fill any void in my day. I realized I was subconsciously opening my apps and scrolling before I even gave myself a chance to sit with my thoughts (imagine!) or get something productive done.
After taking time to really understand how this was impacting my emotional well being, I knew I had to do something about it! I want to share the actionable tips and tricks I used (nothing crazy), that have worked for me these last few months.
Take a listen and let me know which ones you use and if you have any more you think would be beneficial! Social media is amazing in so many ways — as long as we make sure we are in control of the purpose for it!
Dana: All right guys we have a solo episode today. The first 1 in many many moons. It’s been a crazy transition getting to ankara and getting all settled in here. Then we’ve been plagued with sickness and it’s just been a lot so I have been promising this episode on social media and its addictive properties for literally months I think I tease did in June and I’m recording this here in November. So um, this has been a long time coming but I’m really excited to talk to you guys about this because social media and just. Its inherent addictive properties have been so toxic for me. Ah the past probably like almost 5 years really I feel like it really started when my daughter was born and I was nursing all the time and there’s just been a lot to it so I’m ready to hop right in and talk to you guys about how I’ve kind of overcome. Having social media just so always at your fingertips and taking up so much of your ambient time. So if you are struggling with this I hope that this helps you for me. Social media is a blessing and a curse like whether you’re a small business owner or just a consumer of all things social in general and in your life. Um, it’s a great way to promote and grow and in some cases actually run your small business. Um or even just a passion but it’s also the best way in touch. But it’s also a great way to keep in touch with friends and family from afar or friends and family. You forgot you even had from a decade or 2 ago tomato tomato same thing. but what it’s really done for me in the past few years but what it’s really done for me in the past few years more than anything is absolutely control my ambient time. It slowly took the place of random thoughts to do lists and anxiety floating around in my head when I wasn’t actively doing something else. It started when it gave me something to do when I was up in the middle of the night with Blakesley trying to fall asleep but not also not having the energy to do something productive like read or I don’t know sort through the five thousand million photos on my phone. Um, and then while sean was overseas. It was a way for me to kind of feel like I had friends
, it just happened to coincide with the pandemic lockdown and it made me extra friends. Not just the ones I texted on a regular basis but people that I met through business and through things that were funny and you know reaching out to people online. Gave me a way to connect to those other adults that are going through all the same things that I am going through at the time it’s grown my business and my podcasts in a bajillion ways and honestly that’s kind of where I hid all of my problems with social media. There was a point last year when I realized I was spending so many hours aimlessly scrolling on Instagram on any given day. I’d go from the kitchen to my room from doing dishes to doing laundry and in that twelve second walk I would pull out my phone and scroll I would pull out my phone and scroll when I pulled into the driveway sitting in my minivan before I even unloaded our groceries or my kids I would sit there and scroll on my phone that’s crazy. I’d be responding to an email and realize there was an awkward part of the email to write and instead of continuing on typing it on my computer I would literally just reach over and grab my phone and scroll to avoid writing that hard part of my note I’d be at a friend’s house and each of us would be scrolling at different points in the afternoon. Not saying this was happening every time I did 1 of these activities but those were just some examples that I could think of where I remembered like what am I doing it was a point where I wasn’t even noticing it. It took sean coming home on ah on 1 of his second r and rs for me to realize because I had an adult around me a lot more. Like I saw I was taking the time away from talking to him or just like being in my existence and instead grabbing my phone and distracting myself from whatever is going on in my life sean honestly helped bring this to my attention because he couldn’t care less about social Media. He couldn’t care less about his phone I don’t even think he knows where his phone is on a day-to-day basis. It’s not. Great for our communication when you know he pretty much lives overseas at away from me at you know any given point in our our relationship over the past 3 years but ah that’s a story for another day. and when he first said something to me though about my phone I was really defensive. I said things like you know you don’t understand I need it for my business if I’m not on here consistently. It doesn’t do the job. It’s supposed to do I can’t meet new people and grow my business and find clients or I’d say things like you know we weren’t talking right now.
So at the point where sean came home and noticed how much of a mindless habit checking my phone was that’s when I knew that using this coping mechanism was just an excuse. It was an excuse to not deal with whatever was bothering me. Or whatever was coming up on the horizon or whatever I hadn’t done that day I claimed to have no extra time. No time to do this or that but think about what all those little pockets of time scrolling could have been spent on I could have been scheduling social media posts or I could have been organizing again. Those fifty million photos on my phone. Could have been writing for work or answering emails or what do you know actually sitting with my own thoughts huh what? a concept but I wasn’t I was absorbing myself in an online world full of other people’s stories and successes and problems and that’s a really really heavy place to be How is this good for my mental health. How is it good for my tiny humans to see me constantly on my phone and checking it what was being on social media that much actually doing for me I knew I had to break the habit. But at that point it wasn’t really just a habit. It was an addiction and like I’ve said an addiction isn’t something you just stop. It’s something you have to work to change. It’s funny even talking about this I know I sound insane calling scroll calling scrolling lu ok never mind delete all this stuff. Well hopefully this episode is going to serve 2 purposes. The first is to be your version of my sean. especially now that I’m across the world so deleting the apps wasn’t an option but the first thing I did do was move them. it’ll remind you okay I actually don’t need to be on social media. Why am I scrolling all the way to them. Being on social media really is an addiction for you changing those patterns to get to that addiction will absolutely change it up. So what I done up until this point were things to deter me from getting on at all. But the truth is I didn’t want to eliminate it entirely. The next thing I did was set up. An exact parameter in which I would get on social media on any given day because I still did want to interact on there for my business and for my friends and just in general. But again I don’t operate in the gray very well so I needed some really black and white rules again. This sounds crazy I promise I’m not that big of a lunatic. But if you’re really struggling with this habit. It can really help to set parameters like these I went ahead and put alarms on my phone 1 for right at the top of each hour and 1 for three minutes later so for example from Nine o’clock a m to nine zero 3 a m I could be on social media and my phone would remind me the alarms would remind me when I could get on and off. And other than that I wouldn’t even check or hop on for any reason other than that now this is hard especially when you post something and are getting replies or comments and you want to interact with your follower especially for business purposes. But that’s what we’re all told as small business owners to do it makes your engagement go through the roof. But. That’s another way that checking once every hour is awesome. It only allows you 3 minutes for your actual purpose on social Media. You’re not scrolling. There’s nothing random. It’s not mindless. You’re on there for a purpose you know? Okay it’s the top of the hour I have 3 minutes I’m going to get done exactly what I have to do to get done. So did you know on the iphone you can actually limit how much time per day you spend on certain apps. This is a feature I’ve been wishing for years was a thing even back when I worked at my corporate job I downloaded all sorts of apps that locked you out of your phone for certain chunks of times you couldn’t even pick it up and scroll or you’d lose. if you don’t get those and you’ve opted out. Ah this could be quite quite alarming again if you’re in a season of high screen time. It’s going to be especially alarming. But that’s the point you want to know what you’re getting yourself into and how you can go and how you can only go up from here the first tool you can use is downtime if you select that option. You can set your phone so that only certain apps that you choose to allow and phone calls will work during the times of day. You can set it to every day at those times or customize your days. You can also customize certain apps to certain times of the day you can use them that is crazy that is a crazy amount of you know organization now remember this is a great option for those of you that need those black and white rules. Againit sounds crazy but try and really evaluate if this is something that you need to be paying attention to if you’re wasting time that you could be hanging out with your kids or doing something productive on social media. This is the time to really be honest with yourself and see okay what times of day is it. Okay for me to get lost in social media and what times. Isn’t totally inappropriate. This app is perfect to help you kind of narrow those down so the next setting after downtime is app limits. This is my favorite feature within screen time because it allows you the freedom to check and use certain applications when you want but limits the total time per day you’re on them. So maybe this is for you more flexible people that you know you could do it at any point in the day but you just don’t want to go above. You know thirty minutes of being on Instagram well you can set that you can go now on at any point in the day onto Instagram but once you’ve met thirty minutes of time with the app open. It’s going to cut you off for me personally. and you can extend it by just that short amount of time. There’s a ton of customization that can go into using the screen time app. So I highly recommend just playing around with it for the next you know few weeks and see what works best for you now of course this begs the question if you’re only on three minutes per hour during the day. Why would you even need the screen time limit. That’s an hour or 2 math just doesn’t work. Well you’re right if I’m using my 3 minute per hour of the day rule I clearly wouldn’t make it to the 1 or 2 hours of screen time limit but this is a great fallback in case you get off track. It also is awesome for the evenings when you’re just scrolling aimlessly in bed. It gives you a prompt and a reason to get off and actually go to bed. can’t tell you excited I can’t tell you how excited I was that this feature was added because again I don’t work in the gray very well. It’s also incredibly eye-opening for how much time you’re spending on your phone in general but specifically on the apps that you’re on for no real reason. The last thing that really helped me break my social media habit was putting my phone out of reach during those off minutes I literally put my phone in a drawer or in a cabinet or in backseat of my car or even go plug it into my room and come back to my office so that it’s totally inaccessible. This gave gives me the opportunity to. Build new habits into the little pockets of time. So even now I know my phone sitting right next to me but I don’t even reach for it anymore because I have other habits that have taken up all of that empty space that I used to grab my phone in before. 50 seven minutes of hour when I really had to train myself to do this. It probably took 3 weeks to get to this point and all these tricks played into the success of breaking the habit. Um so it’s not just a.. It’s not just 1 thing. It’s not black and white where you can just shut it off and just do your thing and make it happen. It was all of these different tools that I used to really really help me. But again it’s made my quality of life. So much Better. My kid’s quality of life better and if Sean ever returns to where I’m living you know probably. Make his life. A lot better as Well. So I Just want everybody to see if it’s even a problem for you. It might not be I might be an outlier here. But I really just wanted to share my experience to just give you guys the opportunity to admit that it’s a problem for you if it is and really really want to fix it and see how much better it can be on the backend. I wanted more time for my family more time for productivity and I wanted to spend less time just absorbed in other people’s lives I Really just wanted to be absorbed in my own.. There’s so much going on here and I am so excited to continue to share with you guys all on social media about what’s happening here in Ankara But. Also want to make sure that I’m providing you with great advice and things that are actually going to be able to change the course of your business and your day-to-day Effort. So I’m hoping that you guys really feel something with this episode and can make ah some changes if you need them. So Thanks for joining me and we’ll talk to you next time on Amidst the chaos.