I find myself getting distracted by social media. How can I stop this?
Tatiana D, Virginia
Breaking away from social media isn’t easy. It’s designed to attract and distract us.
I would suggest first making a clear assessment of the situation—how much time each day are you wasting, and how is it impacting your productivity and relationships with others? Also, what are your reasons for overusing it: stress, boredom, or fear of missing out (FOMO)?
Once you have a clear sense of what social media is costing your life, imagine how your life would be if you invested your time and emotional capital differently. Make a list of things that would bring you more value than scrolling your feeds. If your usage is connected to stress or FOMO, then include ideas for finding more inner peace such as reading uplifting books, taking a walk, journaling, or talking to a good friend.
Tape this list to the back of your phone or keyboard—wherever you’ll see it when you’re tempted to hop on social media.
If you prefer a techy solution, there are also many apps that can help reduce your screen time.
In your assessment, don’t forget to include the impact of notifications. These can suck your time and energy, especially when they bring up negative emotions, so make sure you’re receiving only ones that are really necessary. Turn off all the rest and tailor your feed so when you do go on, you see updates from people who are most important to you.
If you do find that some platforms have genuine value for you, give yourself a time limit on them, setting certain days of the week or month and/or number of minutes per session.
It may also be helpful to do a social media/screen detox where you go a week or a month without checking at all.
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June Kellum is a married mother of two and longtime Epoch Times journalist covering family, relationships, and health topics.