Knowing how to use social media wisely and productively is one of the biggest challenges for those who want to do more important, higher quality activities.
Several studies have shown that networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like have been designed to keep us there most of the time.
The very business model of these networks is based not only on the amount of users, but also on the amount of time those users stay there.
If you suffer from the time you waste using social networking, keep reading this article to find out:
- Why you should know how to use social networks
- What does it mean to use social media in a positive way?
- Using social networking smartly and productively
- What would happen if you reduced your use of social networks?
The first step is to understand why you should control the use of social media.
Finding out how to use social media wisely can be the difference between being a productive, relaxed and content person, or a low-producing person who has no ability to focus and is unhappy with his own life.
Such a statement at first may seem exaggerated. But before condemning her, stop and think for a moment about your own situation.
The first thing you do when you wake up is get your smartphone to check out Instagram, Whatsapp or Facebook?
Have you had difficulty focusing on a single activity or doing a task with a beginning, middle and end?
Are anxiety , dissatisfaction, and even a certain sadness feelings that you have been feeling quite often lately?
If you answered yes to some of these questions, you are not alone.
The negative effects of using social media have been reported and studied, with the almost unanimous conclusion that the misuse of these applications greatly harms our productivity and our own satisfaction with life.
Many of these studies were masterfully compiled in Jaron Lanier’s Ten Arguments for You to Delete Your Social Networks Now .
Here we do not advocate that you have to delete your social networks, but use them in a positive way.
The big problem with knowing how to use social media positively is that these apps are designed to addict you and stir your emotions to increase your chances of clicking on ads.
Jaron Lanier claims that social media makes you lose your free will and your sanity, turn you into an asshole, undermine the truth and can make what you say meaningless.
They also destroy your ability to empathize, make you unhappy, undermine your economic dignity, and make politics impossible. In short, the author concludes that social networks “hate your soul.”
Using your social networks positively means circumventing all the gimmicks these apps create for you to use them all the time.
Unfortunately, you can hardly do it yourself. And even if you can, you’re wasting your willpower just to stay away from the networks.
What is the way out then? Use technology itself to better handle technology.
The first step in knowing how to use social media wisely with the help of technology is to make a honest diagnosis of your use of these tools.
In the time management article , we talked about some tools you can use to measure the amount of time you spend on social networks.
You can use Rescue Time to count how long you stay on each site or program on your computer. Already on the phone you can use native features such as iPhone’s Screen Time.
After a few days using these tools, you’ll know exactly how much time you spend each day on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other social network.
From there, you must decide how much time you would like to spend on these networks. This is a definition that only you can give.
Once you set this time, you can use extensions like Chrome StayFocusd to limit the amount of time you spend on each network on your computer.
On Android or iPhone phones, you can use your own device settings to limit the daily time you spend on each app or app group.
On iPhone, for example, this setting is made in Settings> Usage Time> Apps Limits> Social Networks .
When the solution is to delete
After some time with limited social networks, make a new diagnosis.
Ask yourself if reducing usage time has improved your productivity, decreased your anxiety, or increased your overall life satisfaction. If you see positive improvements, try reducing your usage time even further.
On the other hand, if you have found ways to circumvent your own limitation, perhaps the only way out is to delete your accounts. Or at the very least delete apps from your phone.
If you don’t want to be so radical, other options that can help you on your journey are:
- Disable all notifications
- Leave unproductive chat groups
- Leave the smartphone in black and white mode (color notifications are harder to resist)
- Unfollow celebrity and business profiles
- Install Kill News Feed extension to delete Facebook news feed
Once you have done all this, you can finally say that you know how to use social media productively. So, what happens next?
Imagine for a moment that social networks have completely disappeared from your life. Would this hypothetical situation bring more advantages or disadvantages to your life?
Would you have more time to study, to take care of health or perhaps to start a small business parallel to your main job?
Would you spend more time with family, see more movies or read more books?
Would your life satisfaction increase now that you are no longer comparing your situation to the people you see on social media?
We are not denying here that social networks have their benefits there. You can meet people with similar interests, connect with friends and family who live far away, or even study specific subjects.
The problem is that these networks were designed to addict us. And the time we spend there makes our attention fragmented, our satisfaction diminished, and our sense that we have no time for anything increased.
So try reducing your time on social networks. It doesn’t have to be a big commitment. Take a test for a week, look at the results and see if you want to continue.
This simple change in your life can lead you to better manage your time, produce more and feel better.