The best use of social media is to limit your involvement with it.
Tristan Harris, the former Google code writer and now advocate for people to reign in the “black hole” of social media, says it’s a time waster that draws you further and further away from focusing on the present.
- Relegate social media to the 2nd page of your phone screen – And store it in a folder. That way the next time you use Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat or other networks, you have to specifically go open it up. Having it on the first screen and easily available is too much temptation.
- Set a timer – Five minutes can easily become 25 minutes because of the addicting nature of following, liking and spying. Set an alarm for social media time.
- Match social media time with real time – If you spend 20 minutes on Facebook, spend a comparable 20 minutes face-to-face or talking on the phone to a real breathing human being.
- Invest the “saved” time in friends – Controlling social media use will result in extra time that can be spent with family, friends or loved ones who are all around you.
Harris, the code writer, reminds us that Google and other purveyors of social networking have one goal — getting users to spend more time on social media so they can serve more ads.
A good reminder when looking for the courage to cut back and return to the present.
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