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As a work-from-home, homeschooling mom, social media can be both friend and foe. Sometimes it can be all-consuming. If you can answer “yes” to most of these answers, then maybe you’re in my boat! (In fact, even if you don’t work from home, you may be caught in the social media trap, so keep reading!)
Do you find yourself spending hours and hours on your phone or computer? Is it because you’re working, or do you find yourself regularly sucked down the social media rabbit hole? Do your kids regularly ask you to put your phone down or complain that you’re never available for them? Are you beginning to wonder if you you have internet addiction?
If you’re anything like me, then the answer to many of those questions is yes. I have varying roles that require a fair bit of social media interaction. Because I administrate a number of homeschool-related support groups and run a couple of business-related pages, I find myself on Facebook a lot more than I would like. Invariably, I also end up using those times to check through my newsfeed and, before I know it, time has passed and social media has yet again stolen moments I can’t get back.
Recently, I decided to put in some measures to prevent this from happening. Maybe they will help you too.
Because Facebook is my main time gobbler, I have quite a few Facebook time-management measures. For example:
- I have chosen specific times of day to go onto social media. I limit myself to half an hour maximum.
I use the “save” function on Facebook. That way I can quickly run through my newsfeed and save interesting, helpful articles to read later.
- If I am behind in Facebook duties, I will use dead time to pick up on my duties. Dead time includes those waiting-in-the-car moments when I am about to pick up a child from afternoon activities.
- I’ve started to hide Facebook pages that I like, but don’t necessarily need to see their updates. I choose to visit them monthly instead. That way my newsfeed is less distracting. I’ve also unliked pages that I find too tempting. You know – the ones with dozens and dozens of click-baity articles of cute puppies doing crazy things or heart-warming family stories. With the volume of stories that come through my feed, I could be busy all day every day consuming all that the internet has to offer in click-bait cuteness!
- I keep my Facebook feed mostly for those who are friends I particularly want to keep up with. For various work-related and community-related reasons, I am Facebook friends with a lot more people than I am in real life. To keep my Facebook feed from being too overwhelming, I keep my feed mostly for those who are friends I particularly need or want to keep up with. From time to time, I will visit the pages of those I’ve “hidden” because I still care about them.
- I also use dead time to schedule posts on my business pages. It uses up less time overall if I schedule 7 posts in half an hour.
In addition to Facebook, there’s Instagram, Twitter, emails, and much much more. If you really want to cut down on your social media time, I would suggest streamlining the platforms you use, choosing fewer rather than more! Think carefully about your audience and the platform they are mostly on. Use that platform to engage with your audience and use the others as noticeboards only.
Of course, your hours devoted to social media may be more of an addiction than you think! I’ve caught myself feeling the need to pop into Facebook for a quick visit whenever I’ve had an idle moment. It’s made me concerned enough to put in other measures to stop myself from allowing social media to rule my life.
- I have set times to go onto social media, and I stick with those times.
- I’ve switched off push notifications on my phone.
- In the past, I’ve deleted the apps on my phone, allowing myself to access it only via my laptop at set times.
- I have asked people to hold me accountable. Having someone checking in on you helps you to stay true to your decision!
I suspect that if these things don’t help, then more extreme measures are needed still:
- Delete all social media / distracting apps on your phone and / or lock down apps so you cannot use them except during designated times in a day.
- Keep your phone in a different room and rather use real clocks, calculators, dictionaries, etc. for those regular go-to apps you use for school and the like.
Are you addicted to the internet? What draws you in or causes you to spend too much time there? Do you have any tips for managing your time online? I would love to hear your tips for managing social media in such a way that social media does not manage you. Hopefully, together, we can beat the internet addiction!