How I Reduced My Social Media Usage By 50%

a man sitting on a window sill looking at his cell phone

Social media is a disease.

It can get addictive.

But sadly, we’ve all been a part of this unhealthy disease and can’t seem to get out of it. I admire those who can stay out of it 100%.

I tried quitting social media back in 2019 and succeeded for a year. However, some things kept pulling me back. For example, I had to be a part of my college Facebook group because students shared notes and essential news there. So, I had to reactivate my account and join the group.

It has gotten worse now. From marketing gimmicks to reels to crucial news, everything is on social media.

I’m guilty of using it daily, and the worst part is that I am unaware of my actions there. Sometimes, I scroll through useless reels for 45 minutes.

I know, it’s really messed up.

Becoming self-aware of social media usage

After seeing an average of 3 to 4 hours of screen time on my phone daily, I was concerned about my social media usage. Some days, it even crossed 5 hours.

I knew I had to do something about it, so I discovered a solution that significantly reduced my daily screen time from 4 to 2 hours.

Whenever I am scrolling on my phone — watching reels, stories, or posts — I ask myself this question:

Is this adding value to my life?

It sounds simple, but it has been very effective and made me more conscious of my actions. Whenever the answer is “no” (which is 90% of the time), I close the app and lock my phone.

This question immediately makes me more self-aware of what I’m consuming. It leads me to take necessary action and focus on what matters rather than wasting my time on what doesn’t.

Honestly, it was tough in the beginning. I had to force myself to close the app. With time and practice, I’ve gotten good at it.

What’s your purpose?

There are five different types of content you may find on social media:

  • Informational
  • Educational
  • Motivational
  • Inspirational
  • Entertaining

I realized that the last one consumed most of my time. Most of us seek entertaining content (which usually happens unconsciously). But that is not what we need.

The purpose of social media should be to learn. That’s what it is for me. Sure, we also need entertainment. But it shouldn’t be at the amount I had been consuming.

As I said, asking yourself the question and closing the app takes practice. It is easier said than done. However, if you are serious about reducing your social media (and phone) usage, you must act before it’s too late.

Do the work

Even after weeks of practice, I sometimes fall into the cycle again. I keep scrolling reels and looking at stories that aren’t providing any value to me. Yet, it becomes unstoppable.

I have to push myself daily and remind myself to ask the above question whenever I’m on my phone. And when I do, I know it’s time to shut down the phone and get back to work.

I heard a quote on Chris Williams’ podcast that went something like this:

The magic you’re looking for is in the work you’re avoiding.

It has become one of my favorite quotes lately. If you want to find magic and succeed in life, you need to do the work you know you should be doing but aren’t.

Stop scrolling and get back to work.

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