The world today has never been more connected. Regardless of where you are in the world, from Portugal to New Zealand, you can send a message to anyone across the globe… provided you both have an internet connection. The internet not only breaks location and distance barrier, but also social barriers. Regular people are even able to tweet our favourite authors, athletes, and other famous personalities. Sometimes they even respond.
Occasionally, like myself you may find yourself lost in your online life, forgetting to live your real life. I know I’ve had times where I’ve focused on being more connected online only to end up disconnected with the real world. Sometimes you need to take a step back, unplug from social media and connect with your life once again. Here are some of my top tips to unplug from social media effectively!
- Eliminate gadgets an hour before sleeping and after waking
The first hour of your day should be setting up your plans and agenda. It means you can be proactive to setting the direction you want your day to go in, not reactive. This means you can determine how you want your whole day to not, rather than reacting to how others may want you to start your day. During this hour, you can pray, meditate, connect with yourself, set your to-dos, and set your goals. Personally, I like to use this first hour to sit mindfully with my cup of coffee and review my to-do list.
You should also spend the last hour of your day preparing yourself to rest – both your body and your mind. If you check social media before bed, your mind will not get the rest it deserves. It can fill your mind with your friends’ updates on their news feeds which won’t necessarily make your life better. In addition, experts say the blue light emitted from phone screens impacts on your circadian rhythm, making it more difficult to fall asleep. This time is good to shower, complete your skin care routine, and go over affirmations.
- Turn off all push notifications
Not only does turning off your push notifications save on battery life, but it also saves you from a lot of distractions. Turn off all your push notifications from email, chat, and social media applications. In cases of really urgent matters, people will give you a call. I know I can become obsessive about trying to rid of the little red bubbles and notification icons in the corner of apps making me significantly less productive and more distract-able throughout the day. Success is about momentum. How can you gain momentum when notifications keep distracting you?
- Hide your phone while you work
You know the saying, “out of sight, out of mind?” Well, the same applies here. Sometimes something as simple as seeing your phone can easily distract you and become a petri dish of procrastination, regardless of whether or not you’ve turned off your notifications. Why not take it the extra mile and completely hide it away from sight either in a draw or in another room, especially when you can still hear urgent phone calls?
- Allow 30 minutes to stay connected
Being connected through social media is still a must in our technology-driven world. A helpful tip is to set a time limit on your interactions. Otherwise, you can end up wasting hours each day. Allotting 30 minutes (or an hour at most) each day to respond to text messages, check notifications, accept friend requests, and respond to comments. I know you still want to!
In case you can’t discipline yourself to stop logging in to social media, there are browser extensions like StayFocused (for Google Chrome) that help limit the time you spend on them.
- Live a real life
Most importantly, however, is to live a real life! Interact with real people and be awesome out in the unfiltered real world. Don’t stress yourself making your profile wonder. Live an amazing life and it will automatically follow.
Do exciting things. Write a book. Plan a trip. Do whatever. Just be awesome and amazing.
Instead of chatting online with your friends, make plans to get together. You will be able to spend more quality time with them. It also decreases the loneliness of not using social media as well. You can also find a hobby outside of the internet. Additionally finding a hobby will curve the boredom we often use social media to fill. A hobby helps you stay busy in a productive way.
Live a life that matters, and you don’t have to get your satisfaction, fulfilment, and validation from likes and shares ever again!