How often are we checking our mobile device (smart phone)? Four maybe five times a day? …… Lets be honest, we check at least once every 30 minutes, don’t we? Exactly what are we checking for? Social Media updates (posts, likes, comments, tweets, pics)?
Of course we do. We want those real time updates on friends, news, weather, pivotal issues, or maybe we just want some quick time filling entertainment on our feed/wall.
…….. But how much of this is adding any value to our lives? Are we using this information we are getting in any constructive way? Or is it just filler, clutter, garbage?
These are all the questions we should be asking ourselves when it comes to all the social media (or any media for that matter) that we expose ourselves to. If we come to the conclusion that our compulsion to check our devices is mostly for things that add no real value to our lives (quick pleasures, reflex, fear of missing out), then what we have is an addiction; plain and simple.
This digital age of convenience has opened up a new avenue for addiction.
I have recently realized that I am not immune to this. I also have got caught up in the excitement, the addictive quick pleasures of having my device inform me every time there is a new post/comment/like/message on my media feed.
So Step 1 is done for me (awareness of the problem). For me and anyone else who suffers from this addiction, here are some next steps to kicking the addiction, and getting actual value out of our digital media channels.
In no set order:
- Do some “house cleaning” on our real time feeds. Remove the pages, people, and groups on our feed that add no value. Remove the fluff. Avoid celeb news gossip feeds, ridiculous memes, attention hounds, and bias news.
- Change the real time notification settings to be OFF. We do not need a real time notification flag on how many likes we got on our post, or what our friends meal looks like. Is there anything that we truly need to know in real time?
- If our addiction has us going into our media app even without the flags so we can get the latest and greatest gossip and info, DELETE the app altogether. We can find out all that info later at a pre-determined time when we are at the computer. The time spent on social media is more intentional this way, and therefore more constructive. Shorter total time too.
Let’s free up our time and mental energy to focus on the here and now. Focus on the people and space around us. Once we do that, we will find a life more fulfilling.