Have you ever finished a session on Facebook and thought to yourself, “I feel great! Life is good!”
Have you ever finished an hour on your phone and thought “I’m so happy!”
I can’t remember the last time I did. It’s probably because I never have.
Even if I’ve watched a motivational or inspiring video on Youtube (at least it’s something positive and helpful), I don’t put down my phone and immediately go and exercise for an hour after feeling lazy or focus on work for one straight hour without distractions.
We spend an average of 137 minutes on social media. That doesn’t count Youtube, visiting websites and other apps.
So even though we don’t gain much positive benefits from spending time on social media, why do we keep doing it then?
One reason is to distract us from facing our problems. We want to take our minds off our own lives.
Another reason is because it’s easy. Doing any of those activities requires little effort.
I’m here to tell you something you probably already know but you need to hear it again.
The answers and the change you are looking for aren’t on Facebook or Instagram. They don’t come from the motivational quotes people post. They aren’t in the latest funny viral video. They aren’t in the photos and updates your friend are sharing on social media.
Research has shown a link between spending too much time on social media with mood and well being. It’s strongly associated with depression and anxiety in young adults. I would imagine it’s not only affecting young adults but older ones as well.
If you truly are serious about getting unstuck and changing your life is, you must cut back on the time you’re wasting on social media. (For this article I’m only going to single out social media but watching Youtube videos and the mindlessly using the internet can also be included.)
I’m not saying completely delete Facebook or stop using the internet. That would go against what I do.
I enjoy social media. It’s my way of staying connected and up to date. One main part of my business is to advertise on Facebook. So I like that people are on Facebook.
I just don’t make Facebook my morning, afternoon, night and anytime I have a break during the day to check it.
But for the 99% of the people that use social media, they’re not on it for business purposes. They’re on it cause they’re distracting themselves from figuring out a solution to their problems. They’re on it to procrastinate from whatever they need to be doing.
I know that when I’m spending too much time on it then that means taking away from time where I could be doing something more positive and that will make a difference.
Let’s take this article as an example. I could have decided instead of writing this for you that I would open up Facebook. After spending 1 hour on Facebook, what’s the result I’ll get? Will it make a difference in my life? Will it make a difference in other people’s lives?
I’ll leave Facebook feeling the same as when I started except I’ll realized I wasted a full hour.
By spending an hour writing and editing this, I’m writing an article that I hope will help you. By writing, it makes me happy too. I enjoy writing because love knowing that you’re reading my words and that it has an impact. Also cause I know I finished an article I feel satisfied. I won’t be kicking myself for not writing. I won’t be upset that I kept putting this off.
Social Media Can Wait
What you must realize about social media is that it’s going to be the same no matter when you check it.
It won’t matter if you check Facebook first thing in the morning or at lunch time. It’s going to be the same. So why not delay it and not check it first thing?
If being on Facebook leaves you feeling worse about yourself, why would you want to wake up and start your day with that feeling? Even if being on Facebook leaves you feeling no different than when you started, why spend valuable time on it first thing in the morning?
I’ve noticed a big change not only in my productivity but also my mood since I’ve stopped checking Facebook in the first hour of my morning.
Nothing life changing is going to be there on Facebook when I open it first thing in the morning. My day will not get better cause I checked Facebook. In fact, my day starts off slower when I do and I can easily waste 30 minutes on Facebook before I close it.
When I’m on Facebook my mind is continuously moving down my newsfeed. I’m jumping from one topic to another and my brain gets exhausted from jumping around so much. Now I feel much more calm and focused to start my day cause I don’t do that.
So many people are addicted to Facebook and other social media channels. To them, it’s their oxygen. It’s the first thing they check when they wake up. They check it ten times in an hour all day long. When they get home, they eat dinner while checking Facebook. When they watch TV, they’re on Facebook. The last thing they do before going to sleep is check Facebook one last time.
I use Facebook as an example cause it’s the most popular social network in the world but it could be any social network. Most people aren’t only on Facebook though. They’re on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and whatever social media is popular in their country.
If you’re making social media a top priority in your life, then what type of results do you think you will get?
What if you took all that time you spent on social media and put it towards anything else. Think about the progress you will make. Think about the changes.
If you want to be in majority of the population that is unhappy and hopeless about life, then feel free to continue making social media top priority from morning till night. You will have plenty of company. Social media companies love that.
If you want to be in the small group that is excited to wake up every day, does activities and work that is fulfilling, and feels happy cause of the progress you’re making in life, then don’t make social media an top priority in your life.
If spending too much time on social media is linked to anxiety and depression, wouldn’t it make sense to spend less time on it if you feel that way?
Many people feel worse about themselves when they’re on social media. Despite that they still spend so much time on it. They feel worse because they’re seeing what everyone is doing in their life. They’re following celebrities who make it seem like life is perfect and one big party.
You have to keep in mind these same celebrities that seemingly have the perfect life also are addicted to drugs, cheat on partners, get divorced, get arrested, get sued and a whole mess of other problems. They don’t post that on their social media.
And those friends that seem like life is perfect with their vacation photos or cute couples photos? Remember people only share the good. You do the same. I do the same.
If being on social media makes you feel worse about the situation you are in, then spend less time on it. You should be spending that time on you anyways. Not being so focused on what others are doing.
What should you do once you decide to spend a lot less time on social media?
Anything that you choose to do that’s going to be a positive for you.
Don’t spend less time on social media and instead use that time to watch even more TV than you do now.
You don’t learn more about yourself or find the answers to life’s problems on social media. When you do new things, you learn so much more about yourself. You also learn new things and when you learn new things then life doesn’t feel stale anymore.
Start a new hobby. Go outside. Be a tourist in your own city and go to places you’ve never been before. Spend more time with family and friends. Find opportunities to meet new people. Volunteer. Clean your closet of clothes you haven’t worn in a year. Go hiking. Throw away or donate stuff you don’t use anymore.
That’s just an idea of what you can do. There’s so much more.
Imagine when you’re 80 years old. Will you think back to your younger years and glad you had spent so much time on social media? Will you wish you had spent more time?
You will be wishing you had spent less time and used that time to do what you always wanted to do. You wish you could go back and do it all over again and not waste so much time.
You can start now. It’s not too late to change so you don’t regret it later in life.
Facebook is great for keeping friends and family connected, but the life you desire is not going to be found spending hours a day on Facebook.