In yesterday’s blog post we talked about the time we spend vegging out in front of the TV or computer and how that time slips away from us. Today, I want to tackle another big time thief – social media.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s an amazing tool, but it can also be quite distracting. It doesn’t matter if it’s Facebook, Pinterest, Tumbler, Instagram, or your social media platform of choice.
The biggest problem with social media is that it’s everywhere. We check in from our computers, tablets, and of course the ever-present smart phone. We get alerts, we check in when we’re bored or have a couple of minutes to kill, and before we know it, thirty minutes or more have gone by that we’re not getting back.
Here’s an eye-opening exercise for you. Carry a pen and paper around with you, get a click counter or an app on your phone and start keeping track of how many times you access social media per day. Include any and all devices you use and add to the running total even when you’re just looking at it “for a second”.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll be shocked by how high that number actually is.
This is one distraction that isn’t usually caught by the time log we talked about a few days ago since most social media interactions are quick and frequent. Trust me though, no matter how briefly you access each platform, it all starts to add up and distracts you from other things.
How often do you miss part of a conversation or a fun moment with your kids because you were busy commenting on a Facebook post, retweeting something, or pinning a fun craft idea that you likely won’t get around to trying?
Is social media really worth missing all those important little moments in life? And think about the productive and positive activities that you’d have time and mental energy for if you weren’t constantly distracted by social media?
The goal of this program is to live more intentionally and do things with purpose. We don’t want to let social media posts distract us from that goal. I’m not saying that there isn’t a time to use social media, far from it. Social Media programs and apps are wonderful tools and great ways to connect (and reconnect) with people. But they are also dangerously addictive…
Don’t believe me?
Here’s another exercise for you. Commit to not using social media at all for 48 hours. Turn off or ignore the alerts on your phone and don’t allow yourself to go to social media sites on your computer. How does the thought of doing that make you feel? Do you miss it, even before you’ve committed to the 48 hour “break”? Does it make you nervous or anxious?
It’s time to take control over social media instead of letting it control us. What can you change, starting today to make that happen?