Social Media is, of course, one of the greatest inventions of mankind. And within the last few years, we have seen a tremendous increase in the number of possibilities with this tool. But unlike other tools we have invented, the internet, and the social media inclusive, is an alluring but addictive beauty. And when something becomes addictive, it becomes abnormal.
This rabbit-hole phenomena we experience with social media is because of the multi-use capacity of the tool. The scissors is a single use tool. You only use it when you need to cut through paper or cloth. But with the internet, you can do so many things. In fact, one use leads to another. From checking a status update, you can go on to searching the internet for a particular thing referred to in the status. Then you would see a video that piqued your curiosity. So you watch it, then another video plays automatically and another and another. Before you know it, the sun goes down and you are yet to do something tangible since sunrise.
But it is daunting to think of taking time out from social media for the average youth even though personal development experts say reducing your usage of social media would allow for more productivity. How else can one stay updated with the latest trends, connect with your friends and family, business partners, and other things the social media affords the opportunity to do with a click?
Maybe quitting social media altogether is never an option for you. So, let’s talk about how you can make use of social media in the most productive way possible – how can maximize the time you spend on social media apps?
1. Define your usage
Define what social media means to you. If social media is work for you, perfect. But if it is not, that is a different scenario and thus, a different approach to how you will use it. This clarification would help you know which of these apps and websites are important to you.
You don’t have to be on every social media app, just the ones that matter are enough.Tweet
You should ask yourself these questions and answer them truthfully.
- What does social media do for me?
- What would happen if I took a month off the blue and green screen?
- Is the value I am getting in return worth the energy I’m inputting?
This may sound odd but the only way to make the best use of anything is to know what you want from it.
A scissor is used by tailors to cut fabrics but another set of people use it to cut paper. In fact, scissors can be used to cut a variety of things and its usefulness is determined by the user.
It is the same for social media. It is a tool you can wield to achieve many things. To maximize the time you spend on it, be specific about what purpose it serves you.
2. Have a mental list what you want to achieve
Professionals in the social media industry understand that without discipline and proper schedule they will be unable to do their jobs well. So they employ different tools to help them spend less time and yet get more done. Scheduling is a powerful tool that they use to achieve this. Let’s take a cue from that.
Writing a to-do list for using social media may sound bizarre, but if that works for you, then it is fine. You are certainly not superman. You cannot always control the itch to click the links. That’s also fine.
However, the takeaway is that you should have a clear picture of what you want to do and when you want to do it every time you use your social media apps.
3. Allot time for your social media usage
You are not an on-demand service. You don’t have to be available all the time.Mel Robbins
Just like Parkinson’s law predicted about work, your social media usage would fill every vacuum of unused time in your day. And it can take a whole day if you don’t mind. But if you are serious about maximizing your time on social media apps, let your visit to the apps have a definite beginning and an end.
A Bonus tip: Take advantage of Digital Wellbeing Function on your smartphone.
Digital Wellbeing is a function that comes with smartphones operating on Android OS. It allows you to track your screen usage and how time you spend on each app. You can use it to set timers for every app on your device. Also, there is a focus mode that allows you to freeze selected apps for a particular period of time. You can access it on your Android device (for version 9 & above) through the Settings app. There is also the option of making it a standalone app for easier access.
On a final note.
My proposition is that your life would be much better if you can make the best use of social media. ‘Best use’ can only be defined by you. However, it surely involves maximizing the time you spend on social media. But remember social media is just a tool, so be sure of what you want to achieve with it.
How do you manage your time on social media? I’ll like to hear from you in the comments.