Fighting Social Media Addiction
Every morning I wake up exhausted. I press the snooze button over and over until I barely have time to get ready for work. I tear through the morning, starting my day stressed and already feeling behind. Sound familiar? I function best on 8++ hours of sleep. 8 hours being the minimum required to avoid violent mood swings, threats of bodily harm, and tolerance for hearing noise crankiness. Yet I rarely find myself getting it.
My problem begins in the evening. I arrive home from work thinking, “I don’t have to sleep for 5 hours. I have so much time.” I sit down to scroll through Instagram and Facebook and all of a sudden it’s 10 o’clock (when I should be laying down in bed), and I haven’t peeled my ass off the couch, showered or moved laundry around. How does this happen? Because I think I have so much time, I don’t keep a schedule or routine. I believe that “relaxation” and “down time” will make me happy, yet in practice I just have a disgusting untidy apartment, unmet goals, a neglected husband and no sleep.
I’m going to confess something stupid and embarrassing in hopes of publicly shaming myself into stopping. When I get off work, I check Instagram in the car before I drive away. When I go to the store, I stay in the car and scroll Facebook. When I get home, I sit in the parking lot and check Instagram again before I go inside. I probably log about an hour of social media time between getting off work & walking in my front door. Then I sit on the couch and surf more. Is it any wonder I get nothing else done?
This month, I want to get off social media and fix my evening routine to stop sucking so bad at life increase my quality of life across the board. I plan to spend less time online, go to sleep earlier, and bonus! produce more blog content.
For the first week of this month, I’m staying off social media entirely. No Facebook, no Instagram, no Pinterest, no reading other blogs. I use these activities to fill time, procrastinate, and generally avoid living. I need to re-learn how to deal with down time.
After my social media break, I plan to return with a plan. No more aimless scrolling. Before I open a smart phone app or web page, I will decide the point of my time online. Will I post an image and message to Instagram? Look for specific information from someone’s profile? Before any aimless surfing, I must complete my to-do list and set a timer to limit getting sucked into the black hole of the interwebs wasting time.
I plan to create a to-do list for my evenings now. Yes, unorganized, flighty me. Isn’t that adorable? I have experimented with this for the last week, and when I actually follow the list, wonderful things happen. Laundry gets folded! Clean dishes appear in the cabinet! Seeing all the tasks waiting for completion keeps me focused and makes me realize that I don’t have unlimited evening time. This makes staying off social media an easier decision.
To get more sleep, I set a phone alarm for 9:00. At that time, I plan to drop everything to shower, do some relaxing yoga and sleep. In the past, I simply ignored this alarm, but now I will remind myself of the motivation behind it. Do I like waking up wanting to fling the clock across the room grumpy and dragging through each day?
To do lists, social media restrictions, bedtime alarms. These major overhauls to my evening routine will not happen instantly or painlessly. To keep motivation and help me remember why I’m doing it, I posted a page that lists my goals and the reasoning behind each goal in our living room. It may sound stupid like overkill, but I think it will help me transition. Before my new routine becomes second nature, I will need a LOT of help.
Although it will take work to change my habits so drastically, I know it will help me create a happier life. Less time on social media will translate to more time “having fun” with my husband. If I can conquer my evenings, I will spend free time and weekends doing what I love instead of scrambling to catch up. Plus, you guys will all know if I fail. Talk about peer pressure!
Please share: do you struggle finding balance between social media and “real” life? Do you have a system or routine that helps you get everything done? How do you balance household chores and down time?