Breaking the Social Media Habit and Replacing it with Something Else

More and more lately, I find myself scrolling through social media a lot throughout the day. It's been the first thing I check when I get up in the morning, the last thing I check before I go to bed at night and it's taking up entirely too much of my time during the day. I've been reading the same books for over a month, have been really slow to get back into blogging after taking a break from it for a while, and haven't even worked on any of my craft projects that I've had going for quite a while.

There is nothing wrong with social media in and of itself, but it was taking over my life. Almost all of my conversations with Matt started with "This article I read on Facebook...." or "This photo I saw on Instagram..." It's been pretty ridiculous.

There are three things I've done to help me limit my social media time and replace it with reading and studying the Bible.

I've placed my Bible, prayer journal and the books I'm reading next to the couch in our living room. This was one of the prime places for me to get sucked into social media because it's where I sit to feed Tyrion first thing in the morning and throughout the day. I used to find myself sitting there feeding him and looking for something to do only to realize I had left my book or my Bible study materials in another room. Instead of disturbing the baby, I would simply start scrolling through social media to  fill the time.

I carry a book with me whenever I leave the house. Anytime I have to wait (the doctor's office, school pick up, even a long grocery line) now I have something to read to occupy the time.

I installed the YouVersion Bible app on my phone. This gives me the option to read the Bible anytime, anywhere without having to carry the physical book with me everywhere. The app gives you the ability to read many different translations as well as a wide variety of devotionals and reading plans.

I still use both Instagram and Facebook because both Matt and I have family members that don't live close by so we like to share pictures of the boys and look at the pictures of their kids as they grow. I also use both platforms to keep up with a few blogs I enjoy following. Other than those two uses, I have worked on cutting back dramatically the amount of time I spend on social media.

There are many other ways to cut back on social media use, here are three.

Delete the apps from your smartphone. If you have to go to your computer to use them you are far less likely to waste as much time on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Unless you work on a computer all day, then this might not help as much.

Get an accountability partner. By having someone check in with you on a regular basis about how you are doing with kicking the social media habit, you might feel more inclined to stay away. Just like with weight loss or quitting smoking having someone hold you accountable can be just the push you need to keep doing well with it.

Block your internet access. Even if you just do this during certain times of the day, it can help you turn those times into more productive periods and remove the temptation to spend hours scrolling through Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. This could work particularly well if you work on a computer for a good portion of the day. Work offline for a few hours before allowing yourself the opportunity to go online to check emails.

Not everyone will want to replace social media with reading, but many of these ideas can work for other things as well. If you wanted to replace social media with time spent crafting, for example, bring your smaller craft projects with you to take advantage of any time spent waiting. It's all about finding ways to make your time work for you rather than wasting it doing things that don't really bring you joy.

What are some other things you can think of that would help replace social media with productivity?

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