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How to Tame the Social Media Beast
If you waste too much time on social media, this article will give you tips on how to conquer excessive social media and Internet use.
Social media is a beast. We start our Internet time browsing Facebook, then we click on a link a friend posted to a fun blog, and from that blog we surf to a forum, and then we remember we still haven't checked our email, or Pinterest, or Twitter...you get the idea. Before we know it, the beast has devoured us, hours wasted accomplishing absolutely nothing, sometimes neglecting our home, our work, or even our children (they can only spend so long watching Sesame Street). Although social media has its undoubted benefits, if we don't conquer the beast, it can become our master.
So how do we tame the social media beast?
The problem is a lack of awareness as to how we're spending our time. It's a mad mix of missing time management and ignoring self-control. We frequently use the Internet as a release, letting it do the thinking for us as it guides us from thrill to thrill. We can see and be seen in a startlingly brief amount of time. The dangers are unprecedented; however, let's assume you already know that and focus on how to stop the maniacal cycle.
Step 1: Get used to paying attention to what you're doing. If you started on one website but suddenly find yourself four websites away, you're starting to let the social media beast creep in. Shut the door on the beast and ask yourself these questions:
Step 3: When the timer goes off, save your open websites, shut down the computer, and walk away. Find something else more important to keep yourself occupied (tackle that laundry pile or scrub that shower). If the websites are important, make time to get back to them later in the day or the next day. If you find that you don't have enough time to get back to them, they likely weren't very important in the first place.
Step 4: Do this every day! It helps to have someone hold you accountable. It may take a month, and it may be difficult at first, but persistence and self-control pay off. Filter out what social media you can. However, after a while, you may find that the social media beast loses its grip on you. Don't let it capture you again.
An addiction to and reliance on the Internet and social media is a very real and sometimes dangerous thing. Don't be afraid to seek outside help if you're having a hard time curbing your Internet cravings.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist. I am simply a mom who understands the lure of social media. My desire is to share my tips and encourage you to tame the beast; however, if you're having trouble with a serious addiction, always seek a professional for help.
For more information on Internet addiction, read "Warning Signs and Symptoms of Internet Addiction."
For more information on social media problems, read "The Problem With the Media's Social Media Addiction" and the "Criticisms" section of Wikipedia's social media entry.