Six tips to get out of the social media vortex and make time for yourself
As the end of the quarter quickly approaches, students will be putting their noses to the grindstone (or textbook) to get into crunch mode before time runs out. The thing that seems to suck most of the time out of our schedules is one that Millennials have developed a love-hate relationship with: social media.
Several “five minute” Facebook breaks or pauses to document study sessions on Snapchat add up and prevent students from studying the way they want to. The only solution is a social media cleanse. While it may not be easy, here are six helpful tips so you can hopefully find a little more time to study and make time for yourself.
- Unfollow celebrity pages
This means unliking Facebook pages like Buzzfeed, Spoon University and even Harry Potter or Ryan Reynolds. It’s hard to resist celebrity gossip, and watching Tastemade’s next big avocado recipe is irresistible — that’s why it’s best to simply unlike them. This way, you’re only receiving updates from real people that you know and care about. You’ll likely find yourself on social media for a lot less time than before.
- Stop using your phone before bed and first thing in the morning
Invest a little money in a real alarm clock (portable ones are available on Amazon for as low as $11). Using your phone as an alarm clock means that it’s probably the last thing you see before you close your eyes and the first thing you check when you wake up — and more often than not, turning off your alarm is simply a precursor to checking social media. Setting an alarm on a real clock means you’re less likely to depend on your phone every day. You’ll have more time to study, write papers and be productive.
- Give your passwords to a friend, log out and delete apps
This tip is for the individuals that are 100 percent committed to the cleanse. Instead of simply logging out, give a trusted friend your current passwords. Then, ask them to change your passwords so that you can’t get into your accounts. Once they’ve done so, log out from social media sites and delete the apps from your phone.
- Give your friends a heads-up, and set aside time to meet
Let your closest circle of friends know that you plan to be off your social media platforms until the end of finals week, but plan to stay connected by spending time together in real life instead. A quick 30-minute date to grab coffee or an hourlong workout with a buddy can be way more refreshing than a Snapchat conversation (as funny as they are, with all the filters.)
- Spend time online somewhere else
Instead of typing in “Facebook” every time you want a quick break online, set your homepage to a website like freerice.com. Choose to answer questions in a variety of subjects: English vocabulary, foreign language, anatomy, geography and more. For every correct answer, 10 grains of rice are donated through the United Nations’ World Food Programme to people living in hunger. Free Rice has helped serve over 10 billion meals, which makes this a win-win-win situation: spend time off of social media, test your brain with trivia questions and donate food to those in need. It’ll leave you with a good feeling.
- Get into journaling
Pics or it didn’t happen — social media is considered documentation. Journaling is the exact same thing in a different medium. Use a real journal, a Word document, Google Doc or even the notes app on your phone to reflect on your day. The best thing about journaling is that it forces you to both live in the moment and look back on it. It’ll make you savor a good moment and give you more to write about later.
Written by: Anjali Bhat — firstname.lastname@example.org