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How To Break Your Social Media Habits

Updated on July 2, 2013

Social Media

How To Break Your Social Media Habits

You may be craving a cigarette break or after work drink, but the allure of Facebook and Twitter is even harder to ignore. A new study shows that texting and social media are more difficult to resist than having another beer or mid-day smoke.

To examine our inability to resist our constant cravings, researchers from the University of Chicago outfitted 205 subjects with Blackberrys. For seven days, the researchers messaged the volunteers to ask them about their urges within the past 30 minutes—what kind of desire they experienced, how strong it was and whether they were they able to resist.

The results provided a snapshot of what many of us feel each day. Fighting the urge to log into Facebook or send another tweet is often a losing battle. “Resisting the desire to work was likewise prone to fail,”

And here comes my personal obsession and experience. I would say I am no longer a very Social Media orientated person anymore. I don’t tweet or post pictures on Instagram. That being said, I once was. Facebook was my biggest addiction. Scrolling up and down, looking at the same feeds, playing games and leveling up was how I passed most of my time. Before going to school and right after coming back, I had to hop on my bed, open my laptop and cut my crops on FarmVille, before it was too late.

A typical Facebook edict? I beg to differ. Even though I did spend most of my time on Facebook, but I did know that I was doing something wrong and wasteful. I was not totally unaware of the fact that I had become sleep deprived, tired and lazy after days of monotones games. At first, it felt good to level up and send invites to friends to receive better gifts. Instead of a silver coin, I could get gold coins. But after a while, it started to fade out of my system. The games did not appeal so much as they once did. I had spent over $50 on buying extra goodies and making premium accounts.

I do know that it sounds very cliché that you get bored of playing the same game over and over again but its true. Trust me when I say that. And once you start to feel bored, it’s not too late before you have a revelation that this is not the right place to spend you time or money on!! Everything you do is not real. Surprise Surprise. My friends asked me not to send any more requests on Facebook regarding links or apps. Drumrolls…That's when I ‘reduced’ my time spent on Facebook. And I think, that is how I broke my worst Social Media Habbit. It’s more of a messaging place for me now than it is to ‘enjoy’ my free time. Just remember that it is after all, a place to connect with people online but it is not as important as connecting to people in person.

The addictive nature of social media may be the result of its “high availability,” say the researchers. In addition, with addictive substances such as alcohol and tobacco, there’s a clear message about the negative impacts on your health and wallet. That’s not as apparent with Facebook or Twitter.

The researchers also found that “as a day wears on, willpower becomes lower and self-control efforts are more likely to fail.”

So if you want to stop posting about the latest episode of CSI when you should be sleeping, you might need to lock up your phone and computer.

Questions about social media! Ask them before you post it. Give it a shot.

Is it necessary to share this? Will it add value to my life and for other people?


Can I share this experience later so I can focus on living it now?


Am I looking for validation? Is there something I could do to validate myself?


Am I avoiding something I need to do instead of addressing why I don’t want to do it?


Am I feeling bored? Is there something else I could do to feel more purposeful and engaged in my day?


Am I feeling lonely? Have I created opportunities for meaningful connection in my day?


Am I afraid of missing out? Is the gratification of giving in to that fear worth missing out on what’s in front of me?


Am I overwhelming myself, trying to catchup? Can I let go of yesterday’s conversation and join today’s instead?


Can I use this time to simply be instead of looking for something to do to fill it?

Don’t know if you are addicted to social media? Find out with these questions!


1. You read, comment, and promote someone’s blog about nothing.

Folks, this really happened. Ask our friend Gini Dietrich about it. A blog about nothing became widely read, promoted, and commented on. There is no doubt her friendly ways and generally fabulous content contributed to it, but—a blog about nothing?! With so much insightful content, shouldn’t we spend our time on the Internet reading a blog about “something”?

2. Hashtags in your email.

It starts in emails, texts, and other non-social platforms, and then you start speaking with @. It’s a slippery slope, but trust me, you didn’t meet @thedomesticexec, you met and chatted with a person—and that person is named Michelle Kay.

3. Check in on Foursquare—everywhere you go!

Are you the mayor of your house, your convenience store, the local bakery, the Starbucks around the corner, the Shell station down the street, and the corner watering hole? Get. Help.

4. Following or listing your pet.

This sign probably relates to the same people who believe their animals can speak. Folks, your animal should not have a social media account on Twitter or Facebook, and definitely not on LinkedIn. If they could speak, they would tell you, “You are crazy.”

5. It’s “first” in the morning.

If you check your mentions, messages, retweets, live stream, or any other page associated with any of your social media accounts prior to brushing your teeth or using the washroom, you are definitely addicted. If you check any of those things immediately after brushing your teeth, you are on the “High Risk” list. Try eating breakfast first, moving the blood to your “brain” may prove helpful in the actions that follow.


6. You update your status while out with “real people.”

Are you updating your status while on a dinner date with your spouse or significant other? You’re obsessed. Do you tweet or post on Facebook #justmet or other @hashable content before you finish the meeting? One word: nutso.

7. You share everything.

This one may be the worst, and it probably deserves its own 12 most list. If you feel the need to share your every thought and wish, and lose all inhibition on your Facebook page, please stop. You, singlehandedly, are the reason for my disdain of the platform. There is such a thing as too much information, and it’s rife on social media. Friends of mine that do this, consider yourselves warned. Next step: I block you and change my phone number.

8. Your Empire Avenue portfolio becomes more important than your actual one.

Please, please, please tell me you check the value of your actual stock portfolio before you check that of your Empire Avenue portfolio? Being rich on EAV yet being without work in real life is a real problem.

9. Involve yourself in social media activities that don’t involve you.

Do you become active in chats, causes, and events that you don’t actually contribute, donate to, or attend? If you do, you are a “social crackhead.”

10. Dreaming in 140.

Do you tweet in your dreams? If it happens once, it may be just a coincidence. If this is a daily/nightly occurrence, you need to see a specialist.

11. “Liking” your own content.

Not only is this a sign that you are an addict, it is also a sign that you are a total narcissist. If you would publicly walk down the street and scream, “I am awesome, smart, good looking, funny, etc…” then you get a hall pass on this. In that case you are not addicted to social media, you are just in love with yourself.

12. Klout becomes your social currency.

I would rather have a few close friends and a job than a high Klout score. So far, I’ve met exactly 11 other people in social media who share that sentiment.

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