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Easy Ways to Limit Your Time on Social Media Networks

Updated on June 13, 2012

Limits for Online Activities

Do you spend too much time online?
Do you spend too much time online? | Source

Social Media Networks and Your Day

Social media networks are part of many people's days. While some people access the networks on a sporadic basis, other people consider logging on to their favorite social media websites to be a staple within their days.

You may want to limit your social media usage during your day for a variety of reasons. Reasons include:

  • You are unproductive at work; time spent on social media is time taken away from work.
  • Your computer activity is getting in the way of time spent with family and friends.
  • You want to have more time to exercise and do other activities.

There are easy ways to limit your social media usage during the day.

Time Yourself on the Networks

Log off when it is time.
Log off when it is time. | Source

Limit Usage with a Clock

One of the ways to limit your social media usage is to make use of clocks available to you. For example, use the clock that appears on your computer's browser. Pay attention to the time of the day when you first log on to your favorite network. Decide how much time you want to spend on each network that day or a total amount.

Keep yourself to this schedule. When the time reaches the goal number, such as 2:30pm, force yourself to log off of the social media network. The first few times that you use this approach, you may find that you feel you need more time to finish your online activities or that you cannot abruptly stop at a certain time.

When you feel this way, move on to the next approach that I call Putting Social Media Activities into Perspective.

Re-prioritize Online Usage

Yes, you can "Like" this photo online tomorrow. It can wait!
Yes, you can "Like" this photo online tomorrow. It can wait! | Source

Put Social Media Networks into Perspective

Limit your online activities by putting them into perspective. When you need to log off of the social media networks, you may feel compelled to stay on longer if these are your thoughts:

  • You may get a reaction to an article or photo you just posted on the network.
  • You are awaiting a reply to a question you asked earlier.
  • You might be randomly contacted by an online connection.

These feelings relate to FOMO or the Fear of Missing Out. You fear that when you leave the computer you will miss out on activities among your connections. Shift your perspective and you will find it easier to log off of the social media networks.

Begin by reprioritizing your day. Decide what you absolutely need to get done today. Where do the social media networks fit into the equation? Do they help you get these set tasks done or are they taking up valuable time?

When you assess the level of importance of the networks within your particular day, you will likely find it easier to limit the amount of time you spend using them. Remember that you have goals to stick to for the day and focus your attentions on these activities rather than the online communications.

As well, shift your perspective by asking yourself these questions:

  • Will it matter if I Like that photo on Facebook tomorrow rather than today?
  • Will the world end if I do not access Google+ today?
  • Will my friends stop talking to me if I am too busy to comment on their newest Tweets?

Likely the answers to these questions are "No". When you pose these questions to yourself, you assess the urgency and importance of the social media networks within your day. Doing so will help you limit your usage during the day.

Document Your Usage on Paper

Are you surprised at your time spent online?
Are you surprised at your time spent online? | Source

Record Times You Spend Online

Another way to limit the amount of time you spend on social media is to record how long you typically spend on the networks during the day. You may not even realize the amount of minutes on average spent on Facebook or your other favorite network.

Start your day as you normally would, without trying to limit your time on the networks. Record in a day planner or on the computer how many minutes you spend on each website and whether you access the same ones more than once during the day.

At the end of the day, take a look at the list. You may be surprised! Ask yourself if you used your hours wisely that day. Could you have spent the thirty minutes on Google+ working on your next writing project instead? Should you have taken care of those bills that are due in two days?

You will be able to see the results of your day. From here, you are able to judge how much you want to access social media networks in the future and which ones are valuable to you during your day. Decide how you want to spend your online time.

Keep your original list of times as a physical reminder for you to stay on track!

Online Networks and You

To limit the amount of time you spend on social media networks, you can use a variety of easy methods. Record your daily online activities to be able to gage how effectively you spend your computer time. Put your social media activities into perspective by assessing the level of importance during your day. Another method is to use a clock to limit precisely how much time you spend on one or more networks. While online activities are useful, sometimes they need to be curtailed in favor of other activities both on and off of the computer.

Do You...

Do You Lose Track Of Time On Social Media Networks?

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    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      2 years ago from Brazil

      I have allowed myself to fall in the habit of checking Facebook too often. It is something I need to restrict as I feel it is time wasted. Your method of writing it down would be an eye opener, I'm sure.

    • Lady_E profile image


      4 years ago from London, UK

      I used to think I needed 25 hours a day, but this Hub sure helps. :-)

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Jane, you are so right! Easy to lose track of the minutes some days. Thanks for sharing my hub!

    • profile image

      Jane Carroll 

      6 years ago

      I am trying some of these is so easy to get lost in Social Media and forget everything being really social...thanks!

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @georgescifo, yes planning and keeping an eye on the time is important. Thanks for your comment here.

      @janismus, So true!

    • georgescifo profile image


      6 years ago from India

      Thanks for the Hub. overall planning is one of the best way to limit your time on social media networks.

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 

      6 years ago from Pune, India

      Great tips, useful for addicts......

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Alipuckett, there are a few of those programs but as you say I don't know of a really good one. Thanks for stopping by to comment.

      @Jainismus, I appreciate the read and share too.

    • alipuckett profile image


      6 years ago

      I wish there were a really good, all-inclusive social media aggregator. I think I would spend less time overall, if I could see everything in one place.

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 

      6 years ago from Pune, India

      Nice, well written and useful Hub, voted up and shared with followers.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Angela, Yes I have had that happen myself and so I wanted to share some useful tips that helped me. Glad you enjoyed the hub!

    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 

      6 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      This is really great advice KristiWrites. It is very easy to get sucked into hours of networks at a time and completely lose your objective. I will share this!

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank-you MsLofton!

    • MsLofton profile image


      6 years ago from IL


    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @teaches, yes social media really is the buzz word these days. People of all ages are actually getting hooked. Thank-you, I do hope my suggestions are helpful to readers (when they are ready to listen and read!).

      @Jools, It may take practice with time management but the scheduling aspect will get easier the more days you do it. I am pleased you are able to use the tips and wish you well!

      @Vinaya, Oh those time differences! You are a night person but you do have good reasons for this. Many writers actually prefer to work at night rather than during the day. Thank-you for the kind comment Vinaya.

      @Marc, you are correct that social media can take away from income-earning activities. Balance really is the key. Thanks for the comment!

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Rajan, How nice that you find the hub helpful! Thank-you for the votes, share and thoughtful comment as well.

      @Sunshine, I'm sure the waterproof case is being patented as we speak! Have a great weekend my friend.

      @Jackie, I am glad you make time for yourself away from social media. You do have your priorities correct. Thanks for the comment.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      Social media sure has put some new worksite policies into place. The younger generation seems to be hooked on it and it is hard for them to pull away from SM during the day. Your suggestions will help do discover where the priorities line up for each person.

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools Hogg 

      6 years ago from North-East UK

      I probably spend more time on HubPages commenting than I do on Facebook but however long it is, it is too long! I am neglecting other things and I have decided to do as you suggest and limit myself using my watch - I am hopeless though, if I am into something, I just can't be dragged away.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      6 years ago from Nepal

      Interestingly, I do not spend long time on social media during the day, sometimes I even don't log in. But I spend long time on social media during the late evening. Sometimes I go to bed at 4AM. This is because most of the people I connect on social media live in the other part of the planet.

      But anyway, I will remember your points, starting this evening.

    • Marc Babineau profile image

      Marc Babineau 

      6 years ago from Cornwall, Ontario, The Seaway City

      My problem is that i don't use social networking enough!

      Some great tips and advice for those people who spend way too much unproductive time on social networking sites, especially when they could be making money otherwise!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Social networking sites are addictive and one doesn't realize it till one sees that he has not been as productive as he should have been. Great tips. I really needed them.

      Thanks for sharing.

      Voted up, useful and shared.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      You have some great ideas Christy, I agree with them all. Pre- iPhone days I was well behaved BUT now with an iPhone in the palm of my hand and unlimited internet usage I'm a wild woman! Uncontrollable! Well, unless I'm sleeping then I can control my media usage. Oh and in the shower. I wonder if there is a waterproof case for bathing? Haha!!!:)

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      6 years ago from The Beautiful South

      It may seem I spend my life here but I sure don't. I stole a few minutes a couple of times today and here it is almost bedtime before I could get back. I agree though, I think many people and especially mothers with young children should limit themselves. Family should always come first.


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