Today I’m sharing some reasons as mums we need to reduce social media based on my experience.
I won’t deny that social media is useful for connecting with friends, promoting your brand/blog, and getting your content out there. But I think often we think of Social Media as a free toy, instead of as a tool that also has setbacks.
Let’s look at five social media setbacks, which I believe are strong enough to convince us to reduce social media.
5 Reasons To Reduce Social Media
1. It’s addictive
Let’s face it, SM is addictive. It’s not by accident that scrolling resembles casino slot machines: visual graphics, quick information, and videos that will keep us entertained (and numb) for hours all at the scroll of our fingertips.
Social Media’s multiple features – messages, voice notes, videos, graphics – are intentionally designed to keep us glued to the platforms.
Social media is free for a reason: advertisement. But the only way the creators can make money is by hooking us into the platform.
SM’s addictive qualities are so effective they produce an effect similar to cocaine in the brain, create cravings and can even cause “phantom calls and notifications” where users sense the buzz of a phone when it isn’t there.
Apart from social media’s effect on the brain, there’s also the fact that its use leads to increased screen time, which also has negative effects on us.
2. It’s distracting
Ever found yourself going on your phone just to check your messages, and before you know it, 20 minutes have gone by? Join the club.
One reason I did a Social Media fast a few weeks ago was that I constantly got distracted with it when I was in the middle of doing housework, or spending time with the kids.
Instead of simply being in the moment, I was creating content, communicating with people on the other side of the world, and taking photos to post later on my platforms. My kids noticed, my meals got burnt (no kidding) and my brain was in overdrive.
I got to a point where I said no!
3. It’s antisocial
This one may come as a shock, nevertheless, it’s true. Have you ever been out with someone for a meal, only to get annoyed because they’re constantly on their phone? Yes, me too.
So-called social platforms, while allowing us to send messages to people from all over the world, also keep us from socializing with the people in front of us.
Well, surely there’s some balance! – you may be thinking. Yes, I think social media is an important tool for keeping in touch with people who live far away when no other option is possible. But I also believe we need to be careful that Social Media does not interfere with our face-to-face relationships.
4. It pressurizes us to be always reachable
This is one of my pet peeves with Social Media tools such as WhatsApp. There’s almost this mindset that everyone needs to be on it, and that people need to be active in groups and answer messages instantly.
I’m sorry but, no. I won’t let myself be pressured that way. I was not created to be in constant contact with everyone, and neither were you. It’s absolutely ok to tune out of WhatsApp for a day or two. The world will survive. And your friends? Maybe they’ll realize that they can chat to the people in front of them too!
5. It induces over-sharing
One of the other reasons I decided to go on a social media fast was that I noticed that I was in a stage of over-sharing information about myself.
Because I was chatting with so many people who I couldn’t see face-to-face, sometimes I shared things without thinking them through first (which I do in the real world).
I also sometimes shared social media content for this blog without aligning it to my values as a content creator, because I wanted to get views.
It was actually when I took a step back from social media one weekend that I saw my failings in this area, but by God’s grace, I repented and took a step back.
How do we reduce social media?
Ok, now that we’ve established that social media is a tool that needs to be used wisely, the next question becomes: how? How can we reduce it in practical terms?
I’ll give you three quick ways:
– Put your phone on focus mode, in which you choose to disable certain apps during a customizable timeframe. (You could do this with Whatsapp, for instance, and then just put focus mode on a break a couple of times a day to check messages)
– Delete social apps – use only web versions for when you’re on your desktop
– Turn the internet off your phone for complete SM fasting days (this one is more drastic, but it is effective in keeping you more focused on your tasks)
Social media has many benefits, such as keeping in touch with friends and family who live far away, sharing information with large groups of people and driving traffic to websites.
But because social media platforms are free, they have many setbacks: they are addictive, distracting, anti-social, pressurizing and they can induce over-sharing.
So when using social media, it’s important to create boundaries, scheduled breaks, and establish business and blog policies to make sure content is aligned with core values.