Turning It Up to 11: Breaking My Social Media Addiction in 2017

I started 2017 with 10 Resolutions. As of now — February 10 — 9 of them are on track, and I need to get going with the Spanish lessons.

I also started 2017 with a determination to make 2017 my Best Year Ever. And I really believe it can be… but one thing has got to change. I’ve got to break my social media addiction.

I am a gregarious person on social media. I participate in dozens of secret Facebook groups. I chat on Twitter. I encourage people, get into long philosophical discussions, and join in on long strings of jokes or idle chatter.

I can do it for hours a day. But those are hours a day that I need for other stuff. I also think it’s bad for my concentration when I’m working, reading, or writing.

I’ve known for years that it’s a problem. (Sheesh, breaking my internet addiction is on my list of 101 Life Goals. And by the way, no, I’m not going to break my addiction to list-making, ever.)

 

 

I’ve gone through periods where my social media addiction was less of a problem, and also periods of downright denial. From what I’ve heard, those experiences are common with lots of addictions.

Addictions always have their rewards, and that’s especially true of this one. I love feeling connected to people. I learn a lot from them. And honestly, I feel gratified when my comments are liked, responded to in a positive way, or retweeted. It’s probably a little dopamine rush for my brain, reinforcing the habit.

I really believe that breaking my social media addiction is the key to reaching my other goals and to making 2017 my Best Year Yet.

So how am I going to do it? This isn’t a case where I tell Facebook I’m taking a long break. (I’ve tried that before, and I keep peeking anyway.)

I’m going to keep track of my time on social media using the Eternity app. (Sometimes I use the Eternity app to track how much time I spend on everything, which I’m going to be doing for the rest of the month. It gives you pretty pie charts showing how your day was spent, and it’s enlightening, to say the least. This sample chart is from the app developer.)

 

Turning It Up to 11: Breaking My Social Media Addiction

 

I’m going to limit my social media time to 30 minutes a day. To some people, that might sound like a lot. To me, it’s nothing. But I think it will still be enough time to at least stay caught up with the hundreds of people I like and care about.

(Blogging doesn’t count toward that 30 minutes a day. I want to write 2 blog posts a week, and blogging is a concentrated effort, not a constant distraction taking over my life.)

So that’s my 11th resolution, the one that I think will make a profound difference in my life and possibly even in my brain chemistry.

Is it easy for you not to overdose on social media? Or does it wind up being a time suck for you, too? Have you had the experience of cutting back? Let me know in the comments! And thanks for spending some of your precious time reading my blog!

18 Replies to “Turning It Up to 11: Breaking My Social Media Addiction in 2017”

  1. I’ve uninstalled Facebook, then reinstalled it because I was worried about missing birthdays. 30 min a day is a good goal. I’m going to try it. Thanks for this!

  2. Best wishes on your Eleventh Resolution…a worthy goal! This may seem counterproductive, but keep us posted. Lots of us struggle with media addiction.

  3. I agree on the 30 minute limit, although I have yet to manage that. I get lost on Facebook. I also play some word games, etc. on there. I think I need to actually bring a timer in and set it. That MIGHT work. It’s so hard to break bad habits. Thanks for the encouragement. I enjoy your Facebooks though, so please don’t stop.

  4. My biggest challenge is finding balance. I don’t spend enough time on social media which I’ll need to do to gain more followers on my blog. The problem is I’ll set up a schedule for the time I spend on various social media sites, get burned out and stop altogether.

    1. A. Marie, you and I are opposites. 🙂 I’ll admit that spending a lot of time on social media has helped me as a writer… but I just overdo it! You’re so right — it’s hard to find balance. Thanks for commenting!

  5. Yes, social media can be a time suck for me, and I do tend to overdose. Some days I’m hardly online at all, and other days I find myself spending way too much time engaging with others. The key for me is finding balance. I enjoy social media so I doubt if I’ll ever cut it out completely, but I do need to rein it in a bit. I hope your 30 minutes a day is successful.

  6. I freeze out all social media and mail from 0500 to 1100. Major angst attacks compensated by balance and productivity.

    Unfortunately, like what you describe, most apps of this type are restricted to the 16% of the world’s PC users that use Apple proprietary hardware.

    I’ve used various browser-based tools, but I’ve had issues where they apparently got ‘confused’ and needed an uninstall, then an install to fix.

    I did find a Real multi-platform tool, that works independently of browsers. Cold Turkey. The free version needs to be ‘set’ for each use. The one-time fee version allows scheduling. It works, but I would like more flexibility.

    http://matryoschka.com

  7. Yay! Now I can spend my day following all these great comments! Good post, Bryn. My “new” social media plan is to interact intensely in the morning and evening- about an hour each session which includes reading blog posts. Then I do quick ‘pop-ins” during the day. I enjoy it all and I have time to get my goals done each day. Bet- I am now using notecards to keep track of my daily goals.

  8. Yay! Now I can spend my day following all these great comments! Good post, Bryn. My “new” social media plan is to interact intensely in the morning and evening- about an hour each session which includes reading blog posts. Then I do quick ‘pop-ins” during the day. I enjoy it all and I have time to get my goals done each day. BTW- I am now using notecards to keep track of my daily goals.

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