I’ve created a social media diet for myself. I invite everyone to join me. After all we’re consuming social media like it’s wine during a pandemic because we long for connection and togetherness. Let’s do this diet together! Like many others I have found myself sucked into a social media gluttony. Actually I didn’t even realize I had over-indulged. It was a subtle desent into the abyss of my hand held device. I rationalized that social media was a neccessary part of my life as a blogger and business founder in an age when marketing has largely migrated to social media – I dove in head first. I have multiple Facebook and Instagram pages, a Pinterest business page and both a personal and business Linked-in account. I’ve been tempted by Twitter but managed to resist so far. Beyond social media, I have downloaded many apps for businesses, youtube, podcasting, apps for everything from driving directions to music to even meditation. I also found myself frequently searching the news feed on my phone for interestng articles and feeling compelled to share them on Facebook – how did I get sucked into this as a conscious person who decided to give up media news in 2014 and even talk radio in 2015. Here I am now consuming main stream and even odd stream news. From a variety of print and television news sources that are now online. I cancelled my cable TV but I’ve increased my screen time. This is not the intention that I had when I cancelled mainstream media. How did this happen? Then I watched the Netflix production called, The Social Dilemma. Everyone one should watch, The Social Dilemma. Now I understand, my behavior was changed subtly in the direction of more screen time by a well meaning tech industry. So, it’s time for a diet. I’m taking back my life, my consciousness and my time. I’m reducing the influence of the new mainstream media – social media.
First I needed to know how bad it was. My iphone has a tracker of my screen and social media time. I took a screen shot of this so I would have a base to measure my success with this diet overtime. I invite each of you to take a screen shot of your screen time tracker today. My average daily screen time is 4 hours and 47 minutes. My total hours for the week is 19hours (3 days so far this week) and 9 minutes. Pickups is another indicator to watch. I have 108 pick ups in one day this week. My most used apps are Facebook, followed by Chrome (internet searches), News, Messages, and Instagram. In that order. Noted. I want Facebook to be at the end of that list by the time my diet is finished. I’ve now set a goal for my diet. I also want my pickups and my screen time to be cut in half. These are my measures for success. I challenge each of you to creat similar goals that make sense for you – and watch the film first, then after you understand how you’ve been manipulated. Create your goal.
Then create your diet, or follow mine if that makes sense for your own goals and behavior pattern.
Here is my diet plan to reduce screen time, restrict times of the day that I am consumed and reduce influence from social media on my life:
Waking: Check the time on my phone only. Scan the news feed – but don’t read any of the titles. If one seems important I can flag it to read later (save link to notes). Read text messages only.
Morning: After morning routine, read email at work station only, after breakfast and a cup of tea. Not on phone.
Throughout the day: When I have the urge to check my phone – I am limiting my screen time to receiving and answering text messages or voicemessages only. No social media.
Afternoon: Consider what one social media post I will make today for my business marketing. Prioritizing a post on a business page. Limiting myself to one post per day on one platform only. If I post on Instagram I will not post on Pinterest. If I post on Instagram and its tied to facebook that still counts to one post.
Evening, after the children are asleep: I will review my social media feeds and like, comment to my hearts content. I am allowing this late evening view for the first few days of my diet and by the 2nd week – I hope to further reduce my social media consumption to the weekend only and then to one morning a week on the weekend only. And then I will start to wean out some platforms all together.
Beyond my time measure goals with this diet I also strive to acheive the outcome of reducing my social media consumption to marketing for business purposes only. As my life becomes more aligned with my authentic self, my work should be all that I need to share with family, friends and acquaintences online. I will still allow myself to share photos with grandparents and close family through text and email. I invite each of you to write down a statement about what outcome you would like to have for achieving the goals you have set for your social media diet. I