Cut Back on Social Media So You Have More Time To Write

I’m a member of this awesome group called the seanwes Community, and I try to host little month long activities for us all to take part in. I’m not going to try and sell you on joining the group today, but I wanted to share with you this month’s activity. It’s called…

30 Days to Mindful Social Media Use

The average person will spend nearly two hours (approximately 116 minutes) on social media everyday, which translates to a total of 5 years and 4 months spent over a lifetime. Two hours wasted every day? That’s awful and I’d be willing to bet I’m guilty of this.

A lot of us spend too much time mindlessly using social media. I know I do. We could benefit from making a conscious effort to not use social media mindlessly. That doesn’t mean DON’T use social media…it just means we need to be more mindful of our use.

I read somewhere that it takes one month to break a habit. I don’t know if that’s true, but it seems reasonable to me. Let’s give it a try.

I headed over to the Community and proposed a new (Unofficial) Community Activity: 30 Days to Mindful Social Media Use from August 1st – 30th.

Every time we catch ourselves mindlessly using social media, we go in the Community and log it. We’ll help keep each other accountable. Plus, I bet the guilt will be enough for us to motivate ourselves 😉

What counts as mindless social media?

Any time you’re using social media just to waste time.

Be aware that there is reason to relax and check up on your friends and family. That doesn’t count as “mindless” unless you spend enough time that you feel guilty on it. Give yourself a specific amount of time each day and don’t go over the limit!

Why cut social media?

  1. We’re focusing on removing wasted time, so that pretty much explains itself, right?
  2. Social media generally makes people unhappy. There are probably 100 articles out there written about this with 10 different reasons why. Here’s just one article.
  3. Less mental fatigue.

Some examples of social media commonly used to waste time:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • Tumblr
  • MySpace (lol)
  • Reddit
  • LiveJournal
  • Medium
  • The seanwes Community
  • Forums
  • Slack groups
  • Discord groups
  • YouTube (it’s pretty dang social; never read the comments)
  • Etc

Some tips and tools to help stop social media consumption:

  • Productivity Plugins and software:
    • StayFocusd
      • This plugin limits the amount of time you spend on certain websites.
    • Rescue time (desktop):
      • (via Laci McCabe)
    • Facebook Newsfeed Eradicator Chrome Plugin:
      • this is helpful if you’re part of community groups on Facebook but you don’t want to see your newsfeed (via Laci)
  • Make an app folder “Time Wasters” on your phone/iPad/other devices and put all your, well, time wasters in it.
  • Use planners, journals, or other schedulers to plan time for both leisure and work-related social media use.
  • Bathroom time – Some of us are totally guilty of using the bathroom for too long because we’re sitting on Instagram or Twitter. Use the bathroom time wisely: as intentional social media time or as a more productive time.

If you’re in the seanwes Community, you can find the conversation over there to log your mindless social media time. If you’re not in the Community, just log it in a note on your phone or in a notebook. Or, if you have an accountability partner, get them on board and you can text them every time you catch yourself wasting time on social media. Or, even better, post online with the hashtag #30DtMSMU (wow that’s kind of long).

You don’t have to use any specific format for logging, but I figured what I would do is write “just wasted approximately X minutes flipping through Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat”. Obviously there’s no need to log your intentional social media time. You could even try to separate the social media platforms and see which ones you spend the most time on.

Also, if there’s any social media you can find to cut from your life entirely, I recommend it! I recently cut Tumblr entirely, which is a social media platform I probably have spent more time on than any other (I even wrote my first book about using Tumblr for marketing).

We’ll be starting August 1st and running until August 30th. Hope you join us.

Leave a comment and share any other tips you might have!

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