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With the insane amount of current events and information we wake up to everyday, social media is becoming more stressful to keep up with than ever.

With such a complex, distracting tool always available, we may be overdoing it. Studies find that the average daily amount of time spent on the five most popular social platforms (Youtube, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter) adds up to five years and four months of your life. That’s more time than we spend eating and drinking.

Convinced we all have a problem? Me too. Let’s make some lifestyle changes.

Wait; why should you care about how many times you check your phone a day? It’s not affecting you, so you think. Believe it or not, taking too many social breaks a day can take a major toll on your productivity and awareness, not to mention your mental health.

Don’t get us wrong; brain breaks are 100% necessary. We just need to keep those brain breaks from becoming an every-ten-minutes ritual. There are many ways to distance yourself from the digital world, but I’ll start with three great ones.


I know it’s utterly perfect in your eyes, but I have news for you: It has some flaws. Never has there been a more amusing, smart and invading device at our disposal. Don’t believe me? A study found that the average user- get ready for this- touches their phone 2,617 times a day. What can we do to monitor this? First, admit you have a problem. Then assess how bad your addiction is with a phone habit tracker. We suggest Checky.

Checky fills you in on how many times a day you check your phone, in case you want to- you know- make some adjustments to your habit. And not only that, they map out your phone habits as well, so you can see where you are for most of your activity.

Use Social Media As A Reward

The fact that we get to look at almost anything we want, whenever we want, is a pretty amazing thing. We probably don’t even notice how amazing it is because, well, we don’t have to cross far away lands, run it with a hamster wheel or accomplish much of anything to utilize it. THAT ENDS HERE.

It’s time to make social media a reward, or treat, if you will. Here’s how:

  1. You can set an alarm for a certain time of day that allows you an amount of time for social media. It will serve as a nice surprise break that you actually deserve (now that you’re not checking your phone so much)!
  2. Use specific goals that, upon achievement, reward you with a certain amount of social media time.
  3. TWIST: Reward yourself when you don’t use social media. Were you so busy at work today that you couldn’t even pick up your phone? You get a cookie.

Turn Off Your Notifications

I guarantee you will live another day without knowing who liked your status or photo, who sent you a message or who followed you within the last 30 minutes. Actually, I guarantee you’ll be a way better person because of it. We live in a world where we are obsessed with pleasing others, and receiving that online attention makes us feel “good” so we keep wanting more. It’s time to stop the madness and start feeling good about real-life things. Here are random things you can feel good about EVERY DAY.

  1. Eat a healthy breakfast.
  2. Take the time to look your best (inner happiness is key).
  3. Compliment someone.
  4. Work your hardest, no matter what job you have.
  5. Read a book.

See what I mean? There are so many ways you can feel awesome and not be completely consumed with the social world.

Don’t Get Me Wrong

I work in the digital world and specifically with social media everyday. But, I do think we are too hooked on something that is most definitely not phonics. Let’s all try to beat the monster in our pockets (purses, bags) and start living a more authentic life!

Cindy Knebel

About the Author

Cindy Knebel
Cindy is a former Element 74 Project Manager and contributing author for the Element 74 blog.

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