Some people are good at handling themselves. They pop a single piece of chocolate in their mouth, send a single tweet, and then log out. We admire these people and think they are unicorns.
We all screw up when it comes to controlling the use of social media in that image-filled piece of metal we hold for hours every day.
Check, scroll, and read. Read, scroll, and click.
Another story. Another tweet.
You were falling asleep, the phone falling on your head and closing.
In this way, we are drawn into the endless vortex because we have a good reason for that: the dopamine cycle!
Dopamine is a chemical released in our brain after pleasure and reward behaviors, causing us to crave it repeatedly. (Have you ever felt perfect after exercise? Yes, yes, dopamine, that’s it.)
The same happens when you get positive social stimulation, such as a reward after swiping your phone screen. The tip here is a pile of likes or notifications.
Behavioral scientist Susan Weinschenk says: “When you enter one of your favorite apps, the dopamine cycle kicks in. With every photo you scroll, every headline you read, or every link you go, you feed the cycle that keeps you wanting more. There is no guarantee that you will reach saturation.” he says.
Yes, stopping is not easy; we don’t have a “stop” button in our brains. “Probably what is stopping you is that someone is bothering you,” adds Weinschenk. Thanks to what you see on the screen, it can stimulate the point of feeling suitable for a long time, eventually closing the application and saying, “What did I read? I don’t even remember.” you might think.
Come on, dear, has it ever happened to you? Let’s do a harsh self-criticism; At the end of the day, surfing Instagram seems like the only way not to think about our problems and to overcome the tiredness of the day. It makes us numb.
We’re not saying you must put your phone in the freezer or completely detox. If it does an excellent job of pleasing you, so be it; Do not try to put the phone down.
However, if you find that excessive scrolling is taking up too much of your time or that you feel a sense of envy by looking at people’s “perfect” lives – maybe it’s time to stop scrolling or shorten its duration.
Let’s talk about recognizing that we are caught in this cycle and what you can do about it!
Time to set a timer on your phone
You’ve probably ignored this, but Instagram has rolled out a new feature where you can set the amount of time you want to spend in the app. The time ranges from 5 to 55 minutes.
Let’s admit that; Time passes much faster on the phone. Even if you don’t turn it off immediately when you exceed your time limit, it will help you realize that time is ticking.
You can unfollow some people.
Your friends are on the mobile! But think about it; How many people do you follow that you don’t know or what they do is none of your business?
If you follow fewer people, there will be more infrequent updates to your social media feed, and you will consume less content overall. Simple, right? You can shorten your time on social media by unfriending people who do not interest you, do not know you very well, and do not need to stay on your account. If there is nothing to see, what will you look for?
Create a conditioned response
“The way to take control is to form a movement against a movement,” says Weinschenk. His conditioned response was to lock the key when he realized he was in a social media loop and suddenly turn his phone face down and leave it where it was.
If you find yourself in a loop, try something new: get up, go to a different room, or close the app and open a new one instead, with no scrolling required. (Can it be Spotify?) The trick is to replace your activity with a new one so that you feel under control.
Delete apps to restore later
Delete apps. Yes, everyone says that, right? Nor are they unjust; Deleting apps changes your relationship with them. We know it’s easier said than done. Then you can try to delete it temporarily. At least for a while.
If you think it’s hurting you too much now but can’t stop using it, you can delete social media apps during the week and concentrate on working; You can then redownload and use it over the weekend to share all the fun activities.
What if you try to delete them for 24 hours? You can do this, right? Sure, you might miss those prime-time evenings when everyone gathers there, but why not take an evening stroll instead?