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Click by Click, Your Life Drips Away

5 tips to regain control over your social media addiction.

Photo by Thai Nguyen on Unsplash

Unfortunately, the clock is ticking; the hours are going by. The past increases, the future recedes. Possibilities decreasing, regrets mounting.

Haruki Murakami

It was one of those Sunday mornings. My wife was racing against time. Turning to our then two years old son, she soothingly addressed him, “Bobby, let’s hurry, time is going and we are almost late for church.” Nonchalant and in his innocence, the young man pointed his finger at the wall clock, admonished his mother in his sweetest kiddy tone, “Time ain’t going nowhere, time is hanging there.” That was over twenty years ago.

As we spend our time, so we spend our lives.

For many, the mobile phone has become the ultimate “time killer”. Used unwisely, this indispensable gadget has become an insidious double-edged sword, the ultimate life killer. It was not meant to be so, but that is what most users have made it to become.

Via WhatsApp screenshot. Source: Globalwebindex
  1. Stop using social media as an entertainment tool. You will only end up flipping from one interesting time-waster to more interesting time wasters. The internet is forever getting more creative at churning out ever more addictive programs and apps. If you are not creatively occupying yourself in productive live or online engagements, social media will always be on hand to help fill your insatiable void.
  2. Unhook yourself from social media addiction. Social media is inherently addictive. And, as with all addictions, the more you get addicted to unprofitable addictive websites and applications, the more you get hooked. You become insidiously programmed to want more in a self-limiting and self-consuming vicious cycle. The worst part of addiction is that the addict sacrifices time, resources, and relationships to attend to self-destructive cravings — one meaningless click at a time. You need to be deliberate and more disciplined in the way you use these tools.
  3. Recognize high-impact activities and devote more of your time to them. Discipline yourself to devote more of your smartphone time to activities that are more rewarding, in the long run. As explained by Carl Newport in his book, Deep Work Rules, “Willpower is limited, and therefore the more enticing tools you have pulling at your attention, the harder it’ll be to maintain a focus on something important. To master the art of deep work, therefore, you must take back control of your time and attention from the many diversions that attempt to steal them.”
  4. Reject the urge to excessive sharing and hyper-connectedness. In tune with Cal Newport, I’m not suggesting you quit social media or the internet wholesale. These tools are only as good or as hurtful as we make them be to us. Indispensably, some of these tools are “must-haves” and “must use” for some of our successes and happiness in life. You should be more stringent on how frequently you permit an app or website to infringe on your time and attention besides prying into your privacy and personal data. Most people will be better off using fewer or even none of these tools.

Final Word

My goal is not to dissuade you from using social media (Who will ever imagine that?). Without self-reflection and curbing your addiction (You know it if you are) to social media, you may waste irretrievably the most productive time you have left in this very brief life of yours. Enough said.

SOURCES

  • Copyright by ©Haruki Murakami, Dance Dance Dance, Vintage Books, 1994
  • Copyright by ©Tony Reinke, 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You, Crossway Books, 2017
  • Copyright by ©Cal Newport, Deep Work Rules — Rules for Focused Success In A Distracted World, Grand Central Publishing, 2017
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