8 ways to not be addicted to social networks

In the second half of 2021, a study from Yale University (USA) confirms that social networks often increase the things that make us angry, because anger is equivalent to interactions.

In October, the University of Technology Sydney (Australia) published a systematic review on social media, identifying 47 of its harmful effects, including jealousy, loneliness, anxiety and reduced self-esteem.

Other warning signs of social media use include trouble sleeping, obsessions and, in some cases, decreased sex drive. The final sign comes from feeling depressed and isolated due to prolonged social media usage.

Psychologist Dr. Nguyen Do Hong Nhung, lecturer at Thai Nguyen University of Pedagogy, said that the typical signs of social network addiction are: increasing usage time, worrying and searching, difficulty bear when looking to reduce use.

Young Vietnamese people use mobile phones in Tao Dan Park, Ho Chi Minh City, 2019. Photo:Shutterstock/Anh Huy

To break the cycle of unhealthy social media use, experts recommend a few tips:

Determine why you use

There are certain benefits to using social media. Connect with friends, grow a business, seek advice… However, is that your main motivation to sign up for Twitter or TikTok?

You need to know what you want in your social media time. Before opening an app, take some time to ask yourself what your real intentions are, why. You want to be known? Want to connect? To compare? Evaluate? Chat?

“The first step in using more consciously is to know why you started,” says Robert Stern, founder and CEO of marketing agency The Social Leader.

Don’t log in when you’re bored

When things don’t go our way, we look for a quick way to improve our mood. However, Michele Goldman, psychologist and communications consultant for the Hope for Depression Research Foundation, recommends using social media only when mentally stable.

At the very least, Goldman recommends tracking emotions during and after social media use to determine its impact.

Set clear goals

One of the biggest factors that keeps people wanting to use social media is FOMO (fear of missing out). Dr. Carl Marci, founder and CEO of Innerscope Research, a neuroscience research company, suggests adopting a JOMO (joy to miss) mindset.

To do that, he advises setting clear social media goals, why you want to appear on social media. Focus on the future and something positive. Instead of regretting not surfing the net, think: I want to be with my kids more and be more productive, not trying to look at my phone less.

Think twice before sharing

Consider not only what you see on social media, but also what you share. Consideration must be twofold when sharing photos of your children.

When sharing something on social media, Dr. Marci advises asking: “Is what you’re sharing right?”, “Is it helpful to someone or a certain group?” “Is the article inspirational?” “Is it necessary?” and finally “Is it good?”.

Self-limiting time of use

When you’re addicted to social media, you lose track of time in the real world. Therefore, it is necessary to be conscious of the level of use. Set limits for yourself.

By activating the mobile device usage limiter on your phone, you will be awakened from the addiction. Or simply leave it on for 10 minutes. When the bell rings, close the app.

Turn off notifications

When posting articles, should turn off notifications when someone comments, “likes”. Next, set a daily time limit to reply to comments, posts, and social media searches.

Figure out the average number of hours you spend on social media and start setting a weekly goal to reduce it from 30 minutes to an hour. Finally, avoid posting and limit your comments to other people’s shares.

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