User Experience: Social Media Time Management Tips and Tricks

Image courtesy of Sean MacEntee's photostream

Image courtesy of Sean MacEntee’s photostream

Have you ever logged onto your social media page of choice, intending to spend only a few minutes online? But then, for whatever reason, you find yourself on it much longer, essentially wasting time? You wouldn’t be the first person. Business Insider reports that Americans now spend an average of 37 minutes on social media daily, which is higher than any other major Internet activity, including email. Don’t get me wrong – social media has countless effective uses and advantages. It’s not only an excellent business tool, but it’s also great for staying in touch with friends and family. However, it is completely normal to waste too much time on these addictive sites, which is time that could be spent doing other, more productive things. Therefore, if you struggle to free yourself from the unrelenting hook of social media, here are a few tips that will help you log off!

  1. Set a timer – Quite often, people find themselves lingering on social media simply because they lose track of time. Before logging on, take a few seconds to set a timer on your computer or phone for how many minutes you want to spend online. Doing so will help make you more conscious of the time you are allotting to these social media outlets. As silly as it sounds, the “ding” of your alarm just might have what it takes to snap you back to reality and realize that you should, and could, be doing other things.
  2. Commit to one – Nowadays, social media comes in many forms and you might feel pressured to commit to all of them. The only thing worse than wasting too much time on one of these channels is wasting too much time on two (or even more). First, figure out what you’d like to get out of your social media experience. How do you like staying in touch with people? Do you like connecting through pictures, or would you rather connect through words and short thoughts? Then, choose whatever outlet best serves these interests. It might be difficult, but sticking to one will tremendously help cut down on the time you spend online.
  3. Don’t go mobileBusiness Insider says that one in every five people worldwide own a smartphone, so it is easy and common to access social media almost whenever and wherever you’d like to. This temptation is not helpful to those who have a hard time escaping from it. Some people check these websites frequently out of sheer boredom because it’s right at their fingertips. If you find yourself doing this, try disabling push notifications from social media apps to lessen the likelihood of being drawn back to them. A more drastic solution is deleting the apps, which will prevent you from checking them on your mobile device altogether.

In short, social media can be both a blessing and a curse. Next time you find yourself dawdling online, envision all the things you could be doing instead. Whether it’s getting work done, spending time with people you care about, or enjoying the great outdoors, use these suggestions to help reduce the amount of wasted time you devote to social media and start improving your habits today!

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