• John Swallow

Achieve more...through less social media?

I have read a number of articles and studies around this recently, that lead me to the conclusion that we already know but are in denial about...many people are spending way too much time on social media!

Could we use this time better to achieve more?

It may surprise you to know that I am a newbie at this social media stuff. I have been on Facebook for about a year, on Linked in for a year and a half and very little else. However, like many people, I have become quickly involved in using social media to be aware of what is going on, develop my interests and I also find it is fun to know what is going on with friends. I have been aware of my increasing use of some platforms, predominantly because I have been developing my coaching interest. I post one or two things per week and support some others through liking or sharing. However, the point of this article is that this amount of use is not anywhere near the extent of which I have been reading.

I was reading one study where a number of people were spending 3 or 4 hours per day and even up to 6 or 8 hours per day, on social media. I am not sure whether it was mainly on one or two platforms, or whether it was the sheer quantity of platforms that were to blame...but that is a quite unbelievable figure, which is somehow believable.

Now don't get me wrong, there are many people who need to use social media for work and many others who rely on it and let's face it, swanning around the world taking photos for instagram probably beats 8 hours sitting down at a desk, however, for the average Joe or Joanne, they are perhaps wasting too much time and at this rate some appear to be verging on addiction.

Now, I am not a Psychologist and I am sure there have been many papers written about this. I am more interested in the simple fact that if some of us could reduce the amount of wasted time (note that I appreciate that time is still wanted or needed on it), what could we do with that extra time?

In one article I was reading, one lady had been able to read two books in a week by a dramatic reduction, in another, one was using the time to develop a new hobby. Also, I am quite sure there are many people at work who could become a little more focused and productive if they also did a little less social media during their job. Could it be that many people are dreaming of better lives and feel that looking at lots of great posts makes them feel like they also live some of those experiences? Or does it just have the reverse effect and reduce the amount of time that people have available to work towards achieving their goals and dreams?

So, I have a few tips which I have found in the pages of some articles which you may find of interest:

1. Buy an alarm clock and leave your phone in another room, or away from your bed

2. Remove the notifications from your main screen and have them pop on on the app badges instead

3. If you are spending way too much time on a particular platform (or all of them), delete them from your phone and only use them on a laptop or iPad

4. Just view the most recent posts on your phone rather than checking all of the ones from your groups or friends, if they are worth seeing, they will be liked and rise to the top of your feed anyway

5. Don't have social media tabs permanently open whilst you are at work

6. Buy an E reader or book and substitute it for your phone whilst commuting

I hope that this article makes you think and perhaps benefit from a bit of extra time each week to work on other things and if you need some help to achieve your goals or dreams, you know where I am.

PS But keep following me on Facebook...I didn't suggest anything that drastic!

I love coaching!

John Swallow



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