The impact of social media on mental health: How to manage your screen time!

Circleboom
7 min readSep 19, 2023
The impact of social media on mental health: How to manage your screen time!

I have always been on the side of quality over quantity in all aspects of life. Regarding social media, this is more important because it consumes your time, money, and health.

Social media can be delusional. If you can’t limit your screen time, you can be more dragged into its deceiving atmosphere. On the other hand, social channels are perfect places to promote business, sell products, develop personal brands, etc.

Especially those users who want to mind their own small businesses prefer social media as the main source for growing their reach, advertising their products and services, and interacting with people who tend to spend more and more time on social platforms. They have to!

Creating content regularly, measuring analytics and insights, updating their old posts, etc., needs a huge amount of time and energy. So, you can’t avoid using social media.

In the long run, this can have negative reflections on your mental health. Your social life can be limited to likes, comments, and other forms of social media engagement.

I created a guide to help you show how to manage screen time on social media and reduce the negative impacts of social media on your mental health.

Finding Balance: A Guide to Managing Your Screen Time and Protecting Your Mental Health in the Age of Social Media

Follow these 4 rules and find the balance between your social media time and your health. Limit your screen time and protect your well-being!

#1 Set Time Limits

Decide how much time you feel comfortable spending each day on social media. This can differ from person to person. Therefore, it’s critical to establish a sensible and achievable cap. For instance, you might opt to set aside 30 to 60 minutes each day for social media use.

What about your social media tasks? What can you do if they need more than this allotted time?

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For specialized apps, many smartphones come with built-in capabilities that let you set daily time limitations. Here is how to utilize them on a few well-known platforms:

iOS (Apple devices):

  • Go to “Settings” > “Screen Time.”
  • Tap “App Limits” and select “Add Limit.”
  • Choose “Social Networking” or specific apps, and set the desired time limit.
  • Once your daily limit is reached, the app will be temporarily blocked until the next day.

Android (may vary by device):

  • Go to “Settings” > “Digital Wellbeing & parental controls.”
  • Tap “Dashboard” and select the social media app you want to set a limit for.
  • Tap “Set timer” and choose the amount of time you want to allow each day.
  • The app will be paused when the timer runs out.

#2 Turn-Off Notifications

The continual impulse to check your phone can be lessened and you can restore control over how much time you spend on screens by disabling notifications for social media apps. Here’s how to accomplish it on Android and iOS (devices made by Apple):

iOS (Apple Devices):

  1. Open Settings: Go to the settings on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Scroll Down and Select Notifications: Scroll down and tap on “Notifications.” This will take you to a list of all your installed apps.
  3. Choose the App: Scroll through the list to find the social media app you want to manage notifications for, such as Facebook or Twitter, and tap on it.
  4. Toggle Off “Allow Notifications”: On the next screen, you will see various notification options. To disable all notifications for the selected app, toggle off the “Allow Notifications” switch at the top.
  5. Customize Notification Settings (Optional): If you want to retain some notifications but not all, you can customize the notification settings below. For example, you can turn off “Lock Screen” notifications, “Badge App Icon,” or “Sound.”
  6. Repeat for Other Social Media Apps: Repeat the process for each social media app you want to disable notifications for.

Android:

  1. Open Settings: Navigate to the settings on your Android device. The exact steps may vary slightly depending on your device’s manufacturer and version of Android.
  2. Select Apps or App Notifications: Look for the section in your settings menu related to apps or app notifications. It may be labeled differently depending on your device.
  3. Choose the App: Scroll through the list of apps to find the social media app you want to manage notifications for and tap on it.
  4. Toggle Off Notifications: On the app’s notification settings page, you can usually find an option to disable notifications. It might be labeled as “Show Notifications” or something similar. Toggle this switch off to disable all notifications for the selected app.
  5. Customize Notification Settings (Optional): If you want to retain some notifications but not others, you can usually customize the notification settings below the toggle switch. This allows you to turn off specific types of notifications, such as sound or vibration.
  6. Repeat for Other Social Media Apps: Repeat the process for each social media app you want to disable notifications for.

#3 Establish “Tech-Free Zones”

Set aside areas of your home or certain hours of the day to be tech-free. For instance, stay away from screens in the bedroom and during meals.

Establishing tech-free zones in your home and daily life entails deciding which locations are off-limits to the use of displays and electronic gadgets. The bedroom (to improve the quality of sleep), the dining room (to encourage family contact during meals), and the bathroom (to cultivate awareness) are common places where technology is prohibited. These locations may also include living rooms, kid’s play areas, automobiles, and outdoor areas. To ensure that all family members are aware of the benefits of these zones and their purpose, it is essential to establish explicit regulations and continuously enforce them. To encourage participation in non-screen-based activities, offer substitutes and set an example. If your home doesn’t yet have tech-free zones, introduce them gradually and periodically evaluate their effects to make any necessary improvements.

Tech-free areas can be used for mindfulness and relaxation, providing places for activities like reading, meditation, or simply relaxing without being distracted by screens. You may increase possibilities for meaningful face-to-face interactions, improve wellbeing, and cut down on screen usage by establishing these zones. Remember to explain to your family or other household members the advantages of tech-free spaces, such as better sleep, better communication, and higher general well-being. Monitoring and adjusting the effectiveness of these zones on a regular basis will help to guarantee that they develop a more conscious and balanced relationship with technology and a stronger sense of connectedness to the outside world.

#4 Mindful Consumption

Consume mindfully and be aware of what you are doing on social media. Mute people or unfollow accounts that frequently share upsetting or unpleasant content. Curate the stuff in your feed so that it is uplifting and educational.

Create a social media feed that reflects your interests and values by following accounts that reflect them and unfollowing or muting accounts that frequently make you feel bad. To avoid spending too much time on screens, set time limits for your use and draw boundaries around when and how you access these platforms. Before clicking, liking, or sharing, engage thoughtfully by taking into account the consequences of your actions.

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To reset and lessen reliance, periodically take a digital detox from social media. To reduce distractions and impulsive checking, limit alerts that are not absolutely necessary. By sharing happy experiences and having productive conversations, you can practice appreciation and positive engagement while learning more about your spending habits by using time-tracking applications. Establish clear objectives for your use of social media, and then periodically evaluate if those objectives are being met.

Wrapping Up

The basis for a more thoughtful and well-rounded approach to our digital lives is laid forth by these four guidelines for controlling screen time and encouraging a healthy relationship with technology.

“Set time limits” exhorts us to be deliberate in how we spend our limited time, making sure that technology benefits rather than detracts from our well-being. By reducing distractions and the constant pull of our electronics, “Turn off notifications” gives us the power to restore control over our attention. “Designate tech-free zones” establish actual locations where we can re-establish contact with the outside world, promoting relaxing offline interactions. In order to promote positive and personal development, we should be selective about the content we connect with online, as suggested by the phrase “practice mindful consumption”.

In your quest on social media with a limited time, Circleboom will be your best assistance! You can schedule your social media posts in one sitting for a whole week, or event month and spend the rest of your time out of social media.

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Originally published at https://circleboom.com on September 19, 2023.

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