The cheap availability and access to the internet has led to its vast and rapid expansion, especially in India. It has become a tool so indispensable, that those who have access to it often equate its importance to that of having a roof over their head or a nutritious meal on their plate. So much so that nowadays, the offers at temporary living accommodations like hotels and B&B's go something like this- "Two single beds, one bath, breakfast on the house, and complimentary wifi."
Statistics show that 70% of internet consumed is spent on social media phone apps. Moreover, misuse of social media has also been identified to be the cause of several mental health and physical health problems. To ensure that we remain in control of our virtual platforms, and not let our phone applications control us, we’ve listed some ways in which we can use social media effectively and judiciously:-
Verify your facts
Not everything you see or hear on social media is true. Find reliable sources and form your opinions based on the facts instead of basing them on opinions of others. Did you know that 46 people have been killed and 43 critically injured in India only due to the viral spreading of fake news?
Pause before you post
Ask yourself if your post is important enough to be publicly posted? Take five to ten long breaths before you decide to go ahead with your post, and you will find that you don’t really need to interact “online” as much as you do. You will soon begin relishing the greater pleasures of life like gazing out of your window at the setting sun, instead of at your phone screen to talk about a celebrity’s recent scandal.
Be mindful of your physical posture while using your phone
Seat yourself in a comfortable upright position with good lighting when you decide to browse through your social media feed. We often get so engrossed scrolling on our phones that we are unable to hear our body’s complaint against strained and watering eyes, or stooping back postures that can cause irreversible damage to our bodies.
Set aside “screen time”
If you are unable to self-monitor the amount of time you spend on your phone, take the help of phone applications like Freedom, Moment and ZenScreen to regulate how long you sit "online" on for each application you use. Once you hit the daily limit you set for yourself, the application locks itself for the rest of the day. Additionally make it a point to check your “screen time” through the settings on your phone to note how much unproductive time you might have spent online.
Discover your passion or pursue a hobby
Once you find something you enjoy working on, you will try to use every minute of your spare time pursuing the same. For instance, if you set your heart on learning how to play the guitar, you can use the internet to view youtube tutorials, and use social media to post videos about your progress and share your talent with the world. Not only will you find yourself drastically reducing the amount of time you spend online, but also will find yourself spending time online productively (maybe even opening up a channel for potential future income).
So let this post be a reminder to be a responsible social media user. Start by taking a short social media detox now.