by - April 14, 2022

Hey Blog Fam

Trust we are all doing great and following hard after all that the Lord has placed in our hearts.

Today’s post is quite a sensitive one, especially for the Gen Z and millennials who have come to accept the digital life and world as normal.

I for one belong to the Gen Z group, I was born in the mid-nineties, so by the time I was a teenager and blooming into adulthood, the social media thing was already a norm.

Looking back now, I remember how as a secondary school student, my friends and I usually attend a tutorial center, it was a volunteering foundation that believed in adding the knowledge we were getting from school. We were taught Mathematics, English, and about life

After this tutorial every Saturday, I and my two friends usually visit a café. A cafe is a place where the owner of the business buys desktops/laptops and then buys data for his space. Anyone who wants to use the desktop/laptop will walk into such a space and buys time in exchange for the ability to use the desktop. 

It was during one of my visits to this place that I opened my first Facebook account, as at the time of writing this, that time is over twelve years now.

The world has evolved over time from when I used to go to cafés to browse to now access to all the apps in the world on my phone with an internet facility.

Those days, once your time expired in the café, you had to leave the place or buy time again. But in our world today, you can decide to be on Facebook or Instagram from 7:00am to 7:00pm and once your phone is charged and you have data or access to Wifi, you can make good this dream.

Social Media has a lot of uses and it can either be a good thing or an evil thing depending on how you use it.

I am currently reading the book Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport, it was recommended by CoachE' and so much knowledge is flooding my heart!

The way we use Social Media can either be to our advantage or not.

People have failed exams, burnt food, and had accidents that were so fatal that they led to death all because of their use of social media.

Others have won scholarships, had people co-fund their university education, and even met their spouses all because of their use of social media.

So, you will agree that social media is not good or bad, it only depends on how you use it.

Let me share some thoughts to help you in your use of the social media that is bound to help you get the best out of it and to ensure that the evil therein does not overpower you.

1.   1. Always Remember That You Are The Product

This will be the number one thing for me.

Research describes Social Media describes as the business sector that makes money gathering consumers’ attention and then repackaging and selling it to advertisers.

You see the modern apps on your phone were designed with the best intention of connecting you with your loved ones and giving you information, but over the years, they have moved from that noble goal to ensuring that you are addicted to their service.

The concept behind this is that the more time you use on these apps, the more the company’s venue increases.

Social media can be so addictive, that you find yourself spending between three to five hours daily on it while neglecting all the more important things that you should be doing with your own life.

When next you are about to login into an App, remember that you are the product, and ensure that rather than having some companies use you, make sure you only use those apps in a way that makes you a more valuable person.

2.   2. Regulate The Time You Spend On It

Telling you to abruptly stop using your social media apps is not sustainable.

You can sustain it for a while, but over time, it will only lead you to burn out.

As someone who has been consistently using social media without any regulation, you might want to cut the time you have been spending on it in half, and then move from there. You can track the hours you use on it. If you have been using three hours per day before, you might want to consider reducing that three hours to two-and-half hours and continually keep reducing that time at intervals, until you reach a healthy limit.

There are ways you can track the time you spend using these various apps. Go to the settings of your phone and walk your way to the App management, and regulate the time you spend on these Apps. 

Even if you have a business that thrives online, know when to stay online and when to go offline. Don’t deceive yourself when you know that the reason you are online is not the business but the enjoyment you are enjoying from scrolling through the various newsfeeds. To thy own self be true. 

Remember that the more time you spend on these apps, the less time you have to spend on the things that really matter to you.

3.   3. Only Start Using It When You Are Through With Your Major Goals

Another way you can use social media in a healthy way is by disciplining yourself to only log into some social media sites only if you have ticked off all your major goals for the day.

In practice, let’s say your three important goals for the day is to read 30 pages of your book for the month, journal, and finish the report you are expected to submit to your director at work. You start your day with doing these three top goals, during the hours spent trying to do these top three goals, you are not expected to log in to any social media app, you are expected to face your assignments squarely only after you are through with your tasks, then and only then will you be allowed to login into any site.

Doing this requires a whole lot of discipline and it shows how much value you place on your life.

While there might be no one there to judge if you didn’t quickly login to a website, I’ll advise that you value yourself that much to stick to doing the things you said you would do and only come on social media when you are through with your tasks.

No one might know, but you know when you are being true to yourself.

4    4. Replace The Time You Use On It With Other Productive Activities

Everyone is given twenty-four hours a day, but the quality of life we individually live depends on the things we do during those twenty-four hours every day.

While a portion of those hours goes into sleeping to refresh our bodies, the remaining hours are for us to decide what to do with them.

After you have decided to start reducing the time you spend on social media, the time will be there for you to fill, but when you do not fill it up, you might be tempted to waste it or worse go on the social media.

So to help curb this, you need to put those free hours you previously used on social media with productive things.

Depending on your season in life, the list of productive things you can indulge in differs. It can include;

-         Reading a chapter of a book

-          Visiting  a friend

-          Praying

-          Finally studying that portion of the bible you have procrastinated upon

-          Listening to a podcast while taking notes

This list is not exhaustive.

While some of the ideas on the list include things you have to do online or on your phone, to reduce the temptation of quickly checking your news feed, you can do them on your laptop, or go offline before deciding to do them. You can also download the book you want to read, read a hard copy bible instead of the one on your phone to reduce the temptation or download the podcasts before listening to it.

Another way is to totally delete the Apps from your device so that rather than fighting the temptation, you can decide to eliminate it. Before deleting the apps, make sure you have done the process mentioned in number 2 of this post so that you will not end up feeling deprived and then not caring about the hours you spend on it and thereby forfeiting the benefit of the whole process.


5    5. Use Certain Apps Only On Weekends

This is another game-changer.

As you are trying to limit the time you spend on social media, you can decide to restrict the use of some Apps to only weekends. This will help you face your tasks squarely knowing that by Saturday and Sunday, you will be able to use the apps.

And even in your use during the weekend, make sure it is regulated, so that you don’t end up using ten hours every weekend mindlessly scrolling up and down various news feeds.

Intentionality is the word here.

6. Mute All Notifications

I have done this for over two years now and I can't imagine living life with all notifications on.

For the applications you must use on your phone, make sure that all the apps are on mute, doing this will help you 
concentrate on the app you are currently using. 

There is so much power that can be restored to you if only you can make use of the settings on your phone well. Please use it well.
Mute all your notifications!

6.   7. On Weak Days, Don't Go Too Far

There are days I have found myself, mindlessly scrolling news feeds too. It often comes after a season of total abstinence, and then I decide to splurge a little. 

There are days like that, the goal is to make sure those days are rare.

In your journey towards reclaiming your life from social media, there will be days you find yourself spending too much time than you allotted online. 

I have days when I look at my daily goals and rather than ticking items off, I move from one social site to another, while this is not to promote indiscipline, it is just to tell you there might be times once in a while when you find yourself slipping into mindless scrolling on news feed.

A big caveat here should be to tell you that while these days can happen, it should be occasional and not the norm. it should happen like once in a white moon (whatever this means), just to let you know that it should be a very rare occurrence. Remember, we are disciplined people, who are also disciplined even in our use of social media.

Don't stop browsing to do your tasks, take a break from your tasks to quickly browse and get back to your tasks. 

Social media is neither good nor bad for us, it only depends on how we use it. 

These are my thoughts, and I trust that God helps us to use our time wisely and not have an excuse for not doing the things we should do because we were staring at the glowing screens of our devices.

There Is So Much Light*** 



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