Stop and think a minute. How much time do you spend on social media? If you had to quantify the time in hours, would you have been able to do something else in that time? Maybe gotten through a pile of books, visited someone you have not seen in a while or done some exercise.  

The vice of the internet, and by extension, the social media, is increasing … even in our country. Whether or not you care about how you spend your time, one thing is clear: the social media is taking up time you could have spent doing other things. However, cutting yourself off from social media is not easy these days. Nevertheless, one should not give up. There are simple things one could do to remedy the situation. 

Start by switching off that computer.  Press shutdown on the laptop and, voilà, no more internet for you … unless, of course, you have a smartphone! Don’t forget to save your work … and if you really wish to get back in touch with the world, you can always switch everything on again. 

For some, cutting themselves off completely from social media is definitely not an option. Maybe their contacts live far away. They may need to use the internet for work. Whatever the reason, you cannot draw the line completely. The solution? Draw up a schedule for using social media, and stick to it. This allows you to allocate only that time to, for example, Facebook. 

Social media does not necessarily strengthen communication. In fact, some researchers claim that it weakens it. Therefore, instead of turning to social media, use the time to call home and talk to someone. OK, so maybe you do not wish to do this. The point remains: cutting yourself off from social media is far easier when you find alternative things to do. Allow time for someone in your life and you will find that you receive more than you ever can through Facebook or Twitter. Are there other things you can do in real life? Why don’t you spend some time doing voluntary work or meeting up with friends at a bar or restaurant? 

Do you know what the best way is to cut yourself off from social media? Find new things to do. Leave your smartphone at home and go ride a bike. If you have a garden or terrace at home go spend some quiet time in it, or else go for a walk or go to the gym. Whatever you decide to do, find the time and do it. Give yourself something better than time wasted on Facebook arguing with people or obsessing about what others are doing. 

Distancing yourself from social media can be disappointing, but this does not need to be the case. If you follow one of the suggestions made above, you may be persuaded to disconnect yourself from the ‘electronic babysitter’ and use your time in a more effective way.