We’ve all fallen victim to this: We just wanted to take a quick peek at Instagram, only to find ourselves scrolling through some stranger’s endless photo stream mere seconds later.
Well, you and your tween’s heavy reliance on social media shouldn’t come as a surprise. Singapore has about 4.4 million active social media user accounts, according to the 2017 Digital Yearbook report by social media consultancy firm We Are Social.
With so many people online these days, you’ll even seem like an outcast if you’re not part of the social media bandwagon. Points out Media Literacy Council member and Touch Community Services manager Chong Ee Jay, “The interaction on social media also provides us with a sense of social validation through all the likes and comments.” There’s no denying the ego-boosting effects of getting a tonne of “likes” and “shares” for a particular post you’ve made available for the world to see.
Social media isn’t a bad thing. After all, it can inspire many new exciting, entertaining, even money-making ideas — just think YouTube stars and influencers. The problem is when you allow it to take over your life ― you squander countless hours documenting your life for everyone to see or looking at #foodporn pictures or #ootds. You could have better spent these precious hours doing more productive activities, even sleeping!
There’s no denying the ego-boosting effects of getting a tonne of “likes” and “shares” for a particular post you’ve made available for the world to see.
Worse, Chong says spending too much time on social media may lead to serious mental and social issues, like:
* Social isolation Chong explains that long-term effects on young children may include becoming socially withdrawn and having poor social interaction skills. Junior might also suffer low self-esteem and confidence from others’ hateful and hurtful comments.
* Cognitive distorted discernment When we become over reliant on social media for our news and information, we may lose the ability to decide if the online news stories that we’re reading are true. What’s worse, when people are quick to like and share such posts, they’re inadvertently boosting the credibility of the post.
Clearly, the fail-safe way to nip your social media habits in the bud is to Just. Delete. Everything.
While you can do this, it may just end up snuffing out the fun from your day. You‘ll also be missing out on important information, too.
Chong urges you to try his suggestions instead:
1. Turn off instant pop-up or badge notifications The more times your phone alert buzzes, the more likely you’ll be reminded to respond.
2. Download apps or timers to block or restrict the use of social media Smartphone apps like Offtime and BreakFree (both available on android and iOS) will limit your access to social media apps.
3. Remove social media apps from your smartphone Restrict your social media access ― and only log in through your desktop computer. Doing so will shave your smartphone data consumption and save you some serious money!
4. Be confident of what you post It’s all too easy to get caught up checking the number of likes you’ll get after you post a photo. But Chong points out, “It doesn’t matter if you have no ‘likes’, two ‘likes’ or over a gazillion ‘likes’ ― if you like the photo you’ve posted, it shouldn’t matter what others think!”
“It doesn’t matter if you have no ‘likes’, two ‘likes’ or over a gazillion ‘likes’ ― if you like the photo you’ve posted, it shouldn’t matter what others think!”
5. Limit social media accounts Reduce the number of accounts you have on various social-media platforms, and you’ll also cut the time you spend logging in daily. Also, you’ll no longer feel pressured to come up with photos or thoughts to share.
6. Establish tech-free time and zones at home Banning all gadgets from the dining table or during a meal ensures that you and the brood are focused and can engage in face-to-face interactions. You’ll end up spending quality time and living in the moment instead of being distracted by your phone or alerts.
7. Do it for the kids Chong explains, “If we want the kids to follow our instructions, we have to model it for them! [So] do not become digitally distracted parents!”
8. Get a new (offline) hobby Consider picking up a new water sport because you won’t be able to bring your phone out in the water with you.
Minimise your use of gadgets and you’ll lessen your dependency on social media, too!
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