Reducing the amount of screen time we get every day is an important strategy for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. Screen time includes time spent looking at a computer, TV, or any mobile device including phones and tablets. This is important because time spent in front of a screen is mostly inactive. Most of us who have a regular office/desk job, cannot always control the amount of time spent working at a computer while at work. However, we can control the amount of screen time outside of work to some extent. Being mindful of time we spend on social media each day is one example.
How many of us are guilty of spending a little too much time on social media? You are on a social media right now – reading a blog! Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and other types of Internet-based, social interactions count towards our social media time. Social media connects us with others quickly and easily and can lead us to spending a lot more time doing something than we intended to. Not many people go to Facebook with the goal of spending 30 minutes but end up doing that or more. Spending no time on social media if you are actively involved with this, is not a practical goal. However, a few strategies can help us be more mindful and control our social media time:
- Reward yourself – use social media time as a reward for being physically active. For example, if you go for a 20 minute walk then you get 10 minutes on social media or some other ratio that works for you.
- Set limits – before you get yourself on social media, decide how much time you plan to spend – 10, 20, 30 minutes? Then set an alarm for that much time and be faithful to yourself by stopping when the time is up.
- Get creative – use your time in the passenger seat of a car (or public transport) to get your social media fix. Of course, never do this while you are in the driver’s seat – it’s against the law as well as common sense. This is a strategy that works for me personally, so I will add that you can also spend this time interacting with others in the vehicle so find your balance.
These are just some ideas to get you started as you take control of your social media time. If you have an idea or strategy that works for you, please share it below so we all can learn from each other. After all, that’s what social media is about!