Social media has boomed in recent years to be an inevitable extension of a lot of people’s lives. From online chatting, online games, to even shopping, social media use has developed a whole new culture that has become part of a lot of people’s lives. There are now more than 3.8 billion social media users around the world, or 49% of the world’s population having some sort of social media presence.
Many of us wonder how we can spend this time more productively, and we’ve got you covered. But first, you can start with knowing exactly how much time you spend on social media every day.
To use the calculator, simply provide first the number of social media apps/sites that you visit every day, then input the number of hours and minutes you spend on average per visit in the appropriate boxes provided.
You’ll have options to choose the kind of activities you’d rather do during those social media time (like reading books, doing sports, or learning a new language).
The calculator will then translate those hours and minutes you spent on social media to actual output should you opt to spend time reading books instead, or the calories you’ll burn doing exercises.
You’ll realize how a few hours off social media could actually save you hundreds of hours in a year when you’ll be able to do other more productive things instead.
One of the most precious resources is time. But more often, people spend part of their time browsing through various social media platforms — even losing track of time which could have been spent more productively elsewhere.
In the US alone, Americans checked their mobile phones for a combined eight billion times a day back in 2015 — and the numbers could have ballooned by now. People worldwide spend an average of 2 hours and 23 minutes or 142 minutes per day, but for others, they could spend hours and hours on social media.
There are many upsides to using social media, especially in connecting and maintaining ties with families and friends from afar. But then, once hooked to it — the downside could weigh more than the benefits.
Some negative effects of social media often cited are increased levels of depression and anxiety, unproductiveness, unhealthy sleeping patterns which could lead to other more serious health problems, higher dissatisfaction with one’s life and cyberbullying.
These are often tied to depictions of unrealistic lives being plastered all over different social media platforms, which also drives low self-esteem for a lot of people and is bad for mental health.
Long hours of screen time could also be harmful to one’s general health as it strains the eyes and causes fatigue, irritation, even headaches and blurry vision. A sedentary lifestyle could also lead to obesity, some cardiovascular disease to poor socializing skills and other neck and back problems. A general addiction to social media use is also often cited as one of its negative impacts.
For children, check here to know the appropriateness of your kids’ media diet.
Social media can be addicting. It’s convenient, it’s easy and everything you’ll need is just within the click of your fingers, from news, to updates about your friends and families, online shopping, and even games. But often, what’s easy becomes second nature, turning social media into a habit and even an addiction due to fear of missing out.
Turning yourself off social media is thus easier said than done. Breaking a habit is difficult, but then, you don’t need to totally cut off your social media presence, moderation is often the key and as simple as avoiding pointless scrolling, you’ll already save a lot of time.
Here are the other things you can do to reduce social media addiction:
- Turn off your notification buttons: the mantra is, what you don’t know won’t control you. Apps generally want to get attention and notification is the way for them to tell you to look at their app — once you’re there, you could spend hours and hours browsing mindlessly without even noticing the amount of time you’ve spent doing nothing. Don’t let notifications take control of what you do.
- Delete unnecessary and duplicate apps: the most direct way to stop your social media addiction is to delete the apps on your phone and make it harder for you to access all those social media platforms. Instead of installing everything on your phone, browse once in a while using a desktop, and you’re sure to get some time off social media.
- Back to basics. Use the phone where it’s originally meant to: back in the days, phones were mainly used for calling and texting. When you want to tell somebody something, dial their numbers and call them. While it could take more time, it’s still a time saver in the long run — you stick to your purpose, and you save time rather than getting distracted by other things on social media. Plus, it’s still always better to hear someone’s voice when talking.
- Go silent: some people try social media breaks once in a while to gather themselves back together. No social media for a day, a week, or sometimes even a month. No photos, snaps, videos, chatting or tweeting. A lot of people like it, and there’s probably a good number of reasons why. So when you can, stay away from social media and do yourself some good.
- Don’t be scared to be “left-out”: people engage in social media for different things. But for many, it’s a way to get a sense of belonging. A way to be recognized. While these could prove helpful to some, it could do more harm than good to others. Instead of seeking validation online, spend time with your family and friends and get the approval from people who truly matter.
There are many alternative activities to social media. It’s always good to read a book, spend time on a passion project, do some gardening, take a part-time job and earn extra cash, engage in a sport, try your hand at cooking, listen to music, learn an instrument, binge-watch a series or a TV show, or even learn a new language. You could also spend your time with family and friends real time.
Here are some interesting things about social media usage around the world:
- There are 3.8 billion social media users worldwide. That means 49% of the world’s population.
- An average social media user has at least eight different social media platforms.
- According to the 2018 Global Digital Report, the Philippines has the highest social media usage rate worldwide, with users spending 4 hours a day on social media. Japan, meanwhile, spend just 45 minutes on these platforms. In the US, the average social media usage rate is 2 hours every day, ranking 24th in the world.
- Facebook is still the most widely-used social media platform, followed by YouTube, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and the Chinese social media app, WeChat.