Spending too much time online

Are you spending too much time online? If you feel like you’re always checking your phone or updating your status, you’re not alone.

On average young people in Australia make use of 5 different social media services. That can add up to a lot of time spent online or checking your phone. Social media services also send notifications all the time, which are designed to bring you back online and using the service.

You can be notified of new friend requests, follows or even someone commenting with an emoji on one of your posts, so it’s easy to see how you can spend an endless amount of time in a social media loop.

While it can be tricky to put technology down completely, given that you might use it every day for school or work, there are ways you can stop yourself from checking it so frequently.

Here are some tips so you can take control of your online experience, rather than letting it control you.

What to do

Turn off notifications for your social media apps

If you find yourself constantly checking your phone when you hear a notification, it might be helpful to turn them off. That way you won’t feel as much pressure to check your phone all the time. Go into the settings on your smartphone and look for ‘notifications’. You should be able to turn off notifications for individual apps or control how you are notified.

Remember, even though you may feel a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) by not checking social media all the time, it’s easy to catch up on things later on.

Monitor or limit your phone use

If that doesn’t do the trick, there are some apps and in-built features in smartphones specifically designed to limit your phone use or monitor the amount of time you spend online. It can be truly eye-opening to learn that you spend over 5 hours a day looking at your phone! So sometimes this information is enough to change your habits.

Many phones have settings that allow you to monitor your usage and set daily usage limits on apps. Activate these on your phone and look out for other apps that can help you be more aware of how you are using your screen time.

When you do check your phone

If you realise you are consuming much more negative, than positive, online content, try to change things up a bit so you reduce the pressure you might feel from social media. Whether it’s the accounts you are following, or the people you are connected to on different social media platforms, alter your feeds so that when you do check it’s a more inspiring and positive experience.