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How to kick your social media habit

If you're worried about the time you spend on social media, but don't know how to turn away from your screens, these 6 tips will help you spend less time online.
Amy Peterson, FamilyShare Modified: August 6, 2014 at 6:17 am •  Published: August 8, 2014

That little computer in your hand is so smart. With it you can tweet, post, Instagram, follow, pin, chat, text, email, edit and even - get this - make a phone call. With endless apps and options for communication and interaction, it's easy to get addicted, over-stimulated and too involved in the virtual world. If the only way you ever spend time with your friends is via an app, or if you're more adept at displaying your emotions with emoticons than with actual facial expressions, it's time to move away from the phone. Use these 6 smart tips for curbing, or kicking, your social media habit.

Take stock of pros and cons

Social media is not all bad. If you think you're spending too much time using it, however, you need to take an honest self-assessment. I like how I can connect with friends all over the world easily through social media. I don't like it when I feel the need to check several times a day or when participating in social media takes me away from people near me, like my family. Making a list of pros and cons, perhaps by each app you use, will help you identify which apps aren't worth the time you spend using them. If you are unable to make an objective assessment, ask a trusted friend or spouse for their input as well.

Out of sight, out of mind

One way to spend less time on social media is to keep your devices out of your hands (or pockets) for extended periods of time. I keep my tablet on my bedside table and my phone tucked in my purse often during the day. This really helps me to stay focused on other tasks. Find a place you can leave your devices so that you can have time away from social media. If you're working on a computer, log out of websites and keep to the task at hand.

Power down

If your social media habit is getting out of hand, power down tablets and phones when you don't need to use them. When everyone is home for the night, I power down my phone so I can get a good night's sleep and focus on spending time with my husband. I have my daughter check in her phone and tablet so she's not up late texting and pinning endless hairstyle ideas. It's harder to check Facebook quickly or read your Twitter feed when your device is off. Consider taking apps off some devices so that you can only check them periodically.

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