Which strategy works best to disrupt a social media addiction?

In an article in Harvard Business Review, author Sarah Peck sums up the relative success of four strategies she tested to break her own social media addiction.

  • No social media for 30 days, which was ‘easier than expected.’ Result: after the month was over, Peck discovered her phone was her addiction enabler.
  •  Allowed social sites on the computer in the afternoons only — not in the mornings, or after dinner. Result: “I got so much more done on my biggest projects by having dedicated focus hours, and also knowing that there was a scheduled break in my day coming up.”
  • Created a “happy hour” in which she was free to browse. Result: “Strangely, consolidating all of my social media use into a single hour made it seem less exciting.”
  • Avoid social media (and the phone!) every Saturday. Result: “A day free of the Internet is a great way to do a pattern reset if you notice (as I have) personal productivity dips by Friday.”

In the end, Peck concluded that each approach had its merits and that ANY consciousness of social media addiction led to greater productivity and satisfaction.

Peck’s takeaway: “These experiments helped me realize that at the heart of my cravings around the social internet are deep connections with friends, access to new ideas and information, or time to zone out and relax after a hard day. Each of these components can be satisfied with other things beyond social media, and more effectively.”

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