No Social media day
At the beginning of the month I joined a group chat created by a school mate of mine. The group chat was created to promote less screen time and minimize our unproductive use of social medias.
Before I joined the group chat I was always wary of my excessive social media usage and I have been able to scale down my use of unproductive apps, all thanks to a feature on my phone called “digital wellbeing”. Since I ever got to know about the digital wellbeing app, I have always being informed about my different apps usage. The app specifically tells the amount of time you use an app when the screen light is on; for a day.
One of the features of digital wellbeing is “focus mode”. Focus mode blocks all the distracting app from operating. You can set a particular time interval (for example, from 6am-10am) for focus mode to be in operation or you can manually activate it and it will remain in operation until you manually disactivate it.
Focus mode is very good feature that can be really helpful to people who work or learn with their phone. For example, a student who is reading or making a research on the net, such a person can be easily be distracted by notification coming from other apps not in use like messaging apps (e.g. WhatsApp) and other social medias apps (e.g. Facebook, Instagram). All those notifications can be tempting and can distract one’s attention.
So, when you want to do something serious you can put your phone in focus mode and add all those apps that can be source of distraction or those apps you don’t want to use at a particular period of time into the “distracting app list”.
Anytime focus mode is activated; those apps become inactive, you can’t use them and you can neither receive any notifications from them until you deactivate the focus mode.
But the reality is that the “focus mode” will only help you if you choose to help yourself by not letting yourself get tempted to deactivate the focus mode while you’re still working or learning.
The focus mode comes with a break feature too. For example; you’ve been working or reading all day and you just want to peep to check what going on the apps that has been disabled. There are options for 5, 15, and 30 minutes break interval and the focus mode resumes once the break time is over.
But what if you need or want to quickly use an app and you don’t want to remove the focus mode. Well, there is an option for that. When you click on the app you want to use; you’re allowed 5 minutes of usage while the focus mode is still being on.
Once the five minutes remains about 1 minutes to exhaustion, you will be given a notification, notifying you that the app would be shut down.
You would also be given the option to extend the use of the app for another 5 minutes. You can keep on extending the 5 minutes grace until it culminates to 30 minutes of usage, then you can’t extend anymore. (Note that other distracting apps are still being restricted)
Another way of keeping your app usage in check is setting timers for each apps. For example, you can set your Instagram app to a usage time of 20 mins, once the 20 mins is over it automatically goes off and you can’t use it unless you increase the time frame.
All these features are helpful in keeping my social media usage and addiction in check. Although I must confess I make big use of the loopholes especially when using WhatsApp.
For instance, if I set my WhatsApp to a time frame of 2 hours per day. Sometimes after using it for 2 hours, I might need to message someone important or having an important discussion at that moment. I’ll go ahead to increase the time frame. I do feel guilty doing so, but for others app I rarely make an increment.
Back to the discussion about the group chat I joined. Like I said earlier, the goal of the group chat is to help reduce our social media usage, there are two main rules they want us to get accustomed to.
The first is no usage of phone or accessing social medias until 10am, and the second is to limit our WhatsApp usage to only 2 hours per day.
A lot of people have been able to achieve all these rules consecutively, but I must admit I have not performed well with the rules.
Sometimes I break the 10am rule and sometimes my WhatsApp usage in a day exceeds more than 2 hours. I hope I would be able to comply better with those rules this new week.
Yesterday we were being told that today which is the 10th of July, we should keep a total absence from social media.
It sounds quite difficult right? But I am glad that since morning and to the time of writing this article I haven’t used any social media platform. I hope to end the day like that and report proudly that I did the "no social media challenge" (nmsc).
We were also given a book to read during our absence from social media. I haven’t read it yet! 🤦