I’ve been craving it more and more: putting my phone up and just enjoying life, sans scrolling and double-tapping away every spare minute I have. In an age that feels impossible to fully unplug, I’ve been finding myself wanting to be more intentional with my days and spend less time on social media. Anyone else?
But DANG, it can be hard. Technology and social media are such double-edged swords.
Even though I loooove being able to connect with my people off-screen, I know how valuable social media can be for business growth and even keeping up with personal relationships! I’m never going to be a person who swears it off for good, but like most things, I think boundaries can only improve our relationship with it.
7 hacks to spend less time on social media
So let’s talk about it! How can we truly spend less time on social media, but still use the time we *are* on there with intentionality and for connection. Here are 7 things to consider to improve your screen time habits while still engaging your followers.
1. Set screen limits in your phone.
One of the best ways to hold up boundaries is to take it out of your own hands. Make someone or something else be the one to keep you accountable. In this case, it can be your phone!
You can set actual limits for your screen time for different apps on your phone. For iPhone users, it’s easy. Just go to Settings > Screen Time > App Limits > Add Limit and then choose the app you want to put a limit on.
When you’ve reached your screen time limit, it’ll notify you so you can hop offline. It’s a way to be more in tune with what your screen habits are like. If you set it for 30 minutes for Instagram every day and your screen limit notification pops up before 10 a.m. regularly, it’s helpful info to have so you can be more thoughtful about what you spend your time on!
2. Aim for less passive scrolling.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve opened my phone and, without a second thought, opened a social media app and just started mindlessly scrolling. I KNOW I’m not alone… it’s so dang easy to do I feel like it’s a procrastination crutch for many of us, amirite?
There was a day when IG was down not too long ago and it hit me just *how* often I reach for my phone when I’m waiting for something, putting off doing something, or just trying to kill some time.
I hate that so much of my time can be spent consuming others’ thoughts and activities passively, rather than creating something for my own life with intention. Whenever I notice my “open and scroll” habits cropping back up, I challenge myself to ONLY open my social media apps with a plan. If you’re looking for a less passive way to engage, aim to log on for 20 minutes (I’ll even set a timer!) with the intention of engaging: post helpful content, comment and respond to comments, reply to DMs, and then log off!
3. Do something strategic & quick whenever you post.
Here’s a fun challenge (that’ll be certain to boost your engagement!):
When you create a new post, go back and “heart” everyone’s comments on your last post. It’ll pop up in their notification center and encourage them to come to your profile.
4. Plan out your content ahead of time.
I’ve shared this before but I NEVER share Instagram posts in the moment that they’re actually happening. I do this because A) it lets me actually enjoy and stay present in the moment in real time, and b) I can be more thoughtful about how I share the content so that it resonates with my followers.
I like going a step further and sometimes I’ll even batch-prep a few posts at a time. When you pre-plan your post content, it takes the guesswork out of it so that once you post, you can devote your time to engaging and then hop offline and get back to real life!
5. Utilize post notifications on Instagram.
If you find yourself doing the dreaded mindless scroll even when you set up some parameters, try turning on post notifications for a few favorite accounts that you want to not miss and engage with. That way, you can rest assured you’re not missing out and then log in quick to leave encouragement when they share.
6. Schedule and promote Instagram LIVEs.
Instagram LIVEs are underrated, IMHO. You can communicate in real time and answer questions, and teach, serve, or entertain at the same time. Plus, people love the live energy and it lets you show up for your followers in a different way that actually doesn’t take a ton of time or resources for you!
7. Respond to DMs with voice memos.
This may be my favorite little hack of all time. Sending voice memos is 100000% faster and more personable than typing out a note, and you can communicate more in a smaller amount of time! Plus, it’s just FUN for people to hear from the real you. They know it’s not a team member shooting off a reply and it’s so much more special!
You deserve a life that’s full and fulfilling, and that doesn’t happen behind screens! But I know WE ALL know the value that social media truly does bring when used with intention. I hope these hacks give you some ideas for ways to show up online in ways that matter and take minimal time, and more importantly, show up offline, too.