How To Reduce Social Media Addiction For a Clearer and Focused Mind (ep13 podcast)

Walks and thoughts with JT.

In this park walk episode I share my thoughts on how to reduce social media addiction. Just exploring some thoughts and ideas to get you into deep thought on how you can think about what you think about. 

  • Why are you on social media?
  • How is it influencing you?
  • Why is it affecting you?
  • What value does it add ?
  • What can you do to reduce social media addiction?


Reduce Social Media Addiction

Hello and welcome to another podcast. And again, today I’m out on another walk in the morning. The thing that’s been on my mind is social media and the pros and cons around social media, the kind of addiction that it can create, the kind of psychology that these platforms put behind it to keep you on their platforms as long as possible and just just , how that kind of thing has an effect on the human brain and how as individuals we are influenced by these kind of platforms and what’s actually going on there. So I suppose the reason, the kind of deep thought about this came about from just looking at what I’ve been doing in business and really digging deep into the kind of return on investment on things. And I started looking into social media. I had something come up the other day, which, uh, showed an image of about nine years back.

So that got me thinking, wow, I’ve been on Facebook for about over nine years, which is kind of crazy, right? It’s a platform that’s been a part of your life for the last 10 years. You know, just going on there, posting pictures, connecting with friends in where everybody’s up to and just looking back a lot of time and how I originally used to use it because it was a new thing people were talking about it. You go on it, you connect with others, kind of share what you’re up to. And as a marketer looking at this and thinking, how can it be utilised to actually get more leads and generate more leads, more sales, that kind of thing. The very nature of social media is to like, you know, so as they say, social is to connect with people to share and what not. But over the years, the way these platforms have been used to actually generate leads, help create sales and get your product in front of people has massively changed.

It’s become so advanced and as a result of it, we’re moving into this kind of whole big data area where everything’s data driven and they are able to do these things. They got very advanced algorithms which can actually be used for predictive human behaviour. Because humans, even though we’ve got a left brain or right brain, we use logic versus emotion. We’re still predictable in many ways. You know, we create, we like to create habits. We like to create something that’s familiar. That’s how we basically go about our daily routines. We create daily routines, right? Sometimes these daily routines can be an advantage and sometimes they’re not. Sometimes they can, uh, sidetrack you and then one day, all of a sudden you think, Whoa, how did that happen? And that’s um, something based around, I suppose you could call it hypnotic rhythm. This is from Napoleon Hill’s book, outwitting the devil, where he talks about how habits over time become the norm.

And that’s known as hypnotic rhythm. And sometimes you’re not even aware of how hypnotic rhythm kicked in. It’s only one day you might just stop or something might break your state and you start to wonder and think like, Whoa, what just happened? And I think social media is one of those things where you’re on it and then one day you think, well, what am I doing? Why am I like on my wall scrolling? And all of a sudden, 10 minutes ago and by 15 minutes ago, by 20 minutes gone by, and you look at what you’ve done, anything, “damn, haven’t got nothing done, I haven’t done anything or done very little”. It reminds me of a, um, John Demartini talking about the quality of your life is determined by the quality of your questions. And he really got me think about that, what does that mean?

The quality of your life depends on the quality of your questions. I suppose when I look at that, I think deeper about it, I realised that the human brain is a problem solving machine, whatever questions you put into it, it will eventually come up with the solution. It will find a way of doing things. You just got to give it time. You got to give it information. You got to let it kind of just say, say work in the background and let him do his thing. So today I’m just exploring about how to reduce your social media addictions. So when you start to ask yourself the questions such as, what am I really doing on social media, why am I on this thing? What kind of ROI is giving me? Especially if you’re in business, what’s the purpose of me being here? Why am I hanging out here?

You then start to question your mind and influence your perception about why and how you’re doing things. And then you start to wonder and look into it to see see if it is actually adding any value into my life and to the lives of many people that you could potentially influence. So spending time on social media, basically it becomes habit and the end up doing it, I mean, we’re living in a connected state. Everybody’s got a lot’s going on on their phones. They are alway connected, now, it makes me wonder, I mean, when I was in the corporate world, social media was there, but it wasn’t as big as it is now. And I’m just looking at how we used to work. We used to get there and do our work and what not and the phones, anything that was alerting us on the phone, we probably just text messages. But nowadays it’s like messenger alerts, text messages, whatsapp, email.

It’s just a bombardment of all these ways to distract you and not just distract you but kind of keep you connected. Now these social media platforms, they want you to spend time on their systems. They want you to be on, on Facebook and youtube. They want you to create quality content, but at the same time it’s like the Yin and the Yang. You know, it’s got pros and cons. It’s they keep you on the platform obviously because it enables them to create ad revenue basically from the adverts that are being put up, gives them the advantage to be the kind of leading platform over time as is all his competition going on. So they will all is thinking and doing things and researching and putting in psychological research triggers to see what else they can do to keep you on their platforms. So there’s a lot of psychology that goes behind, goes on behind it. Um, you know, the newer things that keep coming up with what’s going to keep people on the platform, how to keep you addictive, addicted. So if you find yourself like on one of these platforms like Instagram or Facebook and you’re just scrolling your world, looking at what’s going on in the world, just stop for a moment and think.

How’s this actually benefiting you? Why you are here doing this, what’s actually going on here? I mean these things are kind of cool. I mean, you know, like for example, one of the best things about Instagram is just, just the pictures people put up.

Sometimes the pictures look fantastic and then they draw you in. And images are one of the greatest things that actually can get you addicted to something because the, it gives the brain something to visualise. Visualisation is one of those very strong points that can put you in. So using emotion based images can actually attract the human eye to look at something in more detail. And then just liking things and commenting just keeps you, you know, makes you feel part of something. But you got to ask yourself a question, are you just off the likes? Is there a vanity thing? You know, is it just the more people like me, the better? You know, even just the whole like thing is, you know, it’s a competition going on to see who gets the most likes, the most followers and whatnot. And the reality is there’s entrepreneurs out there, there are people out there who are not on social media who are got no following and they just killing absolutely smashing it.

So you have to ask yourself, is what you’re doing, if it is in relation to business, is actually adding value to your business. You’ve got to think about why you’re on social media. I mean, is it in relation to your business? I mean it being a marketer for, for example, in myself, I kind of have to know what’s going on in the world, right? So I have to use these systems to some degree to find out how they work or what the point is, how they can actually be utilised for businesses to be able to create ROI on it. So I use it for research purposes to see how it can be used in business for clients myself, how can we use to actually generate leads. But then there’s a whole psychology behind that as well as to, you know, the kind of headlines that are being used to attract you to hook you in.

Now we got realised that there’s algorithms running in the background and the purpose of the algorithms is to feed you information that you like, things that are of interest to you. So the algorithms that run around, they go into basically dish out information, whi ch is they , . i was going to say think and feel, but there’s a computer running the background So it’s just using logic to see if these things are going to be relevant to you. And one of the kind of things about these algorithms is like for example, helicopter in the background that don’t know how much is getting picked up on this mic? These algorithms are basically feeding you information that logically would or should be something of interest to you, but it has a negative as well because as a marketer sometimes I’m doing research. I’m just looking around at what other marketers are doing and what other industry when when you’re doing industry or competitive research for clients, you’re looking at what other people are doing, what’s going on in industry and all those kinds of things.

If the algorithms are then taking that into consideration, all of a sudden if you’re doing research on a particular topic, you’re just going to be fed loads of lots of, lots of lots of information in regards to that. Now, the pros is obviously you get to see what other people are doing, but the negatives is that it kind of reduces your world because if you’re just constantly seeing the same all related information, all of a sudden you could start to feel that everybody’s doing it. Everybody’s onto this. And if it’s something that’s related to your business, it can actually create depression and anxiety to some degree. Because if you do this over time with hypnotic rhythm, if these things become habit and they become part of your subconscious where you’re not consciously aware that you even doing this or this information is being fed on you.

Now the information coming to your brain is that everybody seems to be doing this. Everybody’s on it. So if you are a coach, for example, and everybody’s, all of a sudden you see all these coaches, it’s like, “oh, look at this. All these coaches seem to be so successful. Why am I not successful in this? Why? What’s going on here? Why these guys smashing im not with them”. And that kind of stuff can happen, which can create depression to the degree where you think, what could you have done differently or what’s going on where it’s kind of past based and anxiety in the sense that how am I going to do this and how can I go about doing this in the future? Or if I doubt do this, um, FOMO kicks in, right? The fear of missing out. So it creates this kind of, these false perceptions as well where then using social media, it’s just basically becomes negative.

Now, if you’re aware of this, that’s fine because you’ll be able to manage your emotions around it. But if it seeps in as hypnotic rhythm, it can be detrimental. So that’s why it’s very important to ask yourself, why am I doing this? What’s going on? And the information that I’m being, I’m seeing is it relevant? Is it, how much of it is true as well? Just not too long ago. And there was a false article about metro bank and their shares plummeted and they had to then quickly basically, um, put out press and media press releases sorry to kind of address the issue and then get back on track. And because of social media, it’s so easy to create false information. So everything that you’re seeing online may not be true in the first place anyway. So it’s, it’s, it’s kind of to some degree created to, create perceptions, which are then used to influence your mind. And that’s kind of a negative side of it as well. But if it’s being utilised, depending on the intentions, if whoever is doing it, if it’s utilised in a way that is actually going to be beneficial, then obviously we’ll have benefit effects.

Yeah, it was interesting the other day, my buddy Chaz fly was, um, he had been off social media for abit. He left a message and then it came up on my wall and I had a read and it’s only when he flagged it, he said that he’s been off social media for about six weeks. I thought, Oh yeah, no wonder why he’s being so quiet. But he was talking about that. He was talking about how, you know, being on social media, you can eventually start to see addictive behaviours forming. So, you know, he went off it for a while. And um, I know Chaz is a very deep thinker as well. So he’s picked up on his habits and so how is this benefiting me or what do I need to do? So he, just to kind of create space and clarity in one’s mind.

And this reminds me of this whole concept of information diet. I was um, listening to a webinar awhile back where the host guy called Aaron, basically spoke about how you need to go on information by every now and then where you basically just switch off. Just switch off from social media because creating that space away from something can allow you to almost recover to some degree because we live in such a world where all this information is just constantly being bombarded, bombarded on your brains and your senses going into information diet is literally that. It’s like doing some sort of health diet, but you’re just away from information and just allow yourself to kind of settle into your own on being so you can look up what you’re doing, how you’re doing it.

Is it, is it productive for your business, for your life, for your social life, for your mind, and just being away from these things for a while can actually be very, very beneficial. Earlier on, I was talking about how I was, how I was looking at or I used to do say 10 years back and in terms of productivity and the ways to do things and because social media wasn’t so big then it just meant that the mind was occupied by doing other things and over time what’s happened, What I noticed, and this is quite recently to some degree as well, where I did actually pose and think, what am I doing? Why, why? What’s the purpose of this? How much value is this actually adding to me did come about from being an information diet. He just, just switching off and not looking at what other people, they’re not bombarding Um, my mind with all these things, just taking a break from it and it helped me slow down. It helped me just stop and think and become present in the moment. Because I could feel like anxious states coming about and depressive states coming about and I was questioning g, thinking where is this coming from? What’s going on here now? What’s, what’s happened? What’s changed? And I realised it was because of un assigned time just getting distracted by social media. You know, and I’m sure there’s loads of other people who are probably in the same similar state. It is very, it can be addictive and it doesn’t always benefit you. I’ve got tons of people who are hardly ever on social media like take Sukhi Wahiwala, For example, my brother, my business mentor, and when you look how he’s up to his, you could say he’s a business tycoon, right

So when you look at his habits and what he does, he’s hardly ever on social media. If you can know when it’s on social media because they’ll, it’ll put some personal messages in every now and then. And it’s like maybe once a week on a, I don’t know, Friday morning or something is when he’ll just, he’s allocated time to actually go on social media and do this. And that’s a big thing to take away is create time for certain things in your life. I mean, one of the things I find with myself for example, was because we are so connected with so many ways for people to get in touch with you through social media, email, whatsapp, text message and whatnot. People, if they need something that they can end up bombarding you, they whatsapp you that touched you, that this, that the other, and all of a sudden you go all these different channels of communication going on and you might reply back on the whatsapp and then you reply back on the email.

Then you forgotten what you originally had replied to someone and as a support desk type of thing. This is very bad. So it comes down to you to kind of create these channels of communication as well and take some responsibility and even educate clients and people on how, what’s the best way for them to connect with you?

For me, if it’s business related, I always highly recommend putting a ticket in support tickets because if it’s in the system is day, we can see a, we can reply back to the ticket and it’s all monitored and logged and that’s the best way to do it. And if it’s like a personal stuff, then yeah, there’ll be sad times of allocated to reply back to personal messages. And sometimes people do say I cant get thought to you, its because the calling me a random times and I got things going on, which I need to be working on.

So there’s time that’s been allocated for these things and just creating time to on how you utilise the things I, if you need to be on social media, create time for it. Don’t just jump on it when you, as soon as you get distracted, switch off your alerts. That’s not a very good thing. That’s just a distraction. Switch off your alerts, create allocated focus time. As Sukhi would say daily focus time to just work on particular things. Crate, look at how you can create better habits. Look at how you could create better routines which serve you as opposed to distracting you.

So in this podcast I wanted to talk about what you can do to reduce your social media addiction. The first thing I would recommend is basically to switch off all your alerts, right? You don’t, you don’t need them, you don’t need to be distracted by, some people utilise the alerts because they need it for their business.

I suppose it depends on the business what it is. If it’s really time critical type of stuff, you may need to leave those on. But if it’s not, you know there was a time when you were probably running that business and you didn’t have the alerts and you were still getting on with stuff, right? So what’s changed if you allocate your time properly in regards to that, it would be something you can better manage. So the first thing is to switch off your alerts. The second thing is create dedicated time as to when you actually going to be on social media. Do what you need to do in that allocate space. So if you’re giving us half an hour or two even, thats quite a bit. But you know, if you are just to make sure you’re utilising it properly and have a, have a reason as to why you’re actually on social media.

If you’ve got multiple reasons, one, actually to be social, then have a social hour for example, dedicated. And if it’s for business, then use a business hour just for business purposes. So make sure you allocate the time.

The other thing you could do is ask yourself the questions, who, why am I on social media? What’s the purpose? Why am I doing this? How’s it going to benefit me? How’s it going to benefit others? And write it down and go deep into it. See why you on social media in the first place. What’s the purpose? So yeah, so also ask those why questions. Then you can also look at how is this, how is this activity actually benefiting me? I was listening to a podcast the other day, I think it was called unstoppable. They have a guy’s name. The host name was, I think Kevin, I’m not sure. And he was interviewing a guy called Dr John Demartini and John was talking about how he measures everything. He said that no matter what he does, he measures it. So he knows exactly how many workshops he done. He knows how many countries he’s been to. He knows how many people he’s influenced, how many podcasts or videos and all these kinds of things he’s done. He measures it he said or don’t share it with the public is for my own, um, understanding and it’s something I can utilise. He said to measure my progress against TC if it’s in my values or if it’s, if I’m just being delusional by just, erm wasting time. So ask yourself, how is it benefiting you? Can you actually measure the ROI on it? So ask yourself, how can you measure, see , how your activities actually benefiting you or your business in a, what’s the measurements? What, how are you tracking it? What’s actually happening? If you post something, what’s actually happening?

How’s that converted into a lead or a sale? Ask yourself these questions because people think they need loads. A lots of, lots of, lots of, lots of followers. But the reality is not, there was a book of reading a Karma, the names, I’ll probably have to post it, a link to it at the bottom of my website blog page. And I’m it was talking about certain numbers which uh, you reach in terms of followers way. It’s actually like a sweet spot. I don’t know which are not. And I think it was something like 10 k mark is decent. Anything more than that may not benefit you because it’s a numbers game. So you have to look at it. And in this, the averages talk about one, to ,3% kind of thing. Five even six. Sometimes who is good, the higher the conversion percentage is better. So if it’s a numbers game, if you are going and industry averages and it’s like one to 3%, that’s not a lot.

So that means in a one that means three people in a hundred are actually gonna react in some way to a post. And as a numbers game that’s quite low. So you have to think about why you try to get so many followers and likes and if you are getting, is it actually going to convert or translate to some sort or return on investment.

So when you start to ask yourself these questions, I should start to bring you in to more kind of present state where you can really start to dig deep and uncover the reasons for your activities and why you doing what you’re doing and changing you state around it will allow you to think about things in a different manner and thinking in a different way can make you aware of your own activities and break these hypnotic rhythms that we’ve created so you can actually do something that’s more in line with your values.

More something thats create a better benefit for yourself, something that can help you even have a better mental state and something that allows you to manage your emotions around what you’re doing. Because all these things are just tapping into your emotions, right?In rich dad poor dad. They talk about how the emotional brain can outweigh your logical brain. So you have to be careful in how your emotions are actually influencing your life and what you’re doing in life. So that’s another tip is to basically tune into your emotions and start to analyse and understand what emotions you’re going through and realise that your emotions, they just, the emotions, the chemical reactions going on in your body, in your brain, which are having the effect on your body that influences your mood. And depending on how emotionally charged you may be can have a deep impact on you.

But when you realise that these things are just there thoughts and emotions that are going on within your own brain and that the chemical reactions, then you can start to see the science behind it is to balance out those chemicals. And that happens through thinking and thoughts that we create and the kind of perceptions we then end up creating. Because you can think about negative things though. You could think about positive things. The idea is to become aware of your thoughts and what you think about, you bring about, so what is it that you’re thinking about on a regular basis? And then why you thinking about that? How is it benefiting? or not benefiting you and whether what you’re thinking about is true. Most people will think it is true, but you got to ask yourself, the question is, how do you know that’s true? Are there other people out there who are going through similar situations or scenarios?

Are the people that have overcome things and of they have, how did they go about doing that? And then model them and go about finding out what they did, researched them, and understand what they did to overcome something. And then start to apply those principles in your life. It requires you to have conscious thinking about it. So be present and actually think about what you’re thinking about and try not to run an autopilot. And the best way to do that is to actually sit down, chill, relax, calm your mind down and breathe. Go out there, go for a walk, see the park, be with nature and slow down your time, slow down your brain’s time and your thinking time. Because we create these timelines, the past timeline, the future timeline, which were constantly oscillating between. The more we’re kind of bouncing around from one thing to another, the more your brain is getting divided and distracted. So the idea is to just get present, get into the moment and then look at it from there.

With this thing of Fomo, fear of missing out is probably one of the biggest reasons we hang out on social media. Just in case we see something that we don’t, we don’t want to miss out on something. So we’re constantly looking on how, I suppose, I mean when i look at it myself. I look at how I could better myself. I can bet on my business, I can serve more people, see how I can go about doing that and looking around to see if there’s something that’s missing or there’s a certain tip or a trick that I can apply that will actually benefit me. All that is great, but you gotta be aware of this hypnotic rhythm stuff, right? So if it becomes habit over time and it becomes subconscious, it may not be benefiting you.

So every now and then it’s good to kind of check in as to your own habits and how they are actually benefiting you or not benefiting you. And for me the best ways that is is through just stillness. Um, whether that’s meditation or whether that’s just going for a walk and just letting the brain be and just set up. It’s like checking a book on a dusty table, right? And all the dust flies up and it’s all misty and messy and there’s so much going on. It’s only when you give it time the dust settles and then you can see the book that you threw originally on floor and what that’s all about. It’s a bit like that. Life’s a bit like that. The noise, the digital distractions is basically that, you know, it’s like just for noise and static and sound and all sorts of things flying around.

And our body is constantly being bombarded with this stuff. So every now and then we will ground ourselves. We’ve got to kind of discharge the energy. You know, that’s why every electrical circuit board out there has an earth cable as well, which basically goes into the ground and it’s called earthing or grounding. It’s good to ground yourself every now and then as well. And I think one of the best ways to do that is to actually go out and say in nature, oh, just saw this beautiful duck And just look at nature and how when you get present, when you’re just sitting or standing, just like looking at this humongous, it’s not really a lake. It’s like a massive pondered type thing, but not your, even upon this really big, I don’t know what they call it, massive. I’m looking and seeing the waves on the water, the reflection of the sun, feeling the heat on my skin. It’s a kind of Nice, cool air. That I’m breathing in the sounds of these creatures around to me, the ducks, I’m not sure if this might can pick up those sounds in the background and because most of our time in life we’re just constantly in our heads and one of the techniques I find which is really useful is just to listen to the sounds around you. There’s a technique I use which is to do with your modalities. I mean where the brain has ways to be auditory, kinaesthetic, visual and we kind of jump out the job in and out of the states all the time.

Most of the time we’re like internalising things in our brain and our mind. When you go out in nature, if you’re meditating, if you sit down and just listen to the sounds around you, things are outside you vs yourself, not to the internal noise, not to the internal dialogue, but the things are outside of you. Like for example when you wake up in the morning or it’s quite early at the moment, I can hear the birds in the background. I’m just listening to the sounds of the birds tweeting away and allowing my brain to shift externally allows the inner noise to calm down and there’ll be a moment where the inner noise and the out outside noise is kind of harmonised and in balance and in that balances is a moment of silence. satori I, I think the call it and even a glimpse of that moment of stillness can really relax you and calm you down and recharge your batteries.

How interesting is, We are talking about social media and come down to stillness in nature about not being social. So sometimes you have to disconnect in order to connect again.

So I was testing our new Mike today as well and a again into deep pondering states. She tries morning walks are quite good. Give it a go. Just relax, be outside in silence and stillness allows you to calm your mind down and reconnect with your inner self. But you have to sometime go external in the sense you allow the outside noises which allows you to become present so that the inside noises can calm down and then there’ll be a moment where the inside and the outside is kind of balanced. You’re left and right brain harmonises balances out thats and thats the point of meditation is to harmonise the brain, not necessarily to quieten or become thoughtless.

It’s more about letting the thoughts that are in your mind to balance. It’s like letting the dust settle. Once you’ve thrown the book on a dusty shelf, this podcast has become more about calming the mind and relaxing it. And what I’ve just realised while we’ve been walking is that sometimes when you go loads of lots going on, um, if you do like a mind dump and pull all your thoughts onto paper or if you’ve got tasks you do just put more onto paper, you’re disassociating yourself and doing a mind dump. Literally putting out there. And what I realised is whilst doing this podcast and just talking my thoughts. I’m actually doing the same thing with my thoughts. Kind of doing a mind dump to some degree and I’m getting my internal thinking aligned with my internal thinking, if that makes sense. So just learned something for myself as well.

Hope it’s been useful. It’s beneficial. Yeah. I suppose the biggest thing is just about slowing down and just just asking the questions as to why you doing, why you on social media, what are you doing, what’s the point? What’s the purpose? How you measuring it, how you’re getting an ROI on it. You don’t have to just be following everybody else. You don’t have to be copying every body just because your neighbour’s doing this because other people are doing it doesn’t mean you have to be digging as well. Cause there are plenty of people out there who are not even on social media, don’t even use it and they’re doing really well. So it just becomes a question to think why have we become so I suppose brainwashed to some degree think or thinking that we have to be on these platforms all the time. We don’t really if you utilise it in an effective way as part of a habitual strategy that you can create, then it can become a part of a routine. And you could create new habits. You could actually leverage the way you do things in order to be more efficient. Economy of motion, as Bruce Lee would say, the quickest, most efficient route from ATB, or hope that’s been useful. So yeah, if you got any questions, feel free to get in touch. Join me on my Facebook group. [haha] get you more addicted to digital marketing thats only if you want to stay connected. That is so, yeah, just, um, any questions, let me know and have a great rest of the day or a good night’s sleep and chat to you soon. Thank you.

Find out more about the dangers of social media here.

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