In this day and age, where our lives are dominated by our social media presence, people feel compelled to check their social media accounts at all hours of the day. It is especially difficult for business owners, entrepreneurs, and social media marketers to get space from their digital lives.
We often spend more time scrolling than we think; valuable time that we could be spending going after our dreams. Local life coach Melissa Brumm of Slow Life Revolution shared her tips for scrolling less and living more during this past month’s Social Media Breakfast. Watch the event replay and check out the photo recap of the event on the SMBMad Facebook page. Melissa also shared a copy of her presentation deck.
Remember social media isn’t bad.
The average adult spends 2.5 hours on social media per day, or 15 hours per week. While that number may be surprising and seem like a lot, Melissa reminds us that it isn’t all bad.
“Screen time isn’t bad; social media isn’t bad,” Melissa said. “It keeps us connected and inspired. It is how we spend our time on social media that needs to be addressed.”
When we use social media to scroll mindlessly, disengage from our lives, compare ourselves to others or avoid difficult things, that is when it is a problem.
Understand your primal brain.
As humans, our primal brains are designed to seek pleasure, avoid pain and reserve energy.
“Social media is amazing for doing that for us,” Melissa said. “It allows us to see fun things, not extend too much energy and we avoid pain by not going out into the real world and failing.”
As a result, your brain’s natural instinct thinks social media is very important. You are seeing fun posts (pleasure), not failing (avoiding pain) and only use one finger to scroll (reserve energy).
To be successful at scrolling less, you need to override the instinct.
“You are scrolling because of a feeling. Developing an awareness of your feelings helps you understand that internal motivation and redirect your actions,” Melissa said.
More than a feeling.
As social media managers, it is easy to feel bad when a post didn’t get enough likes or engagements. You tend to mindlessly scroll through other social media posts instead of evaluating how to do better.
“You find yourself scrolling and calling itself research,” Melissa said.
When you find yourself scrolling, pause, take a deep breath and analyze what you are thinking and feeling in that moment and why. Once you have awareness as to why you are using social media, you can evaluate if scrolling is an important use of your time and, if not, you can change it.
Pivoting from scrolling.
Here are some great tips Melissa shared to help you stop the scroll:
- Schedule space away from social media. Commit to spending time off of your phone focused solely on the work you want to do. Block out two hours a day of fully focused, no phone time. Similarly, pencil in times that you will use social media and specifically what you will use it for (plan posts, evaluate ads, create content, etc.)
- Discipline. You need to hold yourself accountable to your feelings. A good practice is to talk to your primal brain like you are toddler – “I know you want to scroll, but we are doing X right now.” You can also set time limits on your phone to notify you when you have exceeded your time scolling during the day.
- Learn to be present again. When you are spending time with someone, be present and engaged with them by looking them in the eyes and taking deep breaths. Do not hesitate to turn your phone off or put it into a focused setting. “It is amazing how we feel compelled, even if we have the sound off and hear it vibrate, to check our phone notifications,” said Melissa.
- Set firm boundaries. If you find yourself checking your phone first thing in the morning or right before bed, try sleeping with your phone away from your bed one hour before going to sleep. Set time limits and change your app notifications so you do not feel compelled to respond to notifications in real time.
Melissa reminds us that it is not an easy tendency to break.
“We are all addicted; have compassion with yourself,” Melissa said. “We have a dependency to reach for our phones all the time. You aren’t going to get it right right away, and that is okay.”
ABOUT OUR SPEAKER: Melissa Brumm
Burned out from social media during COVID, Melissa Brumm wanted to not have to always be looking at her phone. But as an event promoter and online marketer, it’s a little hard to get away from it. She decided to find a way to live peacefully with a smartphone and Slow Life Revolution was born.
Through her website, Melissa teaches people sustainable ways of living around technology without it running their lives. Exploring what living online does to us as individuals and as a society, she teaches how you can take the revolutionary act of NOT living your life online. Through mindset work, she teaches people to stop living their lives through screens and move towards taking empowered action to create the lives they want IRL.
NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT: WayForward Resources
WayForward Resources (formerly Middleton Outreach Ministry) provides access to nutritious food and support that helps people stay in their homes in Middleton, Cross Plains and west Madison. Their case managers partner with clients to solve immediate needs and work toward their long-term goals. Thanks to generous community support and partnership, the organization serves more than 5,000 people in our community each year.