How Social Media is Ruining My Life


This week I’ve been conducting a little experiment.

After realising that I had too much on at the moment, I had to sacrifice something to manage my time more efficiently.  While toying with the idea of scrapping personal hygiene altogether and researching how often we actually need to bathe as a species, I came across a shocking statistic.

Britons spend 62m hours a day on social media – that’s an average one hour for EVERY adult and child

(Courtesy of The Independant)

This equates to one hour for each man, woman and child in the UK.  Now I don’t know about you, but an extra hour for me means time for breakfast before my bus on a morning, or more research for my assignments.

So I took it upon myself to ban the use of Facebook and Twitter for one whole day.  That’s right. 24 hours without the use of social media.  Here’s what I found.

6:30am  Opened my eyes and instinctively reached for my phone, before remembering I’d deleted my apps and wasn’t going to be social today.

7:30am At the bus stop now and instinctively reached for my phone again.  Instead I looked on the newspaper websites for updates.  For all I knew at this point the world could have ended overnight and my bus wasn’t coming.

8:30am Arrived at the library and actually managed to resist the temptation to log in.  Instead, I took my coffee to a table and re-read my notes for the upcoming lecture.

10:00 Actually understood the content of the lecture due to my efficient reading skills.  Go me!

2:00 Entered into a seminar where during the group discussion other students were sat on their phones.  Not really that helpful. Ended up discussing the finer points of English theory with myself or anyone else that would listen.

4:15 Waiting for the bus.  This is where I would usually be sat on Facebook. Instead I’m just a bit bored.

5:00 Arrive home and get to spend time with my daughter Penny.  I happily set down my phone without looking twice to see if I had any notifications.

7:00 Penny is in bed now, time to tidy up and make tea.  Without spending time on my phone I get things done much faster than usual and get to enjoy a nice glass of wine before….

10:00pm Bed.  My phone goes onto charge and I’m not lying in bed scrolling through my newsfeed.  I think it’s the fastest I’ve ever fallen to sleep.

After a not very eventful day I came to the conclusion that I don’t need to constantly be attached to my phone.  I realise that in the PR profession social media is one of the most useful tools we have, however, it does have a tendency to take over.  I feel that in spending the day without it I’ve managed to get a whole lot more done, but realistically I can’t spend every day like this.

The reality is that in this industry, social media is necessary. We need to keep in touch with our publics, and keep our eyes peeled for the latest trends. It’s also a great medium for reaching loads of people at once.

So, I’ve decided to limit myself. I get to check my news feed for 10 minutes every 2 hours. This way I get the best of both worlds. I save my time not having to scroll through the same stories every time I log in, but I’ll still get a chance to find out what’s going on while I wait for the bus or if I need a break.

After all, anything is good in moderation.