There is a beautiful question by Suguna in the Q&A section about social media addiction and many members have given great answers here. As I was answering her question, I realised how much of a struggle it was for me to overcome addictions which seem insignificant like WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram or even YouTube. So I thought I’d share my learnings as a post too, for anyone who may be searching for answers in the future. Thanks for the inspiration, Suguna!

So, I share all the points below. They have helped me immensely these have been accumulated over my four years experience to overcome addiction to any form of social media (Facebook, WhatsApp, Insta etc) They worked wonders for me while many other methods failed.

So here goes:

The best way to get out of this habit is by replacing the habit. Forcefully avoiding social media usage was futile for me. Here are a few ways you can gradually replace this habit while still using your phone. (Removing the password and app of the sites from your phone can also help, but when it is real addiction, you will just remember the password and log in through browser. At least I did.). So here is what I suggest:

1. Replace the habit by using Kindle app instead and adopting reading as the habit.

I did this.

Find out what really peaks your interest and buy some related books(any genre: spirituality, romance  comedy, autobiographies, cooking) Just make sure it interests you and will keep you engaged. 

When you are bored and want to be distracted, go and open kindle instead on your phone. 

2. When you are tempted to distract yourself, come on and read member’s post and leave a nice loving comment to encourage them. It will really boost your mood.

Also you could just do a short yagya or Abhishekam on the Sadhana App.

3. Remove the apps like WhatsApp and Instagram from your phone’s main home screen. Move and place the app into a folder on the main app page with a long list. (May not be possible if you use iPhone). If you actively have to go look for an app, mindfulness will kick in. 

Also turn off the notifications in the settings of your phone. Then you have to actively go and open WhatsApp to see your messages- they don’t constantly pop up.

Unfollow the pages you are most addicted to on FB and Insta. They will not appear. 

4. Slowly stop talking to people on Whatsapp and get out of groups. Then you will see that people will message less. When that happens in a few weeks, put your phone away and try to just contemplate within. Ask yourself what you are seeking through these social media scrolls and what can you offer yourself instead.

5. Don’t be hard on yourself and take it easy.

The more we battle with ourselves and desire abrupt change, the more the chances of relapse.

So going slowly but doing it effectively worked best for me. Drastic measures never helped. I am no longer addicted to my phone or any social media, maybe except If you guys have any tips, please do reply to Suguna on her thread too:) You can comment here too

Would love to hear about any fun ways you adopted!