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> To start, I have an iOS rule that prevents more than 7 minutes of each social media app per day.

But when you open the app at minute 8, there's a prominent "Ignore Limit" button right there. Are you relying on mere self control? Or do you have some way to actually prevent app usage?






Sometimes all you need in order to gain that self control is to have your nose rubbed in it.

Much as we hate them, this is one way that detailed timesheets help. The very fact that you're writing down what you were doing for each half-hour or whatever is enough to keep you focused because even if there are no further repercussions, you really don't want to write "hacker news 3.5 hours".

Speaking of which... closes tab


Most of my usage is in a single session or two short sessions. Once I hit the limit I close the app and I usually don’t come back for the day. I have pretty good self control , but more importantly I want to use my time on other things. If I’m killing time I’d much rather read hacker news, work through my 800 article Pocket backlog, listen to an audio book, or flip through some pictures / memories of my kids.

The limit was a choice I made up front to be a reminder not to waste too much time and to stop and do something else. But honestly, I try not to put too much thought into it. If I’m really enjoying what I’m doing in that moment I’ll give myself an extension for a few minutes. But it’s rare I do that more than once.

I don’t think about it as an addiction that I’m trying to break or a habit I’m trying to avoid. I’ve made the conscious that social media is something I enjoy but don’t want to spend too much time on. So I put an arbitrary limit that reminds me to stop and do something else. My general mindset about most things is that doing it to excess isn’t good. Is wasting your day on social media that much worse than binging Netflix all day? Sure, if social media is causing anxiety, depression, or [enter any other issue here] then it’s something that should be managed. But if you are using it responsibly, not in excess, and are healthy about it, it seems fine to use from time to time with it without arbitrary limits.




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