If we were to honestly ask ourselves if we spend an ungodly amount of time on social media, we’d be hard pressed for an honest answer. Chances are, most of us spend more time chasing an ideal life on Facebook and Instagram than we’d care to admit. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and the zillion other social media apps do a good job of keeping us connected to our friends and the world. But there is a flip side to the expansive intake of information of a billion other lives – a false sense of reality. 

How can social media affect you?

A new car, an exotic family vacation or a secret getaway with their beau, super luxurious birthday parties – social media has made each of us a victim of the social pressure to make our lives look better for the camera. And it is not just affecting our mental health. Our pockets are considerably lighter because of it. We are all guilty of buying a new dress for a party because we don’t want to be caught on Insta wearing the same one as last time! 

If you can relate to this, read on to learn how to stop social media from wrecking your finances:

Hold off on your ‘ME’ time on social media

Don’t spend every free second scrolling on Instagram and Facebook. You can even deliberately delete a few apps and log in occasionally to keep a tab on it. You can carve out a specific amount of time to get caught up with the world but don’t get caught in the maze of keeping a count of your online peers’ social parties. Spend actual time with actual people that matter in your life. 

Have a plan of your own and start saving!

Have you felt bad about someone flaunting off something on social media and then felt bad that you couldn’t do it? Social media makes you feel that every time you hit the refresh button on your timeline. The only honest way to stay clear of temptation is to make a list of your own needs and wants. 

Make a financial plan. The ideal social media detox plan should have enough to cater to your mini splurges but also make clear headway for future goals. You can spend on the U2 concert and splash it on social media as long as you keep some moolah saved for the car you will need when you start working. 

Unfollow influencers

Some people are on social media ONLY because they want to flaunt their expensive vacays and their new limited edition Ferrari. Plus, social media algorithms work in mysterious ways. You follow one brand, and you start seeing all these clothes ads on your feed. This is to fuel impulsive buying while getting more eyeballs for their own products. Influencers get paid to publicize any product and to get their followers to buy into this idea of a rich life. Don’t get lured into it. Either unfollow people that make you want to stretch your pocket, or keep a tab on how much time you spend calculating discounts on social media. 

Set that ALARM! Put a time limit on your apps

It’s tough but effective. If you have an iOS device, you can put a timer on social media apps to keep yourself from binge-watching and falling into a rabbit hole of sadness and inadequacy. Keep your hands off your phone for a couple of hours each day to detox and learn to live away from the false glamour of social media. 

You don’t need to stay away from social media altogether to develop a healthy (and debt-less) lifestyle. Keep those likes going but stay focused on your own goals to ensure you’re not derailed from managing your finances!

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