ILLUMINATION
Published in

ILLUMINATION

How I brought down my Instagram screen time below 10 mins per day. Five Techniques to Limit Your Instagram Time!

Photo by author

Social media- especially Instagram eats up a lot of time from our day. And unless your work is revolved around Instagram (or any other social media app), you don’t need to be spending hours on it!

Following are the five techniques that helped me to limit my Instagram time. You can apply these tricks to any other smartphone app and observe a drastic change in your screen-time usage statistics!

1. Monitor Your Screen-Time Usage:

The first mistake we make is to convince ourselves that we don’t waste time on Instagram. And in almost all cases, that is not true. Your mind must first accept the fact that you have a high Instagram usage time before taking any actions to reduce it.

Every smartphone today comes with a functionality of a screen-time monitor widget. USE IT! Keep it on the home screen so that every time you unlock your phone you know exactly how much time you are spending on all of your apps.

Monitor your screen time for the first 2–3 days. When you are continuously hammered by the fact that you are using Instagram for unnecessarily long amounts of time, taking action to alleviate the time wastage becomes easier.

A Screen Time Widget

2. Mute Chats and Groups:

If you analyze the route through which you enter the Instagram app, you might realize that you open the app more frequently by clicking on an Instagram notification than by using the traditional route of searching for the app and then clicking on it! If you are continuously getting popped up with Instagram notifications, you would inevitably tap on one of them and instead of just viewing the message, end up wasting 15 mins.

To avoid this you can simply go to your Instagram settings and mute all your chats and especially your groups. Instagram chats are neither urgent nor very important. They are just filled up with entertaining posts and reels. It doesn’t matter if you attend to these messages after a few hours. You don’t need to stop using chats or groups, just make sure you scroll through them after you open your app.

3. Change the App Location:

It’s good to know our way around things, but not in the case of the distracting apps on our smartphones. We create a habit of tapping on specific locations on our screens as soon as we unlock our smartphones. And this action happens involuntarily. For instance, you might have observed that our thumb automatically reaches for some app after unlocking the phone, and that app is most likely a social media app. (This was observed by me in the case of the Instagram app)

To break this habit of involuntarily opening Instagram (or any other app for that matter), you just have to change the location of the app and make it harder to reach. Don't keep such distracting apps on the home screen! If possible hide these apps whenever you are done with their use and unhide them only when you want to use them. Another thing you can try is to either keep some uninteresting or extremely productive app in place of Instagram.

In my case, my Instagram app was present on the home screen, which I replaced with LinkedIn. So at first, I would involuntarily open up LinkedIn instead of Instagram, and instead of mindlessly scrolling, consume some productive content or just lock my phone and keep it aside. Moreover, I used to hide the Instagram app whenever not in use. So, many times, I would just give up on opening Instagram due to the long and boring process of unhiding the app.

Harder to Reach

4. App Timer

Every phone today comes with an app timer feature. Make use of it. However, make sure that your target usage time is reasonable. If you use Instagram for around 90 mins per day, you shouldn’t set the app timer to 10 mins. Decrease the timer gradually over a period of days. Reduce 2 mins per day so that it doesn’t feel like a drastic change.

Another reason why this change should be gradual is that, if you suddenly stop using Instagram you might end up wasting that time on some social media app. Remember, your goal is not just to reduce your Instagram time but instead to reduce your overall social media screen time.

5. Challenge Your Friends

There are many people around you facing the same challenge of excessive usage of Instagram. Motivate them to follow such techniques along with you. Solving such problems socially helps you to solve them faster.

Gamify your goal of reducing your social media time. Figure out a way in which you can challenge your friends or family. Personally, I gained a lot from this technique. My friend and I used to compare our social media usage times at the end of each week and the one with the lowest social media time would be treated with some snack/drink by the other person. Try such techniques out as they will help you a lot!

Conclusion

These tricks worked wonders for me. I was able to bring down my Instagram time from 90+mins per day to less than 10 mins per day. Achieving something like this is always a great feeling!

My Instagram Usage Time after applying the 5 tricks

I hope you are able to reduce your social media time after following these techniques and spend your time on something productive instead!

Happy Reading :)

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store