You and I? We Major in Social Media

A Broadcasting Communications Undergraduate from the University of the Philippines – Diliman, focusing on New Media. A Social Media Specialist by heart and by profession. Co-founder and Marketing Manger of SOUP Creative House, a Travel Coordinator for Travel Factor.Org and a volunteer for Trade School Manila a barter based learning experience founded in New York. Recently she joined the global organisation of executives and professionals, Zonta International District 5 Area 17 as a new member and is the incoming Area 17 Club Secretary.

She continues to learn and grow with the medium she has chosen, always taking into account the changes that the different social media networking sites themselves impost on its users. She does extensive research and trial testing on existing and emerging social media marketing models in order to develop a more contextually effective technique of social media marketing in different regions.

Way before the arrival of the Internet and furthermore, social networking sites, applications, and mobile devices, the life of a college student was already ridden with so many distractions and pressure.

Today as a college student you try and find the perfect balance between your studies, social life, extra curricular activities, work, and your not-limited-to-one-or-two social networking sites. We can’t help it because it is our source of information, gossip, news and entertainment. There are countless articles online on how “Social Media” helps, but mostly lowers a student’s performance. In fact a mere 24 Hours unplugged from Social Media makes college students bored, isolated and gives us anxiety; all of which are feelings associated with drug and alcohol addiction.

When you feel like you’re losing control over your time, you Google “How to Stop Procrastinating“ and “Top Productivity Tips for College Students”; I am certain that in every article there would be a tip about “lessening” your hours or visits to social networks or putting your mobile device aside but they never really go on to telling you, in detail, HOW to lessen your usage, right? So let me help you fill in those gaps.

Step 1: Organize all social networking and messaging apps in one folder then put it in the very last and least visited page, where all the settings, utility, and bloat apps are. This will lessen their over all “visibility” on your phone. They will be harder to navigate to so you’d feel less inclined to open them and since they are all in one place, when you do visit them you don’t have to waste more time jumping from one place to another since they are all “nearby”.

Step 2: Control your notifications. This step will take more time than the first but putting in the extra 5 or 10 minutes into making sure you are “bothered less” is worth your while. Only turn on notifications for friend requests, personal messages, posts on your wall and maybe event invitations. Other than that let the comments, likes, shares, tags, game invites, etc., go. These are unnecessary, all they do is clutter your notifications list and waste your time. You may get into the nitty gritty notifications when you are on your desktop during your free time but you don’t need to read random conversations or banter in the comments section of your post, you CAN survive without seeing who is liking your post, and you can un-tag unflattering photos of yourself at a more convenient time. Trust me, it won’t be the end of your life.

Step 3: De-clutter that newsfeed. YES you have to individually unsubscribe from people or pages that contribute nothing to your life. This is something you can do over a period of weeks or months. Trust me it took me forever to go through all my friends and unsubscribe from their posts or tick for only the important posts to come up on my newsfeed but it was extremely worth it. I don’t have to deal with countless selfies, downer rants, annoying jokes, or diet ruining food porn. Take my word on this it will enrich your life and give you time to focus on things, people, topics and ideas that actually matter. The way I de-cluttered my newsfeed was by going 5-10 friends a day; for someone starting out this might seem like a lot but once you get into the groove of it you will find yourself wanting to filter in or out more than your maximum number a day. Resist the urge, ladies and gentlemen! Stick to this number until you’ve fully taken back your newsfeed.

Step 4: Making a conscious effort and time-checking. This is the hardest among all four steps because we automatically lose ourselves in that upward swiping motion but when you do have idle time to spare or when you want to take small breaks from the brain twisting assignments or studying at hand, be conscious about that clock on the upper right hand of your screen. Keep checking it to see if you’ve just wasted 30 minutes over a few stories, commenting, serial liking, or chatting with a friend. In time this self-checking “task” will become second nature and won’t seem so inhibiting anymore. (If you are like me and you’d rather be sure about that 30 minutes, you may use apps on Chrome that help you set a time for browsing certain websites or simply set a timer on your phone.)

We all minor, but mostly major, in social media. It’s a world of its own and we love going there to lose ourselves, take a break, hate on people, laugh and reconnect with distant friends or relatives. Let’s face it, social media is part of our life and no matter how hard we try to kick the addiction, it’s hard when everybody else we know is on the habit too. BUT we can moderate and regulate how we use it so that we are more productive and efficient in the real world we live in – college. Hang out with your friends, read an actual book, visit your family over the weekend, really watch a concert (and not through the lenses of your phone). There’s so much online readings, research, and digital collaboration for school that you are obligated to do, so spend the rest of your time outside of that backlit screen and major in life.

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