How can I spend less time on social media?

Productivity, Time ManagementAppdrawn Team | Published 31st October 2022
Do you want to get out of the loop but just don’t have the discipline? The good news is that there are some practical ways you can combat this.

According to Statista, ‘the average daily social media usage of internet users worldwide amounted to 147 minutes per day’ this year. That is a staggering two and a half hours! Some people have run a marathon, roasted a Christmas turkey and flown to Dubrovnik, Ibiza and Majorca from London in that time! 

Why do people spend so much time on social media? There are reams of articles and literature on the subject. To sum up in the context of this post would be an impossible task and we do not profess to be experts on the subject either. However, Trevor Hayne’s blog Dopamine, Smartphones & You: A battle for your time for Harvard University, provides a very clear explanation on the science behind it all if you would like to read further. Our rudimental summary is that dopamine is a chemical that is produced by our brains when we engage in ‘feel good’ activities. It is a key player in ‘motivating behaviour’ in that ‘it rewards us for beneficial behaviours and motivates us to repeat them.’ It has been proven that behaviours that elicit successful social interactions, be it ‘laughing faces, positive recognition by our peers and messages from loved ones’ tap into these ‘dopaminergic reward pathways.’ In social media terms that equates to notifications, comments, messages, reactions and likes. Our smartphones, then, are a potentially unlimited source of dopamine-inducing, positive social interactions, readily available to literally tap into, in our pockets 24/7. 

How can you spend less time on social media? Do you want to get out of the loop but just don’t have the discipline? The good news is that there are some practical ways you can combat this.

Turning Off All Facebook Notifications

Social media networks have got really good at tempting you back. Each platform has a range of notifications of different types across each of the different notification methods (Email, SMS, Push Notifications). If you'd like to truly take control, we show you here where you can find and set all of the notifications for Facebook. There's a lot of different switches that need setting if you'd like to take control.

  1. Go to on a tablet or computer and sign in.
  2. Click on your profile picture top-right of the screen.
  3. In the menu, click on 'Settings & privacy'.
  4. In the submenu, click on 'Settings'.
  5. On the new menu on the left, click on 'Notifications'.
  6. There are lots of types of notifications that are listed on the right, expand each one and set which types of notifications you'd like to receive.

Turning Off Mobile Device Notifications

If you are easily distracted by your phone continually buzzing or lighting up, you can minimise these sensory distractions. If you sign in to a given social media platform and persist your way through disabling all their notification options, your life will suddenly become much quieter and focussed.


  1. Go to Settings > Notifications > Notification Style.
  2. Select the apps you no longer want to receive notifications from.
  3. Set the Allow Notifications toggle to Off. You should stop receiving alerts from those apps.

If you forget to turn all of them off and one pops up, you can change the settings there and then. 

  1. Swipe left over the banner notification you don’t want to see.
  2. Press Manage.
  3. Tap Turn Off.


  1. Go to your Settings app > Notifications.
  2. Select the apps you no longer want to receive notifications from.

Again if one slips through the net and a notification banner pops up:

  1. Swipe to the left on the notification.
  2. Tap the Settings icon.
  3. Deactivate the notifications.

Set Mobile Device Time Limits

If you would like to drastically reduce your social media use, you can actually limit the amount of time you spend on social media daily. 


There is a built-in feature on iOS that facilitates this. 

  1. Go to Settings > Screen Time.
  2. Turn on Screen Time.
  3. Tap App Limits.
  4. Add limits to individual apps or to categories of apps. Click on a category name to see all the apps in that category.
  5. Tap Next.
  6. Specify time allowed. You can allocate time for each day or customise time limits for different days (you can allow more time at the weekends for example).
  7. Tap Add when you are happy with the boundaries you have set.

When you have set time limits, you can temporarily turn them off and you can always remove a time limit altogether by pressing Delete Limit.


  1. Go to Settings > Digital Wellbeing > Dashboard.
  2. Tap the time icon next to the desired app.
  3. Set a daily time limit (this resets at midnight).
Appdrawn Team | Updated 17th August 2023

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