Curbing Your Social Media Addiction


Do you ever check the weather on your phone just to find yourself scrolling through TikTok or Instagram for thirty minutes? Whether I was doing homework or just lying in bed, I somehow found myself mindlessly scrolling through TikTok. The grasp social media had on my life was profound—I often found myself scrolling for hours a day resulting in myself cramming assignments, losing sleep, and persistent poor mental health. When I would use these apps, I wouldn’t even realize that I was doing it; it simply became a subconscious habit to open social media as soon as I unlocked my phone. Now, after downloading one simple app, I have subdued my social media addiction, and my whole life has improved—you can do it too. 

Social media apps have grown exponentially in the past decade, like how Tiktok was able to gain one hundred million active users in just nine months, with over 1.5 billion active users today. According to the BBC, many people spend upwards of a third of their time during the day scrolling through social media, and the results of the chokehold social media has on society has shown that addictive social media and phone usage is linked to higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. Additionally, Brown University reports that those who are addicted to social media (including adolescents and adults) tend to use more emotion-based coping rather than problem-solving coping strategies to deal with stress—something that could continue stress in the long-term. The same article also states that apps such as TikTok essentially exploit our reward-based learning and dopamine release levels using features such as the “For You” page in addition to short, engaging videos. 

So, what is this simple trick that has curbed my social media addiction? It’s an app called OneSec. Unlike other apps meant to decrease social media usage that directly restrict social media usage, this app uses a different approach where it forces you to take a slow, deep breath before using any social media app. While this only sounds like a short intervention, it actually has shown a dramatic decrease of about 57% in social media usage for participants in peer-reviewed studies. This method works because it forces you to be intentional about when you actually want to and have the time to use social media. After first installing the app, I found myself subconsciously opening TikTok and Instagram out of pure habit. The OneSec app would catch me doing this, and it suddenly made me realize how many times I open these apps every day. I would find myself opening these apps without the intention to, a large part of social media addiction. This simple intervention only took a few short minutes to set up, and it has changed my life. Now I have more free time throughout the day, and I find myself catching more ZZZ’s and doing my homework earlier. The best part is that this app is free, and while there is a premium version, I find that the free version works great. 

I am one of the many who have experienced the grasp of social media and its negative effects on life. Now, the unique approach of this new app has given me the liberty to control my own time and has positively affected my overall wellbeing, and it could do the same for you.