Quitting Social Media: The Step Ladder Approach

Using the Step Ladder Approach is less drastic than the ‘cold turkey’ approach. This method is called the Step Ladder Approach because you will slowly step down the ladder of social media usage until you arrive at deactivation. With the step ladder approach, one uses his/her own discretion to manage their social media usage as you decrease from being a heavy user, to moderate user, to low user, and finally to no usage. You learn to adjust to your new free time on a sliding scale with the steady decrease of social media usage. Unlike with the ‘cold turkey’ approach, this method allows for less of a shock to your lifestyle.
As with all systems and changes, having a plan is important. Write out a plan similar to the plan outlined in the Quitting Cold Turkey Post.
Step 1: Record Current Usage
     Stepping down will look different for each person. As part of your planning, you will start by taking a few days to really track and monitor your social media usage. In your kit, you will find a small notepad or you may click here to order. Schedule anywhere from a few days to a week to track your usage. You will need to take this notepad and a pen with you everywhere. Take note of each time you log onto a social media platform as well as the length of time you interact with the platform. This includes time you use social media at work, in the car, on the bus, on your phone, and on your desktop. When using social media strictly for work purposes, please enter this type of interaction into a separate category. If you really want to take a step further to really see your motivations behind why you use the platforms, make a separate column to that tracks how you use the platform. For example, if you logged onto Facebook to contact a distant relative or friend versus you received a notification for the app and you continued to surf the social media platform, you can track how frequently you use the platform as an address book vs a distraction.n See below for an example entry:
Interaction time
1 hour
To look up the contact info for a  friend
2 hours
to check notification
“You can’t change what you don’t measure.” —heard somewhere by a business person
     It is very important that you complete the prep work as you will start to see clear patterns and will learn more about yourself and your habits. Do not feel ashamed or think to compare your numbers with another. This is not about blaming but about measuring where you are so you can better map where you want to go. At the end of the scheduled prepping, you will tally up your total hours. Now you have accurate data with which to work. With this data, you can observe a number of things. Refer to the table of formulas below to read your data:
*Total # of hours  prepping for this chart = 7 day prep= 7days*24hours= 168 (recommended)
Total # of hours on social media = SM
Total # of hours of Prepping= P
Variable (This number changes depends on what you want to measure. You can choose to calculate the percentage of each intention with which you use the platform) = V
# of hours spent on a particular platform = VP
Purpose of Formula
Total number of hours spent on social media/total # of hours in 7 days of prepping x 100= % of time spent on social media during 7 days
For example, if I wanted to measure the percentage of time spent using social media to connect with friends:
# of hours spent on connecting with friends/total # of hours spent on social media X 100= % of time spent connecting with friends when I use social media.
*Should you need help or want more details or templates on how to study your own data, see the post here with more formulas and examples.
Step #2: Writing the Plan
After you have recorded and analyzed your data, now is the time to write your plan. You should have a good idea of your social media usage and how much of your time you are trading for it. Your numbers are your numbers. No blame, no shame. When writing your plan, you will want to be sure you include the following:
  • Date you plan to deactivate all your social media profiles on all platforms
  • Target dates to be met (daily, weekly, and monthly) to steadily decrease your usage
  • What you plan to do with the free time you will be getting back
  • How will you let online friends know how to find you offline.
  • What is your ‘why’ and what you expect to gain from quitting
In your kit, you will find a thin journal that you will use to write your plan. There are also a number of questions to answer to help you navigate your ‘why’. Click here for a sample 3 month chart to map your way to deactivation.
Step 3: Support and Friends
Writing the plan should be exciting as you plan new activities and expenditures for your time. Having a written plan also makes this next step much easier. Please refer to the Support blog post here. Set aside a date to inform and update your friends and relatives. Refer to your written plan as to your preferred method of contact.
When it comes to support, please know that some of your family and friends may not understand or agree with your decision. You will need to draw from you own well of support. Some of you may be the first person in your circle of family and friends to quit social media. Do not feel the need to defend yourself but do feel free to discuss your decision as little or as much as you like. Remain open and do not become attached to the feeling of superiority that may arise. Do not live out of your pride after you have quit. You must now be a well of support for your friends and family. Do not feel the need to ‘preach’ your new gospel. The best way to be supportive of others is to lead by example out of a place of mutual respect.
“Become a beacon, a lighthouse for all to see.”
Please feel free to contact me for inquiries.

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