Online Therapy Sessions for Social Media Addiction

Have you ever wanted to decrease the amount of time you spend on social media and being distracted by the internet? Was the task much more difficult than you imagined it would be? You are not alone.

I have been free of my social media addiction for several years now. I quit in 2013 and life has transformed in so many ways:

  • I have increased productivity and creativity;
  • I have more time for friends and family;
  • My mental health has improved greatly;
  • I am more aware and compassionate.

If you would like to live a more fulfilling life, you can start today. I offer therapy sessions via Skype, weChat, and Google Hangouts in several different timezones. No matter where you are connected in the world, help is here.

Please contact me today via email ingramr88@gmail.com to set up your first session and build a happier life.

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Going Without a Mobile Phone in 2017

A few days into the New Year of 2017, I decided it was time to ditch my mobile phone device, my smartphone. This was not my first time thinking about the idea of being phoneless. For a while in 2015 and 2016, I played with the idea of going backwards in time and getting a flip-phone.
At any rate, I decided that today was good as good as any. I guess I did have some middle ground I could rest upon, Google Voice. Before totally giving up my mobile phone, I set up a google voice number for instances where it seemed almost dire. (Use your own discretion as to what is deemed dire. Dire in my case was needing a number for potential clients could call and leave messages for me. )
How to Go Without a Mobile Phone?
Step #1: Open up and Tell People
This step, especially as Step 1 may seem a bit weird. Let me assure you that you will want to be as prepared as possible when doing this. Doing this step first also strengthens your resolve for the time after you have stopped using your mobile phone. You will appreciate knowing possible objections to your decisions and criticisms from others as knowing them will help you come up with creative alternatives.
Step #2: Plan Your First 30 days
Having a plan for your first 30 days will help ease the transition for yourself. For just 30 days, try to calendar out for usual interactions you would have by phone. For example, make a plan weekly to communicate with your friends and family. Going mobile less, time can be your friend or your enemy. Trust me, you want time to be your friend. Having time as your friend means that you stay committed to time contraints as much as possible and you want others aware of your commitment. When events or such circumstances require that you be at a place at a certain time, being mobile less, you do not have the option to text or call to let someone know you will be late. Planning ahead is how you make time your friend.
Step #3: Know Your Limits
Knowing yourself and your limits is crucial. Know that sometimes, you will need to communicate with others that are not immediate to you. Let’s face it, in this day and age, you are probably never less than 10 feet away from a person with a mobile device or access to a telephone. Use your resources wisely. I do not advocate using unsafe measures but I have been know to walk up to a stranger or a store to ask someone to use their phone if I get lost. Know that there are limits. Know when you need to reach out for help or when you need access to a phone while you are out. Lastly, have confidence that you will be okay. Even in emergency situations, think clearly and act fast.
What have I learned since going mobile less?
I learned that there are not nearly as many emergencies that pop up that require me to have access to a phone. I also learned that I have to rely on my instinct and myself when faced with a problem or issue instead of relying on instant communication. I have learned a lot of random things going mobile less:
  • I learned how to navigate my surroundings better;
  • I learned that not everything is an emergency and that eventually everything works itself;
  • I learned that life is more interesting when you are looking up and not down at a phone;
  • I learned that I am much more resourceful than I ever could have imagined.
If you think going mobile less is for you, give it a try. Even if you don’t think it’s best for you, it won’t hurt to give it a try and see what you learn. Let me know if you have tried to go mobile less before or if you are going mobile less now.
Good luck!

The Psychology of Social Media

Have you ever wondered about the psychology that goes into conceiving a popular social media platform? To begin, we wonder how it actually works.
What is Social Media?
First, let’s start by really asking ourselves what we know about social media. Below is a brief transcript of me fielding my husband.
RG: “What is social media?”
FG: “Where humans share their thoughts and dreams…and…it reflects society. It’s one medium in which humans socialize and interact.”
RG: “How do you think it works?”
FG: “People do what people do and they keep track of everything. People bully, people post nasty sh*t that they  do, they post the good things that they do; it’s just written down on a piece of paper that no one can erase. “
According to the function with which we use it, social media is the use of internet technology as a medium to connect and exchange information. Other mediums include the television and radio. With this very basic definition, we can drill deeper to the psychology of social media.
How Does Social Media Work?
It does not require a degree in science technology to figure out how social media works. You must start at the very basic definition and work from what you know. What we do know is that all things including humans, ecosystems, and business need certain things to thrive and grow. Humans need food and water to live and a community to thrive.  Business needs customers and to provide something of value. A social media platform is a business therefore it needs customers and to provide something of value.
Pause here for a moment to put on your scientist cap and ponder the following questions:
  • What is the value that a social media platform provides?
  • What need is social media meeting?
  • Who benefits most from a social media platform?
  • What is the relationship between the social media platform owner and the user?
  • Who profits from the success of social media?
  • Who are the biggest profiteers?
  • how and who determines setting the prices for joining social media? (NOTE: almost all of the popular social media sites are free to join)
  • How is the business (social media) being sustained?
  • What is being exchanged?
  • Where is the money trail with social media?
Be curious. Ask questions. There is no special order to ask them in but do ask and do poke around and investigate the subject of social media. You do not have to be a reporter or even have hi-speed internet or a computer. Carry a thin journal with you and pen. Take a few days to really think about the questions above. Write at least (3) three of the questions on a small slip of paper and keep it in your walled or purse. Whenever you get the urge to check your social media notifications, read your questions first. After a few days of pondering these questions, the answer will reveal itself like invisible ink. You will know that you have known all that you need to know about the psychology of social media.
The answers you receive will vary individually but the core truth will be the same. The answers may come on a bit strong so it is important that you continue to write your answers and feelings into your journal. If you find the answers to be a bit too much for you in the beginning, this is normal. Do not become alarmed if you feel overwhelmed or confused by this information. This is also normal so continue to record your scientific findings in your journal.  Good luck.

When the Urge Arises to Log-In After Quitting Social Media

A successful Deactivation Day is not the end of the story. It is what happens after the big bang that really matters. For subscribers, please click here to review your plan. Take time to review your written plan. What activities did you have planned ? Comment below with what you will do should the urge to log-in arises. 
How to Combat the Urges to Log-in After Quitting Social Media
This part of quitting social media is the best part. To begin, depending on which method you use, the urges may or may not be as severe. For urges that are severe, I would consider limiting access to internet. Sounds extreme but if a plan or system is to work, it must be given ample time to settle and do what it needs to do. It seems to be the fact that physiology has its part in matters. Below are some tried and true ways to combat the urges:
  • Carry a journal with you at all times to take random notes. This can be very meditation and fun. Think of it as twitter without an audience. Click here to order handmade, upcycled DIY journal. Click here to watch tutorial.
  • Keep a puzzle of some sort handy. Challenging and stretching your brain wouldn’t hurt and the focus will keep the urges away. Click here to visit the bookstore.
  • Read. Carry a piece of literature with you. There’s never a wrong time to crack a book. Click here to visit the bookstore.
  • Meditate – By far the best remedy and the most rewarding. Click here to visit blog guest on Meditation
What if the Urges Persist?
The urges will naturally persist for a while until you become adjusted to life without social media. Should urges consume your thinking or interfere heavily with your mood, it is time to consider taking a more advanced step.
Should an urge persist beyond comfortability please considering following through with one of the options below:
  • Limiting access to internet; (disconnecting the internet router for the wi-fi at home)
  • Only using mobile device for emergency purposes and during set time to make outbound calls;
  • Make sure you are getting enough exercise and mental stimulation.
The rationale is that where there is a way to gain access to social media, there arises the opportunity to exploit an urge.
Please feel free to comment below or contact me directly with any inquiry.

Quitting Social Media: My Own Way Approach

Quitting Social Media: My Own Way Approach
How to quit social media using your own plan. Sounds simple enough? This plan is for those who like to wing it as opposed to those who prefer to quit cold turkey or those who prefer the step ladder approach. This is an approach that involves tapping into your awareness surrounding social media and letting that quide you to quitting as you will be listening deeply to yourself. This approach sounds easy enough but this is an approach that is best suited for those of strong resolve or high emotional intelligence or for those who are keenly committed to mindfulness.
How will you know if this approach is for you? For starters, to be honest, if this approach is for you, you will most likely not have to read this far into the blog post without knowing. Those of you who have harnessed the ability to tap into your intuition may simply need a reminder or a slight nudge to detach from social media.
Step #1: Write the Plan
As with any approach, you will need to write a plan to include the following:
  1. Date you plan to quit;
  2. A list of every social media platform and the number of profiles you have for each
  3. Method of how you to plan to deactivate all profiles on all platforms on all devices.
  4. List of things you will do when you feel the urge to get on social media.
  5. Name and contact information of at least 3 supportive people
  6. Set a goal for the day you plan to reward yourself for quitting
  7. Choose and write out your reward
  8. Set a day(s), after you have written out your plan, to share it with loved ones.
  9. Write out your ‘why’ and what you plan to achieve by quitting.
Step #2: Support and Friends
Stick to your plan of how you will inform your friends and relatives. Be supportive of those who may understand or disagree with you. Soon enough, you may become the support system they need to quit. Remain open.
Step 3: Follow through
Good luck with your Deactivation Day!
Please contact me should you have an inquiry.

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:
Date
Platform
Interaction time
Intention
1/22/2017
Facebook
1 hour
To look up the contact info for a  friend
1/22/2017
Instagram
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
Formula
Purpose of Formula
SM/P*100
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
V/SM*100
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.
VP/SM*100
*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.

Detaching from Social Media

For whatever reason you are here looking for ways to help with social media addiction or management. Do not be ashamed nor feel as if you are alone. You are here and this website should be an obvious confirmation that you are not alone.
“The suffering of the world comes from attachment.” –Budhha
(3) Ways to Detach from Social Media
  1. Cold Turkey
  2. 12 Steps
  3. YOUR OWN PLAN
Cold Turkey: Definition of “cold turkey”
Adjective or adverb. Not to be read literally but as an idiom. I do not know the origin of this phrase. In reference to addiction, it means to quit doing something altogether as opposed to decreasing usage or managing usage.
In the context of social media, quitting cold turkey means to walk away from all of your social media profiles at once. You do not decrease your usage of them nor do you keep one of them open as a back up place to store your pictures. In one fell swoop you crush the opposition.
How to Quit Cold Turkey
There are only (2) steps in using this method. This is a very aggressive approach and should be taken with extreme care and seriousness. If you are an obsessive-compulsive person or if you an an indulger, then quitting cold turkey may be right for you. Step 1: Planning is very crucial. Do not skip or skimp over the planning. It is your strong point for this method.
Step 1: Planning
     Take some time to prepare yourself. If you are currently a heavier user of social media, quitting cold turkey will have a greater impact. To prepare yourself, you will want to write out a plan of how you plan to quit, how you will adjust to life after quitting, and how to maintain your new life.
          Written plan should include:
  1. Date you plan to quit;
  2. A list of every social media platform and the number of profiles you have for each
  3. Method of how you to plan to deactivate all profiles on all platforms on all devices.
  4. List of things you will do when you feel the urge to get on social media.
  5. Name and contact information of at least 3 supportive people
  6. Set a goal for the day you plan to reward yourself for quitting
  7. Choose and write out your reward
  8. Set a day(s), after you have written out your plan, to share it with loved ones.
  9. Write out your ‘why’ and what you plan to achieve by quitting.
The planning part of quitting cold turkey is very important. Do not skip the planning as it is most crucial to your success. Write it down. If you do not write it down as you follow the program, feel free to read the entire process then come back to this section but be sure to physically write it down. No computer processing system allowed. If you ordered this as a kit, you should find in your kit, a small thin journal that has been designed just for this plan. This is not an informercial for the kit. I understand, as you will read later, that some of us have to trick our minds. So if ordering this kit tricks your mind into taking this process more serious then by all means, click here. For some, you will drop what you are doing right now and grab pen and paper. Still others will want to read it through in its entirety before acting. The process is yours to design how you desire. I am only here as your guide.
Nothing but Time
Quitting social media you will see a huge return of your time. What will you do with all of this time you will suddenly have? Here is the time to get creative and inspirational. For this section, take a few moments to close your eyes and imagine the best day ever. What did you see? Don’t you have more time now to dream with your eyes open…..
When the urge arises for you to indulge in social media, what will you do? What activities will you turn to? Who will you call?
Support
Having a strong support system is important but even more important is your own support. Your support is really all the support you need and in some cases, it may be the only support you have. If you are the first in your family or group of friends to quit social media, you may not have a supportive group of loved ones, yet. It helps to continue writing the plan to the very end as the last step involves writing out why you are quitting and what you plan to achieve by quitting. Knowing why you plan to do something and what it brings to the quality of your life helps to strengthen your resolve.
Step 2: Quitting
Now that your plan has been written and the date of execution is here, you must deactivate all of your social media profiles. Prior to deactivation, there is a list of preliminary action items to be completed to ease the transition:
  • Transfer all pictures, videos, or memos from your social media profiles to a file storage device or to your cloud
  • Go through each profile and contact the friends for which you will want to continue having communication with beyond the date of deactivation. Decide ahead of time how you would prefer online friends to contact you when you go offline.
Time to deactivate. You have been prepping for this moment. Below are instructions for deactivating some of the most popular social media platforms. This is not a comprehensive list. If some methods of deactivation have changed, feel free to contact the help support of the social media platform.