The CURE to Social Media Addiction | It’s Not What You Think
Articles Blog

The CURE to Social Media Addiction | It’s Not What You Think


In the last two decades, we’ve seen an explosion
in technology. And while all technologies can be harnessed
for good, there’s also a way to misuse any tool. I’m not arguing against the use of social
media. Med School Insiders, after all, has a presence
on YouTube Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. On one hand, there are angry luddites condemning
social media, and on the other hand, you have addicted students who are oblivious to the
detrimental effects of their social media use. As with most things in life, the truth is
somewhere in the middle. What’s going on guys, Dr. Jubbal, MedSchoolInsiders.com. After taking a brief peak at the literature,
it is abundantly clear that social media addiction is a serious problem. And it’s not that surprising. Some of the smartest minds are working at
top tech companies, purposely designing products to grab your attention and keep you on their
platform. After all, that translates to more revenue. Until recently, I found it difficult to understand
how social media addiction was a problem for so many people. Throughout college, medical school, and residency,
I simply didn’t find myself using social media much. I was too busy, and Facebook just wasn’t
that appealing to me. But then, I started Med School Insiders, and
in doing so, I created an Instagram, Twitter, and downloaded the YouTube Studio and Google
Analytics apps on my phone. No longer in residency and with much more
control over how I spent my time and used my devices. I mean, let’s be real it’s tough to use social media while you’re working in the hospital or operating room. SoI found myself unhappy with the amount of time I spent on
these apps, and more specifically the level to which they distracted me from focusing
on meaningful work. It’s been demonstrated that the constant
barrage on our attention from these distractions slowly erodes our ability to focus and get
meaningful work done. I found my own capacity for deep work becoming fragmented. Was I becoming addicted? According to the literature, you may be addicted
to social media if any of the following apply to you: you’re preoccupied by social media,
you use it to reduce negative feelings, you gradually use it more and more in order to
get the same pleasure from it, which is essentially building tolerance, you suffer distress if
you’re prohibited from using social media, or you sacrifice other obligations or cause
harm to other life areas because of your social media use. It’s ok, you’re not alone. A lot of us are addicted to social media. But fear not, I’ve got the antidote. Now this is how you can cure your addiction and yet still use social media. I’ve heard multiple people recommend 30
day detoxes from social media. As a physician, I detest the words “detox”
and “cleanse”. But that’s besides the point. Quitting social media for 30 days to reset
your relationship with your phone and computer is not a bad idea — it’s just not that
realistic. Instead, I suggest you do the following. First, delete social media apps for only one day. Staying away from social media for 30 days
is setting the bar way too high. To successfully implement behavior change,
you have to start small, otherwise you’re likely to cave in and fail on achieving your
goal, regressing back to your initial state. I recommend beginning this process with deleting
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media apps you use from your phone
for just one day. For me, that also included the YouTube Studio app,
where YouTubers check their stats, comments, and other analytics. Doing so will set the bar low enough that
it is easy and feasible to achieve, but it will also give you a taste of what life is
like without constant dopamine snacks and hits to your attention. As someone who has done the 1 day delete,
I’ll be the first to tell you that it’s a nice change and helps the following tips
fall into place. Number two, refine your inputs. They say you’re the average of the five
people you spend the most time with. I say you’re the average of all your inputs. Now that you’ve taken a brief break away
from social media, come back to it with a fresh perspective and the ability to more
accurately determine what is actually bringing you value. Ruthlessly unsubscribe and unfollow accounts
on Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, Reddit, and any other sites that are distracting
you and not providing value. Remember, be aggressive. And don’t worry, they’ll still be there later
if you change your mind and want to resubscribe. These platforms are ultimately tools and it
comes down to how you use them. I am an avid user of Reddit, but I’ve unsubscribed
to most of the default subreddits, because frankly, dank memes don’t bring me lasting
happiness. Personal finance, cycling, and medicine, on
the other hand, teach me useful information. I went over how I slashed 50% of my YouTube
subscriptions and how I determine which channels to follow on my personal vlog channel. Link in the description below. Number three, reclaim your attention. There is an art and science to setting up
your phone for maximal productivity and minimal distraction. I’ll be going over a more in-depth guide
in a future video. For now, disable notifications for all social
media apps. That means no lock screen notifications, no
badges, and no sounds. This will prevent you from being distracted
every time someone likes or comments on a new post. Taking this a step further, remove any distracting
emails from your inbox. I personally have a filter set up that automatically
archives all emails from Facebook. Requesting to receive fewer emails from Facebook
was not effective at actually stopping attention seeking spammy emails from blasting my inbox. Shocking. Number four, implement systems to block future
you This comes down to a few different tactics. First, let’s talk about your phone, since
that’s where most of our social media usage time is based. My go-to technique is completely free and
surprisingly effective — move your phone out of sight. Sounds stupidly simple, right? I am constantly amazed at how effective it
is. If I’m working, I now make sure I don’t
leave my phone on the table or desk, as I’m much more likely to mindlessly pick it up
and check for new updates. Instead, put it in another room or elsewhere
out of your line of sight. Second, block future you from using the app
too much. An easy first step is to move the apps off
the home screen, so that finding them takes additional work, which hopefully is enough
of a friction point to make you aware and provide you a brief moment to catch yourself
if you’re acting impulsively. Additionally, Android and iOS devices both
come with features that can limit your usage of certain apps. On my iPhone, I use Screen Time to limit the
amount of time I can spend on social media and … other distracting apps On my computer, I use an app called Focus
that blocks all my browsers from visiting any predefined set of distracting websites. Focus is only available on Mac, but I’ve
also heard great things about Freedom, which is available on windows. The hardest part in any behavior change is
just starting. If you’re watching this video, this likely
isn’t the first time that you’ve heard of social media addiction and been encouraged
to consider curbing your social media use. I’m not saying you need to quit, but a controlled
rather than compulsive relationship is going to help you. With this healthier approach, you won’t
only be a more effective and productive student, but you’ll also be happier and less stressed,
as supported by the literature. If you found this video useful, please consider
supporting us on Patreon. As a patron, you help make videos like these
possible. In return, you’ll get behind the scenes
access, including video commentary accompanying each video, monthly Q&A’s, and private video
chats with yours truly. Link is in the description below. Thank you all so much for watching. If you enjoyed the video, let me know with
a thumbs up, and if you’re not a fan, go ahead and leave a thumbs down. New videos every Saturday morning, 8AM pacific time. Make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t
miss a video, and I will see you guys in that next one.

100 thoughts on “The CURE to Social Media Addiction | It’s Not What You Think

  1. Your channel helps me improve my habits in med school. My favorite is the pomodoro technique, and it has gotten me through hours of studying! More power to you Dr. Jubbal ✊

  2. I have a question: Does whatsapp count as a social media account? I've seen quite some videos regarding this topic but very few (rather none) address whatsapp as a distractive app. As a college student, I get roughly 200 messages per day (mostly group messages). Do you think this amount of notifications are as bad as the ones from other social media accounts such as instagram or facebook? and do you think there's a solution to this problem without uninstalling the app itself?

  3. Wow I started working on this few days ago, I deleted my Instagram, twitter and and Facebook. I felt WhatsApp was important so I just disabled my notifications.
    I also downloaded some apps "your hour" which restricts me from using my social media for over the limit I set and it automatically gets locked when that time is exceeded and another app "keep me out" I set a time limit depending on the about of time I want to dedicate to what I'm doing and then lock my phone, keep me out stops me from unlocking the phone until that time is effective.

    Thank you for this video, it made me feel I'm on the right track

  4. I quitted social media complete. What worked for me was, I deleted the apps for 1 week, and see if anyone noticed I wasn't active. And guess what, no one did, so why waste my valuable time? People don't care about my life, and I don't care about their life.

  5. I had deleted all my social media, but youtube was still very distracting to me at times. It was bothering me, and I didn't quite know how to fix that issue. My self control isn't that great haha and I can't delete youtube from my phone. Then I finally got a new phone (my screen was messed up since forever lol) and the speaker didn't work. It was the best thing ever though because that extra step of having to find my headphones before watching a youtube video made me so much more intentional about it, and now I only watch videos I really want to watch. 10/10 would recommend lol. No seriously, I don't think I'm gonna get it fixed haha.

  6. As someone who regularly checks his phone I find just turning the phone completely off helps significantly! However a question for Dr.Jubbal How would you advise students to regulate their social media consumption ? The programs and apps suggested are great in stopping you from going on the app, but how do we integrate into a balanced lifestyle where social media isnt something we constantly check all the time regardless of if we are working or not but as a tool? Like do you advise having a designated daily set time ? thanks great vid as always

  7. I petty those who were born in the beginning of 2000s
    They will never know how good it feels to communicate with family, relatives, friends or your fellow human physically or over a phone call rather than a text message. They are growing up in a virtual world where everyone is living in a bubble. Actually I think they are lucky they haven’t lived prior the Internet era, because they will never feel the pain of missing those old good days 😔

  8. This is much simpler than that. Sure, you can challenge yourself to control the use of social media. But it's simpler to not use them at all. The same goes with eating carbs, drinking alcohol, etc. Much simpler to avoid detrimental behaviour than trying to control it.

  9. I just decided not to install any social media apps ever since I got a phone. I'm going to college next year and I still only have YouTube on my phone (which is addicting in itself)

  10. Wow I have so much things to say.
    So, I’m addicted to social media specifically YouTube. I deleted all the aps from my phone at the end of December (Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Snapchat and I never had Facebook). But obviously an addicted person always finds a way and so did I. Over Google I went to YouTube page and that’s how I watched all videos. For some weird reason I was already logged in so I could comment, like and dislike but I couldn’t reply or watch videos and read comments at the same time. I don’t get any notifications because it’s not an app. I tried setting my phone on screen time and the only thing I do is press Ignore and than Remaind me in 15 minutes. After those 15 minutes I do the same thing. Sometimes I end up watching the stupidest videos because I just want something to distract me from my school work and that’s the way it helps me the most. But what ends up happening is that I stay for waaaayy to long and I don’t do the things I planed to do and than I’m disappointed at myself. I tried putting it as far away from me as possible but it doesn’t work because I need it for my school work. So yeah, if anybody knows any other way I’d very much like to know.

  11. I really appreciate the practical tips you gave! I’ve cut down my morning Social use by adding morning pages journaling to my routine. It helps to check in why am I going on social? It might also work better for me to get on when I know I have an amount of time I can use it start to finish. Being interrupted while on makes the time even longer for me

  12. My "answer in the middle" is to quit all corporate social media. The idea isn't fundamentally flawed, but every single ad-supported network is fundamentally flawed, because it does not care about you, only your eyeballs. Why would anyone willingly accept being manipulated? You don't have to be a Luddite, but you can use ethical, free, and open social networks that respect you as a human being instead of trying to get you addicted to pump their usage numbers.

    I quit Twitter in 2016 for Mastodon, and my life improved vastly because Mastodon doesn't have ads, and it doesn't constantly bug me to check it. It doesn't shove stuff in front of my face. It just shows me the people I follow, in reverse chronological order, and that's it. No notifications like "x retweeted a reply to you" or "x liked your retweet". No quote tweets, so my timeline isn't an endless stream of hot takes and "get a load of this crap!"

    You have to start with the fundamental assumption that when we say "social media is bad", we mean that what passes for social media is what's bad. Companies like Twitter and Facebook have done a good job of establishing themselves as social infrastructure so that they can better exploit people. You get around that by building better, open alternatives, and then you quit those toxic networks rather than quitting social communications entirely.

  13. I was addicted to Instagram (not to twitter or Facebook because I don't have those). I spent a lot of time in there instead of studying, so before my exams I deleted it at my dad's recommendation. I missed it a lot, and I tried to fill the void the time out of Instagram created with YouTube, for example, and ended up wasting even more time. Over the holidays I downloaded it again, and after that, I put on the new Instagram feature to control my daily usage. First I put it at a maximum of 35 minutes per day (a little but over what I hear is the maximum amount recommended), but shortly after I went down to 25 a day. Most days I don't even spend all that time in there, and I intend to limit my usage more and more, slowly. Now I don't feel the need to be all the time on Instagram, but when I completely deleted it, I did. So, personally, I agree that it's better to control than to delete, at least for the time being. Maybe, eventually, I won't even feel the need to be in Instagram at all, and deleting the app won't cause the "distress" it has caused me to do that before

  14. I quit social media. It was the best decision I made for my medschool.
    Put automatic plane mode in certain times it is a lot useful.
    Keep a worry pad to take notes of things to do is good too. You can free your mind from distracting things and focus on your work.

  15. One of my best choices ever was not getting into social media before or when it was cool. Now that it’s not cool anymore, I don’t have to “detox” or anything

  16. BesiDE A dOctoR i am So much Enthusiastic To be A billionaire Too………………..Serving The HumanitY is mY foreMost PrioritY ……And About Addiction I would Like to saY..donT BuY smarT phone as It is nOt actuallY smart..it will eat your time, your watch, your calculator ,your mind, your relationships and will fill your heart with woes if unfortunatelY you will be got addicted to Social Media…………………Although Google is flooded with knowledge But studYing Books In Solid Form Is Much More Beneficial…………..OKaY Doctors You All staY joYous…Manage Thoughts, Focus Attentions ANd THEn deliberate Actions……..Obstacles are alwaYs Stepping Stones……………………………ALl tHE verY besT

  17. WRONG!!! Quitting social media is the answer! My mental health drastically improved when I kicked out Facebook & Snapchat from my life. Its toxic, it causes depression, anxiety, loneliness, jealousy and heavy procrastination syndrome.

  18. Thanks for this vid. The tip about turning off notifications from social media apps got me thinking. Since I started using social media apps (Fb, IG, Twitter), I have never allowed notifications at all. Yet, I am constantly addicted to them (even without notifications compelling me). My friends, however, have notifications fully turned on (even like notifications on IG as you mentioned). For some reason they are way less addicted and can control their usage better.
    So: is this just to do with me having lesser willpower? And if so, what exactly influences this willpower? You mentioned about dopamine. Could this be due to a difference in the concentration of dopamine receptors that we have?

  19. You can disable your email notification from facebook. When you deactivate your facebook, an option will show up. Choose the one that your receiving email, and it will guide you to disable it.

  20. One thing I started doing recently was avoiding social media until at least 6 pm everyday. It sounds hard, but I've gotten used to it almost immediately. Now my urge to pick my phone every few seconds isn't as strong.

  21. nah im a cold turkey person. i quit facebook for 14 months (i didnt really use anything else) and it was phenomenal. never returning.

  22. I dunno what to say..Im not too addicted to any other social media but You tube..
    I had deleted my every acc for one month n guess what?
    I got addicted to you tube instead🤦‍♀️
    Is there any way to get rid of my addiction of you tube..Im having exams in a week I've to prepare..otherwise Im gonna fail😭

  23. Social Media: Helping families/relationships/careers destroy themselves since 2000…. I find it a waste of time. I quit Facebook November 2012 and have not been anywhere near it since. Oh my; whatever will I do? How will I learn? Perhaps it could be the fact that I now read 20+ books a year… Hmm…. I don't have any of the other ones either. My career has only improved drastically and so has my family/personal life. Finally about 6 months ago after leaving a LinkedIn account dormant for about a year I deleted it too. Do I miss any of them? NOPE! Want to get a hold of me? We have this awesome invention called the telephone. Don't waste your time texting me unless it is to ask a quick question. People need more face-to-face and voice-to-voice reaction. That is what makes people happy. Quitting social media is the answer. With YouTube: use the learning aspects of it, there are many.

  24. I'm not addicted to any social media but I'm constantly trying to find something that can distract me. Eventhough I have school works piling up! I'm just so overwhelmed everytime. What should I do?

  25. Facebook feels like tedious work to me. They also sell your data, so it's like working for free for Sukerberg. No thank you.

  26. I deleted Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat because I found myself spending hours just scrolling watching pointless videos/posts.
    I’ve gone months without it but I feel as if I don’t know what’s going on out there, especially since I don’t watch tv or news. YouTube and Netflix are the only apps I use on a daily basis now.

  27. Do not agree with you. Social media provides zero value. Moreover, quitting social media is not like quitting alcohol or other addicting drugs. Once you quit. You don't have the urge to check something that no longer exists (your accounts).

  28. Hi there! I just made a video with the (almost) same title! I was surprised you also talked about the topic. After watching the video, I realized what we argued in our own videos is different. I agree quitting social media is not the answer but neither is staying on it. the important thing i realized when i reduced my social media use , is my inability to sustain my attention, and withstand boredom. social media doesn't matter, i would find other ways to distract myself. a simple and striking example is when i cannot even eat food alone without looking at myphone, or brush my teeth in front of the mirror without wanting to do other things.. so my take on this is, social media is not the problem, but our addiction to distraction (although social media does worsen it). so i think the solution is to limit multitasking, and to try to focus on the one SINGLE THING you are doing at the present moment.

    what do you think about this ? check out my video for more.

  29. Fantastic tips. I have slowly implemented quite a few of these over time and in January I decided to take on a 30 day no social media challenge. It has done what I predicted it would do—confirm that it truly is a big distraction/time waster in my life and rarely plays to my benefit. It can be a great tool for many people, but I just realized that I don’t need it on a daily basis! Now take YouTube away from me and I may sing a different tune. 😉

  30. Forgot to ask the most important question (the crappy industrial icon based animation aside)
    Did the internet bring people (of the world) closer? Med School or Pet Fool, narcissism rules…

  31. Maaaan i deleted my account from all social media(including whatapp) but i can't quit youtube.
    Like 7-8 hrs only on youtube and regretting at 3 am. Smh
    #sendhelp

  32. dont use socialmedia. its designed to make you an addict. thats disgusting. i will never let them get another cent from my again. im talking to you Facebook!

  33. In earlier times I didn't have facebook or anything but then my friends,siblings told me to open a fb account cause everybody had fb xcept me,so I opened and realized that earlier times was better when I didn't have anything!!

  34. Isn't Youtube social media too? Could you perhaps do a video on how to use sites like Youtube and Reddit in a more productive way?

  35. It's only an addiction if you are doing it and don't want to. This is addiction to pleasuring yourself, not to social media.

  36. Social media can have a bad effect on your mental health but it can also be good! It depends on how you use it. On instagram I started unfollowing everyone that didn't bring anything interesting in my timeline and followed only motivational, creative accounts, accounts that made me learn things ou helped me grow as a person. (and some celebrities that i like). I unfriended everyone on snapchat and only kept a few people that I talk to on a daily basis. I was addicted to twitter also, I started to only follow accounts like on instagram. But I ended up deleting twitter and instagram apps because I got less and less interested. I only go on instagram a few times a week for like 5 minutes just to check. My biggest problem remains youtube because I love learning new things and I feel like i'm on here 24/7 lol.

    Overral there are good but bad aspects for me but I'm still trying to work on them. I am so proud to be "social media free" now because it gave me so much anxiety and kinda lead me to depression. But at times being 18 w/o social media, having social anxiety and being in med school makes me feel so lonely..

  37. I quit Facebook and it was one of the best decision ever. I now have a healthy amount of time to watch educational videos here in Youtube.

  38. For social media, I usually leave a platform before I feel the sense of being sucked into it. Idk if people will understand haha

  39. I was never addicted to the social media platform to begin with because first I was kinda prohibited from them when I first got my phone and secondly, they're kinda boring for me. I mean now I do have Instagram and Twitter and I was addicted to Instagram at one point but it only lasted like a week or so bc I just hated how much time I can waste in that app.

    But for YouTube, yeah that was where my addiction is and still is. I got addicted to my phone and YouTube the moment I got unlimited data. And I hate how I'm wasting time, precious time where I can be studying or finishing my art. And I feel energize when I want to do more stuff at school but when I get home, I get on my phone and waste hours away. I hate it. I tried not going on YouTube for a while and that was the worst but I'm going to try this because last year of high school, I want to end strong and I don't want this to distracted me in college. Thank you for the advice.

  40. Sorry, but you are way off when it comes to addiction. Would you apply the same "1 day" logic to cigarette smoking or alcoholism? The ONLY way to stop addiction is cold turkey.

  41. I deactivated Facebook and my test scores have really gone up. Last semester I was mostly Bs and now I’m getting As. I still have Snapchat and Instagram but I don’t find myself falling into a hole with those apps because they bore me a little bit.

  42. Good to know I did all this naturally and managed to go cold turkey for 4 months. I've never been the same but I did learn something new from this video so, thanks!

  43. I quit social media about 5 months ago! I only have YouTube. Social Media can and will become detrimental to your life.

  44. Keep YouTube and get rid of Facebook, Twitter etc. And commit to something else that you actually want to do. It’s awesome.

  45. I've decided to quit most of social media as I had recently had faced a lot of resentment from the rejections of social media. I had wasted enough and I had decided to start anew when it's fit

  46. Im just bored with all of it.
    Possibly only Keeping YouTube and whatsapp. Cause I need them for school. (Educational videos just in case someone is wondering)

  47. There is no net positive to having social media. I used to have Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Completely deleted all of them and got my life back. I tried to do the "Hey, I'll take a break and then come back and do it right," thing, but I just kept falling back into the same patterns of addiction.

  48. I didn't quit social media, because of other people. I quit, because of me. I did not like how narcissistic and angry it made me. And I quit it all permanently. I didn't take a break, because I tried that numerous times and just went back to being a moron every time I logged back in.

  49. It has such useful purposes yet it can also make you feel like you are doing something with your life while really you are not

  50. The best option is to quit. As far as "luddites" go, the people leading the charge are either former FB/Google insiders like Tristan Harris and Jarron Lanier, or top tier academic researchers like Cal Newport. I'll take them over some random doctors who don't have any expertise in the area.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top