Social Media is a source of connection between us. It is by far the most actively used invention of the 20th century, and it has given us the opportunity to stay updated with our social circle and stay connected to each other electronically. Most businesses are using social media as a tool for promotion of their brands, and many products have gained popularity by their promotion on social websites. However, the excessive use of social media creates many problems. Too much time given to social media disturbs our actual social life. It creates many psychological and health issues that can be avoided if we limit our usage of these social platforms. Its adverse effects are disturbing children the most who are spending most of their time, on social media and the time spent on social media is increasing every year. This essay is aimed to find a solution for excessive social media usage. It will use the technique of limiting the time spent on social media and the resulting change in the usage will be calculated. The use of time limiting technique will substantially decrease the addiction of social media and will result in behavior modification. Where social media has a lot of benefits, its excessive use is a cause of many psychological and health issues.
In this behavior changing method the self-control method of Skinner will be used (Powell, R. A., Honey, P. L., & Symbaluk, D. G., 2016). This method will use the technique of improving behavior by calculating the different outcomes. The research will be quantitative and the data we will collect we be analyzed by measuring the time for each day. We will analyze both positive and negative effects of social media addiction and then base our method on the resulted outcomes. This research will be quantitative, and we will base our analysis on the data we collected from the conditioning process.
The motivation method is based on the analysis of usage of social media outcomes. The positive outcomes of social media are linked to its vast number of active users. We can stay connected to each other by spending time on social media and interact with our peers. It also updates us on current events, new products, news and provides us entertainment in many ways. Its negative outcomes are mostly the health and psychological risks that are related to excessive social media usage. It also disturbs our active social status and cut us out from our family and friends. Based on these outcomes we reached the analysis that social media has more severe negative outcomes than positive ones so it should be limited.
The recording process in this research is done by maintaining a log book of total time spent on social media out of daily hours. The process is done by an app which tracks time spent on an application. We have quantified data for four apps; Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. The total time spent on each app was recorded, and the log was maintained for analysis afterward. The log contains data both before and after the behavioral change, and this data will be used to base our thesis and evaluate our behavioral change method.
In this research, we started collecting data by measuring our time spent on each app daily. The log was maintained for February and March. The time spent on each social media was tracked by the time tracking app which was a free application installed on the phone. The data was categorized by each application. In February we calculated data of all days and the time we spent on each app as well as the activity other than social media. The behavior change method was started in March. In this method, we added three more activities and dedicated time for each of these activities. The addition of these activities limited the time dedicated to each social media. With the passage of time after 15 days, the behavior change was observed. By limiting time on social media the interest and urge for using social media slowly depreciated and by the end month the total time spent on social media reduced to 1.
This changed was possible by the addition of three activities, cricket, time with friends, and time with family. Dedicating time for each activity reduced the available time for social media, and by the loss of interest in the social media, we were able to make the change.
Dependent and Independent variables
The time allotted to each social media was independent of all other factors in February. This time was independent of all other activities and no other activity reduced or increased the time spent on social media. After the behavior change process started the time spent on each social media became dependent on other activities. As all these activities were outdoor, using cellphone constantly and checking the apps was difficult. These activities slowly decreased the interest in social media when the time was spent on other activities. As the behavior change was in effect, the social media activities were dependent on other activities. Some activities that remained unchanged in the daily routine were the sleep schedule, and time spent at university.
Modifications and Uncertain Factors
The process needed no modification, and it first structure worked as it was expected. However, there were certain factors whose effect in the experiment was unexpected, but it participated in the behavior change process. The biggest unexpected factor was the availability of WiFi. As we spent time outside, the availability of internet was non-existent, and it helped in limiting the use of social media outside. The second factor was the physical involvement with the peers. By involving the peers, the mid diverted from social media and no urge for social media was felt. The third factor was knowing the current state and upcoming plans of friends. By knowing friend’s events, the need for social media to stay updated with them was reduced.
The experiment resulted in a change of behavior and reduction of usage of social media. The total time that was initially spent on social media of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram was 8 to 5 hours. As the behavior change experiment was conducted the time spent on other activities left less time for social media and total time for social media reduced to have by the mid-month. By gradually increasing the time on other activities we successfully achieved our target of social media usage by 2 hours. This less time for social media shows that our target of behavior modification was successfully achieved. And our initial hypothesis of using time limiting technique for behavior modification was proved correct.
The experiment proved to be a positive method of behavior change and the data collected was through random in both months, a decreasing pattern was observed in the hours spent on social media.
Limitations and Recommendations
The research was limited to the student of University. Different occupational people will have different available free time, and their social media usage will depend on their free time. Future modifications for changing behavior may be the addition of more activities to divert the mind from social media.
This essay was aimed to initiate behavioral change in a person related to the use of social media. With the help of time limiting technique and addition of more outdoor activities, the behavior change was successful and time spent on social media was successfully reduced.
Powell, R. A., Honey, P. L., & Symbaluk, D. G. (2016). Introduction to learning and behavior. Cengage Learning.