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How turning off my notifications helped me study more effectively

At the beginning of this year, I’ve decided to turn off the notifications for my social media. Which means that I’ve never got notified if somebody liked a picture on Instagram, tweeted about their life or snapped me their food. If I wanted to take a break, I decided for myself if I wanted to see the latest news on Social Media. 

Turning off the notifications meant that I wasn’t willing to be dominated by social media. I decided that being available all the time wasn’t a good idea. Like, every time, someone snapped me, I’d pick up my phone and snap back. And when I upload a pic on Instagram, I’d get notifications ever 10 to 2o seconds. I realized that being online all the time wasn’t good for my daily productivity. Especially in the time when I had to study for my exams.

To be honest, with what I’ll say now, I’ll play into my parents’ hands but: If I had the discipline to put down my phone when I studied for my exams just 2 months ago, I would’ve passed all of them. I always watched Netflix series and YouTube videos, like I was the freest person in the world. And because of my naivety, I passed just one of four. Although this one exam was brilliant, the others were miserable. But, I have to be fair now: My parents always said that I had to study, even months before. Yes, even my profs were like: “You have to begin studying at the beginning of the semester!”. But there was I, ignoring everyone because I thought I was the brain. And who lost at the end of the semester? Me.

So, when I noticed (which was just a few weeks before my 4 exams), I decided that I would learn by doing: When the notifications are off, I wouldn’t be tempted by the little symbols on my lock screen, notifying me of new messages. This worked really well, until…

…until I’ve noticed something that changed in my daily routine. Because I wasn’t getting notified, I clicked on Snapchat every 10 minutes. I scrolled even more through the Explore-Page on Instagram. And Twitter became something like another home. The reason for that: I wanted to be on social media. And because I couldn’t see if somebody messaged me, I rechecked over and over again.

Social Media notifications by Nisa Hilal on Peonycrescent

Well, I can really say, that this method has backfired. So I’ve tried out another method: I turned on the flight mode (the notifications are still off for social media btw) and moved my phone to the other end of the room. I am such a lazy person when it comes to standing up from my desk to pick up things I need. And with my phone at the charger on my night desk, I was totally productive. I never got distracted by anyone messaging me, so I was able to study for 4 hours straight (with small breaks in between) until I needed a long break. And then…

…then I’ve never done that again. This was a two-times-thing until I stopped doing it. Not because I couldn’t discipline myself, but because I needed help sometimes from friends, so I’ve been writing them. Sometimes, I had photos on my phone, about my lectures and so on, which I didn’t want to import onto my laptop because it got harder to skip between documents on Word and the images in the Gallery.

Well, you see. Turning off the notifications indeed was an amazing idea at the beginning. I wasn’t into that social media temptation at all, but with the time (and since I became a blogger), this just became a part of my daily routine. Studying means the world to me, because education is so important. I really enjoy being in university and learning things I really want to learn. But as good as the idea was, it was also as good in backfiring. Like, who could’ve thought the other way around? Checking social media even more, just because you can’t see if you got messages.

I really have to change something. I notice that my social life (the real life) is suffering under this social media addiction, and my university life, too. But I think, that as a blogger, we really can’t expect us to be like people, who don’t use social media, phones, etc. at all. We just have to find a balance and need to be more disciplined in these matters.

Life is beautiful. Don’t waste it doing “senseless” stuff like looking at one little technology-thingy with an animating screen.

Do you have own experience son this social-media-“addiction” and know, how to solve this problem?

Signature of Nisa Hilal from Peonycrescent


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