Social Media and Distraction

Time management is not easy. It is even more tough to teach your child how to manage their time. Kids are so busy these days – AND can easily get distracted by their technology.

Photo Credit: Celestine Chua via Compfight cc


You can help them set limits in a couple of ways.

Access Times

Help your child think through what times of the day they could limit using social media. Is it right after school? Is there an hour when they have to put away their phone and only focus on homework? A good time to put away technology is dinner time. Having a regular family meal is a great way to say healthy. It can promote communication between the family, and be a way families can spend quality time together, including thinking about what you are eating instead of mindlessly scarfing something down. This can be tough for busy families – but try it at least a couple of times per week.

Computer Websites/Apps

If you or your child need some help limiting your use, there are some great online apps available to help.  There are different apps with slightly different abilities, so here’s a guide that will help you pick your best option:

  • Leechblock- a free online app that allows you to block certain websites for a desired amount of time.  Learn more and download Leechblock here. (Only supported by Firefox web browser)
  • KeepMeOut- also free, this app helps you create customized bookmarks to use instead of standard links, and will alert you when you visit a site a certain number of times in a set amount of time. Get started here.
  • StayFocusd- an easily modifiable app for Chrome users, this free tool allows you to modify which sites you are allowed to visit and when.  Learn more and start staying focused here. (Only available to Chrome users)
  • Cold Turkey- another great tool to block distracting websites.  Basic functions are available for free, and you can upgrade for higher functioning.  Go cold turkey using this link. (Only supported by Windows)
  • SelfControl- similar to Cold Turkey, this site allows you to block sites for a set amount of time on a Mac.  Click here to learn more and download the app.
  • Tomato Timer- if you aren’t quite ready to go cold turkey and you think maybe you can control yourself and stay focused with just a little help and a few breaks, this is the right tool for you.  It uses something called the Pomodoro Technique to help keep you productive.  Click here to start!

Phone Apps

You can stop yourself from accidentally logging onto Facebook on your computer, but what happens when your friend posts a photo and you get a notification on your phone?  It’s not easy to ignore, and phone providers make it difficult to limit access to certain sites from your smart phone.  Because of this, there aren’t as many tools for your phone to limit distractions.  However, there is an app called Forest that works really well to encourage you not to be on your phone, instead focused on the task at hand.  You enter the app and can “plant a seed,” which takes 30 minutes to grow into a tree.  If you leave the app at any time to check another app (*cough* like social media) the tree will die, and you’ll have to start over.  Eventually, your hard work will grow into your own personal forest in your phone.  Interested?  Click here to learn more.

Do you have any tips or tricks for limiting your own or your child’s social media use?  Let us know in the comments below!

Leave a Reply