Footballer Jesse Lingard has shared a brilliant hack to limit time spent on social media – after admitting using his phone so much made him ‘lose track of the real world’.
The West Ham star, 28, was hooked on social media before introducing a timer which stops him using it for more than an hour each day.
Jesse was speaking as a member of BT’s Hope United squad, which is an all-star team of footballers – including Rio Ferdinand, Marcus Rashford, Gareth Bale, Lucy Bronze and more – whose goal is to tackle online hate this summer.
Referring to his social media use, Jesse said: “I used to be on it quite a bit, to be honest – but you kind of lose focus of the real world.
“So I’ve got a timer that tells me when the hour is up. So if I’ve been on Instagram for an hour then I won’t go on it.
“Being online less is great for our mental health and if we’re happy offline, we’re happy online.”
BT has launched Hope United to tackle online hate and is providing free resources to help to give people the digital skills they need to help beat hate – including taking breaks from social media to keep balanced.
Hate has no place in our lives. On our timelines, our newsfeeds, or in our sport. And Hope United is calling on people to spread hope not hate this summer. To find out more visit bt.com/hopeunited
Chatting with England’s most-capped player Fara Williams, Jesse also explained how he reaches out to friends and teammates to check on their mental health.
“Social media can be a lonely place so I like to send a message to my mates,” he said. “You never know who might be struggling behind the scenes.
- Posting or commenting words of encouragement or support, rather than liking something, can be the best way to champion those around us.
- Check in on those around you, with a DM, a message, a call – it can be a great boost to mental health and a good way to re-connect.
- Taking time off from social media and limiting our time online can help us keep balanced. If we’re happy offline, we’re happy online.
“A few words of encouragement rather than just liking something is the best way to champion those around us.”
Marc Allera, chief executive of BT’s consumer division, hailed the new initiative and called on fans to back Hope United. He added: “We’re providing people with the necessary tools not only to understand the devastating effects of online hate, but also to show them how to be part of the solution.
“That is why this summer, and as lead partner of the Home Nations, we are asking the country to make Hope United its second team. If everyone stands together, unified through both words and action, hope can emerge victorious over hate.”
For more tech tips on beating online hate go to bt.com/hopeunited