Upon logging into Facebook, you’re greeted with a landslide of information, advertisements, and photographs. The tempting text box of the status update area asks, “What’s on your mind?” and that’s exactly what people answer, sometimes as the thoughts in their head occur to them.
What is the point of Facebook?
Social media has taken over our culture. Everything is about the clicks, the likes, the shares, the pins, the favorites, the retweets. We disseminate information instantly, virally, and like a virus the information spreads across our lives and the rest of the world. But why do we do it?
It is far too easy to spend hours upon hours on social media sites, browsing pins and tweeting and sharing articles, links, and pictures on Facebook. Some ways we can curb our overstimulation of the digital world include:
- Only update your status once per day – try it out for a week, or a month. You may notice how many trivial things you hold back by saving up that status for one really meaningful update.
- Take the app off your phone – without the constant influx of notifications, your day will have fewer interruptions and you will accomplish more.
- Declutter your friends list – only keep friends that you honestly want to keep in touch with.
- Declutter your “likes” and groups – any page you “like” on Facebook may junk up your feed with meaningless updates. Unless it’s something you want daily updates about, consider a serious cutback on likes and groups.
- Don’t be afraid to hide people – you may have friends you care for dearly but who post dozens of pointless statuses or “funny” photos by the day, or even by the hour. Keep these people around for important updates but feel free to hide them from your news feed so you only see what you want.
- Block apps – those games and applications are a waste of time. Unless you’re having quality interactions with people or genuine fun playing a game, consider scrapping it. Block application invites so you aren’t constantly spammed by friends and family.
- Keep it to off-hours – only check Facebook after work and on weekends. This will keep you more productive at work and will make Facebook a piece in your end of day relaxation instead of a constant nag for attention.
- Set limits – You don’t need to spend hours on every day. Get in, talk to the people you want to talk to, and get back out.
I performed my own miniature social experiment for August, called Facebook Friday. From July 30 to August 31, I intended to only log into my Facebook account on Fridays. I deleted the app from my phone so I would get zero notifications without logging in.
Weeks one and two: People wondered if I had closed my account. There was general discomfort around my bucking the status quo. Several people were upset that they did not hear from me, and I was even accused of personality changes because I was acting differently. However, I felt much more productive at work and felt less stressed without the constant notifications from Facebook on my phone and having the page open periodically to check during the day.
Weeks three, four, and five: Mostly I was just ready for it to be over. I had shaken my need for constant updates, and I was ready to get to a more balanced (though still limited) Facebook schedule, following the tips outlined above.
How about you? Do you have a Facebook account? How do you limit your time so you focus on more important things?