Thursday, March 12, 2015

How I kicked my Facebook habit...kind of

Too many breakfasts go like this in my house:  Juliette watches cartoons while eating dry cereal.  I sit by her in my pj's and check my email on my tablet and, oh yeah, why not a little look at Facebook.  To see what my peeps are up to.  And, I comment or "like" and respond to Juliette's questions while half-listening, or show her some funny animal pics.

Too many evenings around my place are like this: I settle on the couch to check out the telly and also check FB.  That way if the tv is boring, I can see what my FB friends have posted lately.

But I realized I was spending a bit too much time on that social network.  With a little check at work, while I'm waiting for a student to arrive as I sit in their company's lobby.  Here a check, there a check, everywhere a check-check.  And I started to wonder if I was using my time to the fullest.

Don't get me wrong.  I love me a little Facebook time.  It is a good way to keep up with people.  It is a fun way to chat and communicate and say random things and sometimes actually relevant things.   But when you start posting pics of two-legged carrots (guilty!), maybe it's time to slow down.

Maybe you are reading this post because I posted it on FB.  And I thank you!  FB is a fabulous way to get people to check things out.  I'm just coming to the conclusion that, once again, I might have another Internet addiction .  And addiction is the appropriate word.  CNN even said so.  So if you think you too may be a tad addicted, let me tell you how I am almost kind of maybe living FB-free (as in not checking five + times a day).

Set limits
I didn't go cold turkey.  I just told myself once a day.  As in, only check the newsfeed once a day.  I do allow myself to post photos or links at other times of the day. Yeah, there was that one day (that may or not have been the day before yesterday) when I just couldn't resist and checked a second time before bed.  But it's still progress, people!

Replace it with other activities
Like reading blogs or news sites. Or maybe actually reading a real-live paper book!  I need to do the latter more often.  I think I still remember how to turn pages.

Identify why you're addicted
I got this from an article on cell phone addictions.  It's frankly about the same as FB obsessions.  I know I especially check FB when I'm bored.  Or craving real communication.  Or need to look at cat memes.  Once you identify the reason, try to attack it with other more meaningful actions. Email or call a friend.  See people face-to-face more often if possible. 

Less is more
I heard this while in the US last year regarding FB.  Posting less but with more relevant posts can have more impact and is better than flooding the site with ten posts a day.

Congratulate yourself on small victories
I pat myself on the back for keeping to the once a day rule.  I even skipped a day!  I know!

I don't know that I will keep to this FB diet forever.  And, believe me, I am not judging any of you who spend a lot of time on FB.  I've been there (read: I'm still kind of there).  But if you feel it's taking over your free time and preventing you from spending time with real people, maybe it's time to take a breather.  If the pilgrims lived without FB, then we can too. I think that's what Thanksgiving's about, right?


Jenenz said...

Thanks for reminding me of kicking the social media habit. I had to do this with home computer and email. I read email all day at work. A few years ago, I made it a habit to only turn on my computer at home on Mondays and Fridays.

Then I got a smart phone six months ago....and it's become a nightly habit of sitting in bed and looking at Twitter all night. Thank goodness you've blogged about your Facebook habit. I will start my diet of nightly smart phone tweeting. I'm so glad with you remind us of stuff to look at and reevaluate.

Mil said...

I have to be honest, Jenner. I am thinking of bumping it back up to twice a day. But it's still better than five! I am still wary of Twitter because I think it would quickly become another obsession. I still remember your home conputer rule, which is a good one. We've all got to find the right balance for us.