Dear Education Lady,
Help, I’m addicted to Facebook. How much time is too much time on Facebook?
Dear Addicted To Facebook,
If you are asking the question “How do I know when I spend too much time on Facebook?”
Then the simple answer, which you already know deep within, is when you have to ask that question.
Look, there’s nothing wrong with Facebook. In fact, it’s a great tool for connecting, building community, getting in touch, sharing ideas, networking and discovering common interests.
However, like all things, too much of anything is bad for you.
So moderation is a key word here.
But more than moderation is knowing how to use Facebook so that it’s a healthy pastime and not a waste of your time.
And, a side note, Facebook, nor any social media platform, should never make you doubt yourself, your value or how great your own life is.
If it does, you need to ask yourself is this healthy for me?
People are becoming addicted to Facebook at an alarming rate. Why?
For some it may be easy to become entranced by the online social media platform. Think about it. Facebook knows everything about you from your friends to your likes, dislikes and fans.
Facebook is learning all about you with every post you leave.
Do you even realize this? It’s important that you do. That you become aware and simply a blind follower.
Facebook is a legal stalker. Stalking you with ads, only sharing the likes you receive on a post after they build up… because they know it’s addictive to keep checking, and promoting exactly what you like.
Facebook, like any social media, can be superficial if not “properly” used.
And to make matters worse (okay, more interesting), Facebook, as well as any other social platform, is an open book for anyone to get to know you...
Even your current or potential boss. Yikes!
Now, on the upside, Facebook has opened the playing field for anyone to get their message out there, much like YouTube and Instagram. You can pretty easily become an influencer, if you have something to say.
But Dear Addicted to Facebook, I get the sense that you are checking other people’s posts often (okay, all-the-time), possibly comparing your life to the lives of people you may not even know and waiting eagerly for others to like your posts.
And that’s giving way too much time, energy and your personal power to Facebook and it’s content.
Here are some tips and tools.
Limit your personal time on Facebook to no more than 30 minutes per day. Seriously – that’s a lot of time.
Break it up into three 10 minute chunks morning, noon and night.
If this makes you break out in a cold sweat and think, OMG, not enough! then yes, you are an addict.
Remove the Facebook App from your iPhone or other smartphone if you can’t resist checking it constantly.
No, for real. You can always add it back if you go into cardiac arrest, but for one week give it a try. When you don’t die, because you won’t, really think twice before adding that App back.
Post only positive messages and resist the drama that is often found online.
If you like to argue and stir the pot, you will find plenty of opportunities on social media. It’s super easy to respond with little thought, tear someone to shreds and give a smack-down to someone who might or might not deserve it, from the safety of your computer or smartphone.
And if you’ve been on the receiving end of one such smack-down, you know it just plain sucks.
So, two things. One. Take a beat before hitting enter on a post or diving into a debate on a topic that has no merit. Two. Stop listening, reading, following or watching someone who is willing to diss you with words online when they don’t even know you.
Know and love yourself first and foremost.
Stop posting things that show you in a not-so-positive manner.
While it might seem cool and funny now with your friends, how funny would that drunk pic of you and your besties doing body shots off some stranger actually be when viewed by an important man or woman you admire and respect during a job interview?
Even if it is innocent.
It’s possible to not get the high paying position, promotion or raise because of something inappropriate your supervisor, HR department or boss saw on your Facebook wall.
Don’t think that doesn’t happen all the time.
Now, of course you can live from a place of transparency and be all out there on social, but understand human nature for your own sake. There is a certain pleasure, not all, but many people find in elevating a person only to tear them down. When you put yourself out there in every way, you give away a lot of your personal power.
Understand it’s not real, and have what is called in the movies, a suspension of disbelief.
When you got to the movies you know that Iron Man isn’t really flying and that Cinderella really didn’t lose her glass slipper after being dressed up like a doll by a fairy-godmother and a bunch of, hello, animals!
But we watch anyway, because it’s a moment of escape.
Well, Facebook and all social must be used the same way. It’s an escape from reality.
Is anything real about it...? Well…
Yes and no.
But you have to know yourself before you can begin to discern that.
So start here: What people post is not real. How Insta-Perfect their life is. It’s not… it’s fake.
We all put our pants on the same way, one leg at a time. We all have bad hair days. We all have good qualities and bad.
Know yourself, Like yourself and dare I say Love yourself before you start listening, reading and, gasp, believing what’s on social media.
Need help on this subject, read this book today. It will take you a few hours max and it’s so worth it.
Understand you are being marketed too, sold too and programmed when you are on any form of social media, at any time and all the time.
What you see is based on your posts, likes and comments.
In other words, it’s not real.
Look, you can be one of the masses… and do it, believe it, live on social...just because everyone else is, or you can wake up a bit.
Just because others are doesn’t make it the best decision for you, does it?
Ask yourself how being on Facebook makes you feel.
If the answer is bad. Enough said. Get off.
If the answer is bad about you. Disconnect now!
Now, if Facebook doesn’t phase you and you simply love being on it, and have the ability to take all the BS with a grain of salt, well, you might be able to make social work for you.
Facebook, when seen as a TOOL, can be a very amazing resource and profit center.
Hmm, profit center?
Simplified – a way to make money.
Let's say you really, really like Facebook. You can’t help but be on it, love connecting with people, posting, sharing and simply scrolling, liking and seeing what’s going on.
And you aren’t taking antidepressants because of it or thinking yourself lacking because your life doesn’t look as good as Becky V over there, whom you don’t even know but have been friends with for three record-breaking months!
Turn that like into something powerful – a way to make money while helping other people with their online needs.
Do you realize some people despise being on social media?
I’m trying not to shout ‘me, me, me!’ at the top of my lungs here, but I’m a person who sucks at social.
Some people can’t stand the thought of being on Facebook.
Some businesses – most actually – don’t have the time to be online...or the know-how to be posting properly, systematically and with a strategy.
So, what if you took all those hours-upon-hours of your time on Facebook and used them to be productive instead of surfing around, posting something negative or paying attention to what others are saying about you?
And you could help manage someone else’s social [waving my hand like I just don’t care!] and make bank at the same time?
Or, what if you actually have something to say…or a desire to help, I don’t know… squirrels. Or goats!
Facebook, when used as a platform for change, can reach more people than a stage at a Taylor Swift concert.
Do you have something to actually say? Something you believe in?
Well, some do and some don’t, but Facebook and other social platforms are an outrageously amazing way to get a message out. Your message out.
A virtual space where you can shift or even change the world.
So let’s wrap this up, Dear Addicted-To-Facebook, with the biggest takeaway, in my opinion.
If Facebook, or any social media, makes you doubt yourself, get off it now.
You are too important to let a like, post or unfriending from someone get you down.
And that’s where you should draw the line.
If Facebook has the power to bring you high or drop you low, you are on it too much and for the wrong reasons.
There’s an old country song, “Looking for love in all the wrong places. Looking for love in too many faces…”
Well, we could change that to “Looking for validation in social media is nothing but a one-way ticket to heartbreak, depression and a need for Prozac” and that’s simply no way to live.
Okay, yes, my song lyrics need work but you get the picture I painted, I hope.
So, give yourself a bit of a test this week, Dear Addicted-to-Facebook, and power down for an entire day. Don’t worry, this isn’t graded…
But do see how you react to powering down.
If you get squirrely, like you need a fix of social or keep reaching for your phone or listening for that “ding”, chances are it’s time to detox.
Detox meaning follow those seven steps above to start.
Life is lived in the moment right now, not in the scrolling of someone else’s wall… or even your own.
Never forget that…
Do you have a Facebook Addiction story too?
Share it below. If you’re addicted to Facebook I want to know about it.
And no matter what your age, if you really like Facebook and the thought of developing a skill out of it gives you butterflies in your belly, but fills you with excitement, there are actually some great free or low-cost trainings.
If you’re interested in learning more on that, heart this post, share it and leave a comment below so we can chat some more.
Because remember, the true conversation happens after the read thru...right here.
PS - Love it or hate it, Facebook, and social media for that matter, is not going anywhere anytime soon, and understanding how to rock it is a high-value skill that can be easily monetized – quickly.