Monday, June 27, 2011

Avoiding Facebook Fatigue

Recently, it was reported that the social media giant Facebook lost 5.8 million U.S. users in May, the site's first sequential monthly loss. Since the news, many have coined the term "Facebook fatigue." While this is the first time that such a national trend had occurred, I personally know many people who have left Facebook for one reason or another... 

Among my peers, the common thread seems to be: "It just wastes to much time." While I agree that there are many real and potential complaints about Facebook--of course I don't think you should throw the baby out with the bathwater though--abandoning Facebook because 'it's a waste of time" is not a viable one one of them. Facebook, and most other social networking sites can certainly be a waste of time, but they can also help you stay connected with the world around you in meaningful and vitalizing ways. So here are three simple tips on how to avoid wasting time and get more out of your social media experience:

  1. Use social media deliberately i.e. each time you get on, have a specific goal or purpose in mind. For example, take time to connect with an old friend, say happy birthday to acquaintances, start a discussion about an interesting news article, or use it as a planning tool.  It is when you use sites like Facebook aimlessly or in response to boredom that they can really become a time-wasting blackhole
  2. Download the Stay Focused extension for your internet browser. This extension helps you limit the time you spend on certain sites. It is a great tool for helping you stay disciplined.
  3. Consider occasionally doing a tech fast by taking a day or two off from the computer, the internet, your cellphone(!?). This has been suggested to me as a way to occasionally recharge your battery and spend more time appreciating other things in life.

These are just a few practical suggestion. Hope they help.