After confessing to my affair with facebook , sharing what I learned from a month-long facebook fast, and telling you all the other places I’d rather spend time online, many of you have asked,
Did I delete my facebook page?
No. All that time away from facebook helped me see that facebook was a time waster for me. But all the time spent learning to develop my blog made it clear what a great tool facebook is. I did not feel I could afford give up facebook. I realized it was a tool I should learn to use properly, rather than something that controls me.
So, how did I find balance in my facebook usage?
Here’s my secret to keeping facebook in its place.
Are you ready?
It’s really, really simple, but it works:
I only go on facebook ever other day. And no weekends. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Setting these simple boundaries of ‘facebook days’ and ‘non-facebook’ days is the easiest way I have found from getting sucked into hours wasted online. I don’t have to set a timer, have an accountability partner, or even deal with withdrawal symptoms. Limiting my usage of the site automatically helped me keep the perspective of ‘it’s a tool’ – when do get on, it’s with a purpose. I check my profile, respond to friends and notifications, and then scroll through the homepage IF I have time.
Do I miss stuff?
Has it killed me?
As entertaining and fun and cool as facebook is, I’ve never read anything on facebook that I couldn’t have lived without or found somewhere else.
The difficulty is that so many people use facebook as their primary communication and relationship tool, and if you don’t keep up with them on facebook, you can’t keep up at all. I’ve decided that’s a price I’m willing to pay. I don’t want to get sucked into the majority of my relationships only existing in the electronic realm. I don’t want hours on facebook stealing precious moments talking and praying with a friend on the phone, or busily tidying my house so I can host a friend for dinner. I never want electronic relationships to steal time from face-to-face fellowship with my husband, my children, or the wonderful friends God has given me.
What DO I use facebook for?
It’s helpful for me to have a goal in mind whenever I sit down at the computer, especially when I sign in to facebook. My goal on facebook – the primary reason I’m there – is to deepen relationships. Here’s how I do that:
- I’m on facebook to guide people to my blog, where I invest more of me and the communication and sharing is deeper and fuller.
- I use facebook to connect with old and new friends. Once we find each other, I get their blog, email, or phone number so we can connect on a deeper level, eventually getting to the point of meeting face-to-face. (This is really fun!)
- I only follow a few close friends – ones for whom facebook is their primary online presence. I will visit their page to check out photos and links they have posted so that I can stay current with what’s important to them.
- I only post a personal status when I feel I have something worthy to say (with the occasional exception because I love randomness!)
Have I ever broken my own rules?
Yes. But not often, ’cause I really like it when facebook stays where it belongs in my life (pretty far down on the list, let me tell you). I have made some exceptions:
- When I read something cool online and want to share it, I’ll click the ‘share on facebook’ link, but once I’ve posted it to my page, I x out of the window and move on. It’s how I keep the tool in the tool box unless I’m using it.
- My All That Is Good facebook page – I try to keep that current as it is an extension of my blog and part of my system for growing my blog. But if I’m on ATIG’s page, I try to resist the temptation to switch over to my personal profile.
I love facebook. But I’m no longer addicted. And if feels great.
How about you? Do you struggle with facebook stealing time, or is it something else online? How do you keep your computer time in balance?
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