5 tools to help you kick facebook habit
The Cure for Facebook Addiction
Typically, I write about new economy. Today, I’m going to talk about something equally as radical, but only tangentially related.
This is about taking back your life.
Technology fiends, I’m talking to you!
With these 4 tools you can move from hours a day to minutes a day plugged into the rabbit hole that is Facebook.
For those of you who take the time to look people in the eyes, have creative outlets, regularly participate in hands-on activities, and touch nature often — you are probably less affected by the Facebook virus, but you might still benefit from some of these tools (see if you have the symptoms below).
Facebook Addict Symptoms:
- Facebook use 1+ hours per day with little to no recollection of what you saw, learned, “liked,” read, or even how much time you spent.
- Pulling up the app during every spare moment, including when your companion goes to the bathroom (and when you’re in the bathroom), during ride shares, bus routes, in between meetings, at night, and in the morning (basically any time you’re not required to be in direct contact with another human being).
- An emotional dullness coupled with exhaustion, which deadens empathy and pulls you on an emotional rollercoaster all at once (you can only process so many deaths, engagements, political arguments, equality battles, bad days, and pristine high points before your brain pushes the feelings to a fight or flight response, which in turn, produces anxiety).
- No “free time” — this is a sense of busyness that goes beyond being busy. You have a friend called Facebook, which seems to negate needing to reach out as much in real life because everyone is already there.
- Lack of creative interest. Remember hobbies? Painting. Making pottery. Learning an instrument. Cooking your own food. Gardening. Basically, a creative interest involves doing something with your body to generate something new in the physical world just for the hell of it .
- A feeling that you have to keep up, be interesting, and have an eventful life, which other people will want to be a part of when they see how awesome you are or what great content you’re sharing on The Book.
Although quitting Facebook entirely is a worthy endeavor, it is unreasonable for many considering we’re still beholden to the login for logins, apps, and websites — not to mention a little bit of Facebook actually feels good.
Facebook seems to have become unhealthy when the Facebook Feed was introduced followed by the Facebook app, so here are 4 tools that will give you back your time, solace, creative space, and a richer inner world with more interest and curiosity in other people, places, and experiences as they unfold right in front of you.
4 Tools to Cure Your Facebook Addiction:
1.) Delete the Facebook app. That’s right. Get rid of the cute little blue icon on your phone. You’re probably just using the app as a way to pass time and for no other meaningful purpose. You can keep Messenger, but I recommend you delete both unless you need Messenger for business purposes or frequently message people who you don’t have contact info for.
Recommended replacement: Download the Kindle app if you don’t already have it and load a bunch of books on there (here are 50,000 books available free at the Gutenberg project to get you started). Books make you smarter — help you think, inspire, and might even help you conjure up new ideas.
2.) Download Kill Newsfeed for Google Chrome. And while you’re at it, only use Chrome for browsing, research, etc. This extension whites out the Facebook Newsfeed forevermore so that you don’t have the option to browse other peoples lives and opinions endlessly. You can still do everything else! You can still see all of the content in groups, events, and on peoples individual profiles.
Recommended replacement: The Newsfeed is a big time suck, but it’s also a place where most people feel a sense of false connection. Instead of defaulting to Facebook when you’re bored, figure out what your high level goals are professionally and personally for the year, then chunk those down into SMART quarterly goals, and week to week, create a strikethrough list of all you want to do, create, and contribute to the world. Think of these like promises to yourself rather than goals. And then when you find yourself jones-ing for some addict juice (Facebook), look at all the beautiful things you want to build and knock an item or six off your list.
3.) Download Buffer on your phone for social sharing. Now that you don’t have the Facebook app, you don’t have an easy mechanism for sharing life moments, photos, articles, etc. to Facebook, but never fear — there’s a much less addictive option. While Instagram is a great, the exposure and reach of posts seem to be more limited than something like Buffer, which will let you share not only photos, but also, articles, text updates, and video.
4.) Sync your Google Calendar with Facebook Events URL. This is bliss. By syncing your calendars, you can use a tabbed calendar in Google and if you need to pull up a particular event that hasn’t landed on your main Google calendar, you can see everything that you’ve been invited to, marked interested in, or are already “going” to. In the bottom right of your Facebook events page (when logged into desktop version), you’ll see a tiny box on the bottom of the right sidebar that reads “Upcoming Events.” Click on that, copy the URL and transfer it into whatever calendar you use. On Google, you go to your Google Calendar, click “Other Calendars” arrow and click “Add by URL.” This also works similarly with Microsoft Outlook and Apple.
5.) Block your browser in iOS from Facebook mobile website. To do this, Settings > general > restrictions > websites > limit adult content > never allow list and + facebook.com.
That’s it — those are the 5 tools that can change your life.
Try this regimen for one week
If you slip up and put the Facebook app back on your phone, delete it within the hour and start over.
Give yourself the gift of self control, but set yourself up for success in that endeavor with these tools. Find a hobby to master, plan a trip, read books, write, create, build, love, be. There are so many things that are better than passively “liking” what other people are doing. Love your life instead.