How do I stop being so invested in social media?
You may have experienced the feeling when you sit in front of your computer working and you see a message from Facebook staring at you. You think to yourself, “I will make a quick response and then get right back on track with work and be productive.” But next thing you know, you are reading the hilarious posts from friends, responding to interesting conversations, and saying hi to friends you haven’t seen for a while. As your “quick” peak evolves into a long-long time, the facebooking feels “addicting.” Does this sound familiar? You might have a Facebook addiction.
Do you have the facebook addiction?
I searched through a few of my own Facebook posts in regards to the “addicting” feeling and found myself posting: “Why is it that when I have a thousand things on the ‘to-do’ list, I find myself lost on Facebook?!?!” or my humorous (yet also somewhat serious): “I think I might start a new therapy group called “Facebook-aholics Anonymous.”
My posts on Facebook had a bit of humor, yet it also spoke the truth. I can feel and see how easy it could be to get lost for hours and become out of control. I am able to moderate my usage of social networking, but what about those who can’t redirect or limit themselves, or for those who have more addictive tendencies?
I have heard over and over with my clients saying that they struggle with the online social networking. It either gets in the way of the relationship (which you can read about in this article) or it completely gets out of control.
Questions to ask yourself to see if you have a Facebook Addiction
- Do you spend a minimum of 2 hours a day on Facebook?
- Do you find that you get behind on work or personal responsibilities because you continuously get side tracked on Facebook?
- Do you start your day with with Facebook?
- Do you end your day with Facebook?
- Do you check Facebook on your cell phone on a regular basis?
- Have you and your partner got into various fights because of Facebook?
- Do you say “just one more peak” and next thing you know your back in your same routine?
- Do you tell yourself you won’t look on Facebook, but then find yourself back on it?
- Have friends or family shown concern about your Facebook activity?
If you answered yes more than no, you could benefit from taking a deeper look at your Facebook activity and take step to gain control on your social networking.
Here are a few tips on taking back control on your life and creating a healthy balance:
Set a FB Time Frame
Moderation is key!! Instead of cutting yourself off completely, allow yourself a limited time during the day. Facebook is a great way to connect with others and build relationships…but needs to be in moderation. Schedule time for social networking after work and personal obligation and limit the amount. Set a timer (I am not joking about this) and only allow yourself 30 minutes to network with your friends, family, and colleagues. Sometimes we need external accountability… and a timer works great!
Put your settings to “Off Line”
People can see if you are available online to have an instant message chat. Your childhood friend that you haven’t seen for 10 years may want to say hello and have a long, drawn out conversation about the years you have been apart. Put your settings to “Off line” so you aren’t easy to access for a conversation and you won’t be tempted to converse with others.
Email Folder Redirect
I get easily distracted, so I can relate with others who get distracted with emails from Facebook. Created a Facebook folder and have your emails automatically put into the FB folder. The emails won’t sit staring at you in your inbox. You can then click on the FB folder when it is time and you are done with your personal obligations. Try it out; see how this keeps you on track with business and accomplishing tasks.
Change Cell Phone Settings
I just got a new iPhone and somehow FB sends me text messages every time I get a message. This temptation of a text message for some people is like an alcoholic having a bottle of alcohol put in their hands randomly throughout the day…and expected to say “No.” Put up a detour and change your settings. Remove the application from your phone, and make sure that your cell phone doesn’t send you text message updates.
If Facebook has been a problem in your relationship, start rebuilding your FB time and get your partner involved in your facebooking. Sit together and check out your friends and family as a team. Instead of having it drive you two apart, find a way to have Facebook bring you together.
The bottom line: social media can be addicting. It can get in the way of your everyday activities and it can be a roadblock for your relationships. Stop the browsing spiral by setting a time limit and sticking to it. To keep your relationships healthy, take the focus away from what your friends are doing online, and put it on what your partner (or friend) is doing with you in the moment.
About Jennine Estes, MFT
Think of me as your relationship consultant, I'm your neutral third party that can help you untangle the emotions and help you figure out what's really going on. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, CA. Certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Supervisor. I write relationship and self growth advice for my column Relationships in the Raw. Creator of #BeingLOVEDIs campaign. MFC#47653