Maybe your affinity for Facebook began with a simple desire to keep in touch with your friends, or make new ones online. Or perhaps you were just bored. But now Facebook is the thorn in your side, and possibly a bone fade addiction. If you're finding it difficult to spend an hour of your waking life without checking or thinking about Facebook, you may be looking for a way out. This is it.
Admit you might have an addiction to Facebook. and keep track of what you actually do on Facebook. After every Facebook session, ask yourself: "What did I just accomplish by checking Facebook?" Odds are, you're probably just logging in to see if you've been poked, or for updates of when your friends change their profile image, write a new note, add a new song to their favorite music, and do other little things that you can really live without knowing. But those might be the little things that keep you on a very short leash. At first you're confirming a new friend, and next thing you know, you've spent an hour looking at all the new people you're connected to. Recording your Facebook activities can help you realize how much time you actually spend getting nothing constructive done.
- Define your goals on Facebook. Make a list of what you really want from it. Why did you originally sign up? So you could remember friends' birthdays? Find and keep old friends? Meet people with similar interests? Whatever your goals may be on Facebook, you need to make sure that you devote your time there to accomplishing those goals, instead of going off track with activities that get you nowhere. If you have no goals (i.e. if you signed up just because you had nothing better to do), skip the next step.
Make and follow a Facebook schedule. After each Facebook goal, write down how much time and at what frequency you'll need to be on Facebook to achieve that goal. Then write down the total number of hours, per week, that you should be spending on Facebook. If it seems like too much time, adjust your activity times accordingly. Following this schedule might bring your Facebook addiction under control without requiring you to quit altogether. Some examples:
- Stay in touch with college friends - Check every other day, spend no more than 15 minutes responding to messages only from college friends. (1 hour per week)
- Maintain my group - Check every morning and evening for 10 minutes each, only to remove any spam or junk. Note to self: do not respond to posts, comments or messages during this time. (2 hours, 20 minutes per week)
- Keep my group interesting - Spend 30 minutes every other day reading all of the comments and responding. (2 hours per week)
- Finding new friends - Browse profiles for 30 minutes, twice a week. (1 hour per week)
- Total maximum time I plan to spend on Facebook: 6 hours, 20 minutes.
Think of other things you could be doing with your time spent on Facebook. If you find yourself spending, say, 10 hours a week on Facebook, make a list of all the other things you could accomplish in that time. You could:
- pick up a part time job and invest that money in stocks
- teach a child how to throw a football
- get fit
- get a girlfriend
- build a gas scooter or an adobe wall
- clean your room
- calculate the center of gravity
- Read a book
- teach yourself a new language
- make a papasan chair cushion
Block the time you spend on Facebook using parental controls. Use such controls as EzInternetTimer or TimeUpKidz.
- Deactivate your facebook Account - this lets you take a breather without losing the information; or
- Permanently delete your Facebook account - this is the real end, everything will go!
- If you've started any groups, transfer admin rights to someone you trust.
- Clear every last bit of information from your profile. Don't forget to remove your photo!
- Send an email to your Facebook contacts explaining your decision to leave. Include your current contact information so they can get in touch with you without Facebook.
Find alternatives to using Facebook. If you've gotten into the habit of using Facebook messages instead of email, update your email address book so you can get in touch with your friends next week and continue your correspondence outside of Facebook.
Turn your profile into a pile of useless data! This is another way to "delete" a Facebook account, and you might have fun doing it. When you wake up the next day, your profile is gone. For good. Amen.
- Delete all your "friends" - unless you want to show the World you're quitting for good.
- Change the profile’s name - you can do that. Be sure to choose something really lousy.
- Fill it up with offensive content - texts, dubious pics and all.
- State clearly that Facebook employees are just a bunch of - beep - beep - beep - fill in the beeps with the most politically incorrect insults.
- Invite lots of randomly picked people to become your “friends”.
Find a Facebook substitute. A lot of people get addicted to Facebook because they check it when there's nothing else to do, like in between classes, or during a lunch break; then the curiosity spills over into time that should be spent doing other things, like studying or working. You need to find something to do during those little windows of time in order to prevent relapse. There are several ways to give yourself a "Facebook patch":
- Stay away from the computer as much as you can. For many of us, getting in front of a monitor is a default activity. Try to find other things to do that'll keep you away from the computer and therefore, Facebook. Keep a notebook. Meditate. Finger weave. Learn to do impressive tricks with a tech deck. Call your friends on the phone or do something fun with them in person. Anything that you can do anywhere and for short periods of time is good.
- If you're at a computer during critical relapse times, find another website to log onto and read instead of Facebook. Yes, you may get addicted to that instead, so try to find something that's actually a constructive pursuit, like checking news websites, learning a new word each day, sharpening your mental skills by solving a sudoku, practicing that foreign language you decided to learn, or contributing to the How-to Manual Anyone Can Edit.