Like it or not, Facebook can be a huge time waster if you are not careful. The giant social network lets you connect with others in so many ways that catching up with them all can quickly devour your precious time. Learn to regulate your Facebook habits and to better manage your activities online. Here are some things you can do.
Do not log in to Facebook first.
It is easy to lose track of time on Facebook. Before you know it, you have wasted valuable time “checking up” on everybody, commenting, liking, sharing and responding to requests. So avoid heading to Facebook first. Do other things that are more important. Have unanswered mail? Need to back up your files? Know your priorities. When you have taken care of the most urgent stuff (you will know when you do), then go check your account. This way you make Facebook fit into your schedule, not the other way around.
Use a timer.
Often people are in denial about how much of their time Facebook really eats. So prove it– use a timer. You can use free timers and stopwatches online. Or you can use your own watch to time yourself. You might be surprised at how fast time flies as you exchange cute Facebook statuses or comment on the latest Hollywood blockbuster. Every time you check Facebook, restart the timer and add it all up.
Think of all the things you could do with the time used on Facebook.
People think they are entitled to idle time in some way or another. This is true to an extent. You need time to relax. But how much “time off” do you really need… or want? Count up the minutes and then hours you spend on Facebook. Ask yourself if that is time you really had to use on the site or if you would’ve been better off spending it on something else more important. Deep inside, you must know the answer.
Avoid games and surveys.
These are a big waste of time. Facebook games and surveys may be entertaining and fun, but they are quite addictive. Not only that, but frequent status updates about your latest Mafia Wars exploits or the type of Hollywood vampire you make can really annoy your friends. If that is not enough, consider the privacy and security issues. When you use a Facebook app, you grant it access to your profile information including the details you share with your friends.
Go offline in chat.
Nothing could possibly eat up more of your time than an unplanned chat session with a friend who has plenty of time in their hands. Make sure you are offline in the Facebook chat window. Better yet, create a friends list from the chat menu, add friends you want to appear offline to, and switch the green light to gray so they will not see you online. This will protect you from being caught online when you have no time to chat.
Facebook has its uses. But don’t let it take over your life. Keep things in perspective. You have a life outside of the ‘book so learn to control it. Start now.