Can you imagine life without Facebook? Or without social media? Probably not. An average social media user spends 2.2 hours per day on social networks. An average visit of Facebook for all users is 20 minutes. As a social media expert and daily user, I can tell, at least for myself, that it’s a lot of time. But is it really worth it? This is the question I ask myself more and more frequently. Apparently, I’m not the only one.
The Common Issue
I’ve had a lot of friends telling me the same thing: I keep spending too much time on Facebook. I “feel tired” after I scroll down the Newsfeed (for half an hour). Facebook drains my energy. I use Facebook to procrastinate. It’s very distractive – I come to reply one message, I spend 10 minutes on watching pointless videos. And so on. But why is that so?
Recently I read an article in a Marie Claire magazine citing Dr Sani Mann, author of The Upside Of Downtime, saying: “Scrolling and swiping are fast-paced, passive activities – we’re not using our brains very much, so we feel dissatisfied.”
Aha! Now that makes sense. And it even gets worse, as she continues, “That’s when we start second-screening – watching TV and scrolling the net at the same time. But that makes things worse, because we’re even less focused.”
No Phones Allowed On Night Table
Luckily, I don’t own TV but I’m absolutely guilty of checking my phone before bed, in the morning and at times when I know I’m not going to reply. It leaves me feeling empty and busy. So one thing I started doing past week is that I removed my phone from my night table.
Ever woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t fall asleep? Chances are that if your phone is on the night table, you’ll start checking your messages or scrolling the newsfeed. Removing your phone from the night table also removes the temptation of going online.
The best antidote against “checking too much Facebook” syndrome I know is discipline. Stop. Checking. Facebook. Every. 20. Minutes. It’s as hard and as easy as that. And that’s exactly the problem – not all of us are so disciplined. Just like Simon Sinek explains in the video below, it’s probably for the best if you leave your phone behind when you go to social events. Otherwise you’ll be checking on your phone every minute when your friends leave to the toilet. How about just enjoy relaxing in the living room?
Feed Your Brain The Right Stuff
One of the things that have worked for me and never fail to keep my brain working – meaning I have focus and I don’t jump from thing to thing – is simply feeding my brain with the right stuff. What’s the “right stuff”? Activities that keep you engaged and help you “get into the zone”. Reading a book is probably one of the simplest things, as well as physical exercise. Creative activities such as blogging or writing, painting, playing an instrument are a great example that will keep you satisfied.
How much time do you spend on social networks every day? What are your tricks for keeping focused?