It always seems like folks are self-loathing their time spent on facebook. . . . . The irony is always funny how they spend time in the facebook meta complaining about how they spend too much time on facebook. . . .
Or maybe that's all changed. See, I haven't been on facebook in a week or so, and it's been really great. I have really seen how much time I was wasting on it. I don't plan on going back to the old patterns, ever. I'm a happier person, seriously. Whenever you talk like this, people are always quick to point out all of the good things that facebook provides you. And, I agree with those things. Heck, it even helps me administrate a fairly large portion of one of our groups here at church.
So, here's a compromise, or half-way point that I think might work for some folks. Again, I'm not being a legalist here. . . I don't think facebook is evil. . . and I don't think I have all the answers. Here is a humble shot at help for you, if you need it. I did.
Facebook, like some other things in life, needs managing. Fortunately, Facebook gives you the tools to do so. So, what I did, is I went into the settings and turned off all alerts, except for the "message me" alert(you could add the "new friend" alert as well). In other words, I only get an email from facebook when someone sends me a facebook message. In my book, this says that they are geniunely trying to contact me about something that is relatively important. Other than that, I don't get on the home page. I just avoid it.
Some folks manage facebook differently. . . . using twitter or other things to control how they interact with people on facebook. All fine and good. . . . .
Let me propose what doesn't work: Sitting in the facebook homepage looking at others' status updates, waiting for them to re-comment on your comment, and perusing pictures of old high school friends. I just think it can't help but waste time.
Yes, facebook has kept me in contact with folks that I wouldn't otherwise have talked with. . . . but most of these meaningful interactions happen via a message (glorified email) or other vehicle where. . you know. . . we're actually interacting.
And, as a bonus I haven't had to see:
a) all the spam, farmland things (I know you can block these. . I know).
b) all of the self-glorifying, self-promotion that I inevitably became a part of
c) all of the whining about children, pets, husbands, wives, churches, jobs, computer systems, etc. . . . let's just say that Philippians 4 is not a part of facebook.
d) the hyperbole and overspeaking about mostly everything. . . the new apple product dujour, how far you ran and/or biked, how much you think your favorite sports team is amazing, how much fun you're going to have this weekend at your favorite vacation spot, etc. . . . basically, bragging. . . . lots and lots of bragging on facebook.
e) attention fishing by all of the above methods. . . we don't need to always crave attention.
f) people starting lame, hateful groups like the Kill President Obama group from last week(my wife told me). . . seriously. . . wow.
g) I've spent less time wondering what everyone else is doing and stopped looking at photos of my "friends" without them knowing (isn't that, in some sense, kind of weird?? You don't spend time looking at your friends' physical photo albums when you're alone in their house or something, do you? Well, at least you do that less often than I was doing it on facebook) :) Yes, there is a nosy, voyeur inside of me, and I'm happy to try to kill that part of me one step at a time. . . this is one step.
And, my most favorite thing has been, people not starting conversations with what my facebook status was most recently, example: them (before anything else is said) "So. . . . been watching the office huh?". . . me "Hi, how's it going . . what's up?" Isn't my phrase supposed to happen first? :) (sorry, I know that's just me. . .it's a pet peeve, that hopefully I'll no longer have to deal with, unless people discuss this blog. . .oh wait, no one reads this blog)
So, anyway. . .just an idea if you think your facebook time might be getting out of hand. Mine was. Manage those notifications so that you can enjoy all of the benefits of facebook without spending so much time on the facebook website. Just a thought.