How Can Social Media Users Reclaim Their Lives?

facebookaddictionI’m guilty of it myself.  Since I work from a computer I spend a lot of time on Facebook and other social media sites.  It’s just force of habit.  Often I will find myself heading over to Facebook without even consciously thinking about it.  I’m no better than the rat in the cage, pressing a lever to receive a piece of food.  I am accustomed to clicking over to Facebook because of that addicting pleasure of having notifications….that juicy little red number on the top bar of Facebook itself.  It’s quite addicting to participate and then get feedback.  And the mystery and wonder of that stupid red number has me coming back over and over again.  It’s crazy.

Industry statistics indicate that well over half of U.S. residents are currently using social media sites. That may not come as a surprise, but what may be is that nearly a fourth of social media users in the United States access social media sites many times every day. While site owners like those statistics, the numbers indicate some users are spending a significant amount of time on social media sites at the expense of other activities. Does that mean those users should quit social media? In some cases, the answer may be yes but, in most cases, simply cutting back may be advisable. There are several ways to reduce usage while not totally abandoning all those online friends and contacts.

Time Yourself

Most users do not keep track of the amount of time they spend on social media sites. It’s easy to simply take a quick peek at Facebook or Twitter every time you hear that little beep indicating something is happening. However, those quick peeks can really add up over the course of a day. While cutting back on the time spent monitoring Facebook may be difficult, start thinking about what could be accomplished using the time currently devoted to social media. Start saving time by turning off those notifications and only check on what friends and other contacts are doing once or twice a day at specific times.

Avoid Those Games and Surveys

While it’s tempting to play a game or two, it’s also easy to then play “just one more.” The same applies to all those surveys or “What is Your (Fill in the Blank) Name?” questionnaires that are so popular. Not only are those activities time-consuming, they provide fodder for data miners itching to learn more about users’ habits. To save time, as well as preserve a little privacy, simply avoid those temptations.

Social media sites provide a great way to stay in touch with friends and family, but they can become addicting for some users. By minimizing use and setting limits on what types of activities are engaged in, users can avoid spending too much time on those sites. The first step for users wanting to reclaim their lives is to track their usage and start setting limits for how much time will be dedicated to social media sites in the future.

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