social networking sites continue to explode in popularity. according to nielsen:
- in december ’09 alone, over 300 million people logged onto facebook.
- on average, people spent 5.5 hours on facebook during december 2009 (a 201% increase from december 2008).
- over 300,000 businesses are now on facebook promoting their goods/services.
depending on your line of work, facebook may be unavoidable. but even if it is unavoidable, there’s good news: it doesn’t have to run your life. i have compiled a list of helpful hints to keep facebook from ruining your life.
how to minimize your time on facebook:
- choose your friends wisely. if you really want to limit your time on facebook, just limit the number of friends that you accept. remember, the less friends you accept, the less number of possible interactions that arise. convince yourself that you do not need to accept every friend request that shows up on your page. just because you went to the same high school with somebody doesn’t mean you need to become their “online friend” today. besides, apparently, the human mind can only handle 150 friends anyway.
- skip the applications/games. if you are on facebook to connect with friends, then get on facebook to connect with friends. you don’t need to spend your time joining the mafia, building a farm, or finding out which disney princess you are. however, if you would like facebook to be your online gaming platform… that is certainly up to you.
- remove all e-mail notifications. by turning off all notifications to your e-mail or mobile device, you remove facebook’s opportunity to interrupt your daily life at any moment. you also remove the urge to respond to every notification as it appears. to change these options, go to account settings and choose the “notifications” tab, there click “off” on all the e-mail notifications you don’t really need.
- hide unnecessary notifications from your newsfeed. if you’re not interested in someone’s or an application’s updates specifically, you can hide them from your newsfeed permanently. just hover over the update’s upper right corner and when you see the button “hide” appear, click to choose “hide this person’s updates” or “hide (whatever app) updates”. i use this on every application that appears in my newsfeed, on people who update way-too-often, and on people who constantly post negative status reports (i don’t need them bringing me down with them.)
- don’t facebook chat. among the most inefficient methods of communication in our world today stand internet chatting, texting, and morse code. and you don’t even have to initiate a facebook chat to get stuck in the middle of one… should a friend notice you are online. to go offline even when using facebook, click “chat,” “options,” and “go offline.”
- sync your social networking sites. if you are also a user of youtube, flickr, twitter, or etc., there are many applications/software that will sync them for you so that you do not need to upload/update things twice.
- only log-in once/day. certainly, this works only as well as your personal discipline allows. if once/day is still chewing up too much of your life, choose any frequency you desire.
- get drastic and limit your minutes. if personal discipline isn’t working for you, there are websites that will limit your time for you: minutesplease.com, for example.
- honorable mention: choose your photos wisely, choose your fan pages wisely, and become a friend of the “ignore” button.
these tips can be used for any user of facebook whether you are on for personal or commercial reasons.
oh, and don’t forget to become a fan of becoming minimalist on facebook.