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Monday, August 27, 2012

Ten Things You Can Do to Curb Your Facebook Addiction | The Nation

To be addicted is to use something—alcohol, spending, Xanax—to the point that it causes harm and, yet, is difficult to stop. Could this describe your relationship with Facebook?
Research shows that the more we use the social network, the sadder we become. Why? Because of something called upward social comparisons.
Dr. Meg Jay, author of “The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter And How To Make The Most Of Them Now,” wrote that,

 “Social comparison theory tells us that, when left without obvious cues about our performance, we look to what others are doing to decide whether what we are doing is good enough.” 

Many of use Facebook as a way of comparing our careers and relationships with those of everyone else. According to Dr. Jay, the problem with this is that “our nights spent sitting on the couch surfing Facebook feel low compared to the high life everyone else seems to be leading”—at least in the smiling, happy, perfect pictures. These upward comparisons make people feel bad yet somehow we can’t stop looking. 

If you once found Facebook to be helpful and fun but now feel that it is harmful and negative, you may have lost control of your use. Cultivating a more intentional relationship with Facebook and other online platforms makes us more in tune to our true interests and freer to engage in real world matters with real world consequences. Here are “Ten Things” you can do to curb your Facebook addiction—and use your resulting free time and energy to work towards social and political change.

1. Admit you have a problem.

2. Get your eye candy elsewhere.

3. Get news from a news site.

4. Manage your Facebook experience. 

5. Connect with the world off-line. 

6. Take up a mantle.

One of the best ways to overcome inertia is to advocate for a cause.

7. Set a time limit.

Use a simple egg-timer or iPhone timer to limit the minutes—or hours--you spend on Facebook. It will keep you focused and honest about your behavior.

If you have problems with time management, check out these five ways to use technology to save time. 

8. Take Facebook breaks.

Take a day away, or a week away, from Facebook, just so you know you can. 

9. Get in downward dog.

Rather than using Facebook to relax, try a healthier approach, one that might actually help you feel relaxed. Do 15 minutes of yoga. Learn Tai Chi online. Or go to You Tube and look for “mindfulness meditation” sessions.

Read a book on mindfulness such as the classic, “Full Catastrophe Living” by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Just a few moments of mindfulness a day can change your brain, and your cortisol levels, for the better.

10. Consider leaving.

Let’s face it. Some people cannot drink socially and some people cannot be casual users of Facebook. If you cannot get your Facebook use under control using the tips above, it may be time to go cold turkey.

Conceived by Walter Moseley and co-edited by Rae Gomes.

"Ten Things" is a monthly feature. Readers who wish to submit additions to recent Ten Things or tell us their own Ten Things ideas should use this form.


Ten Things You Can Do to Curb Your Facebook Addiction | The Nation

LINK: http://www.thenation.com/article/169376/ten-things-you-can-do-curb-your-facebook-addiction#