"Decrease with Facebook anyway." I have already heard this comment a few times in response to my blog No Facebook for 30 days. Nice to inspire people, but I also realized that it is not that easy to really reduce with this digital cigarette. Because less facebooking, how do you do that? And why would you actually pull away from the blue screen?
First it below why with six insights. Or click directly to it how: 40 tips to reduce Facebook.
1. Why Facebook eats your attention
First and foremost: as a marketer and workshop giver, I earn my living with Facebook, among other things. But I always explain Facebook to my customers as a business asset, just like a website or a business card. How does Facebook work as a channel? For that I use the owned, earned and paid media model. Owned media stands for your organic reach of your page (how many people see your messages, and that gets less and less), earned media stands for your viral reach (interaction ensures more reach, so "your friend liked this"), and paid media stands for those crushed advertisements (and that is increasingly needed). As far as the marketing side. Facebook is free, and therefore you as a consumer, with your attention, are the product. That is why Facebook is doing everything it can to keep you on Facebook for as long as possible.
This results in building a profile of your preferences and behavior (here is yours), filtering your Facebook messages into top messages (here you see all messages unfiltered), all sorts of exciting notifications that you will click on, video players that you find it hard to click away and that also present more nice videos afterwards. Thirteen thousand employees work there, all of them working on an optimal experience, making Facebook increasingly your world. But…
2. Facebook is not your world
One in three people sees their social network as the primary news source. With the US presidential election we saw what the consequences could be. Facebook is a new and smart way to look at the world: your timeline full of friend news, fun memes and cat movies, serious news and information that matches your interests. It is fast, easy and up to date. But Facebook alone is not your world. Giving a sad emoticon is not the same as sending a card. Scrolling headlines is not the same as going through a paper newspaper. A cup of coffee and weak talk is not the same as a group chat. That is not a value judgment of good or bad, it is only different. Use your Facebook as it only one window and interaction channel with the world, then you do yourself. After all, you only live once: do you only want to do that via Facebook?
3. You don't need Facebook
Your ancestors didn't need Facebook to do their thing. Nowadays your world is of course very different - connected - but even now there are people without Facebook who really lead a great life. A good way to realize that you too can live without Facebook is to ask yourself the following three hypothetical questions:
- You never have to work again, because suddenly you have enough money. What would you do?
- Your doctor only gives you one year to live. What do you do in that one year?
- Tomorrow the world will end. Through Skynet, the zombie Apocalypse or a meteor. How would you spend your last day?
When facebooking is the only answer to every question, then you are faced with a serious Facebook addiction. And if you don't mention Facebook, but still Facebook every day, then you could logically spend your time more meaningfully. Why are you Facebooking so much? Well…
4. Facebook is addictive
The use of Facebook activates the same part of your brain as cocaine. Now that does not mean that you are going to steal car radios to get your shot of WiFi and therefore Facebook, but it does influence your behavior. You spend a lot of free time on Facebook. Because when you see that red icon and click on it, you get a shot of dopamine in your brain, which is rewarding and thus confirms your Facebook behavior. Just like the dogs from Pavlov, where drooling with a bell was triggered because they were used to getting food. Facebook has been proven addictive, the more often you log in the how unhappy you become and therefore there is professional support to get rid of it. The struggle is real.
Are you addicted to Facebook? Take the test here at Quest.nl.
5. Facebook friends are not real friends
You can be healthy addicted to Facebook: it has no direct adverse effect on health and your environment. But it is what you spend a certain part of your time on, and that certainly influences the way you interact with people. Of course your BFF and your matties are on Facebook. But not everyone on Facebook is a friend for eggie, because on average we have 130 Facebook friends. That number is growing. Unfortunately, the number of true friends is decreasing according to investigation, and that development has nothing to do with aging. Through Facebook you spend more time on vague acquaintances and less on your real friends.
While you can perfectly share that one new book, that super tasty smoothie, that completely incorrect picture about wolves and leadership or a cheerful picture of your child or cat with your Facebook friends, it is not yet your true friends. What is a true friend? Someone you can count on when you're in a shit, for example because you missed the very last train. Someone who sends a birthday card without Facebook notification, or who automatically assumes that you can use extra hands for your move. In short: someone who is there for you. Physically, not only online.
6. Facebook is what you make it
Facebooking is a new way of sharing information and socializing. As a technology, it is not good or bad in itself. It's how you deal with it. For that you first have to know what you are talking about (hence this article for you), so that you can think about it and change your attitude towards this means of communication. If you want of course. But I haven't spoken to anyone yet who wants more Facebook in his life, only less.
Less Facebooking with these 40 tips
You want to decrease with Facebook? Then I have these forty tips for you. They work differently, sometimes to use Facebook smarter, sometimes to use your time smarter. I have made a list that is as long as possible so that you will find the few tips that are feasible for you.
- Remove the Facebook app from your phone. This prevents you from seeing app notifications. You can still easily use Facebook through your browser. Your battery will also last much longer!
- Stop all notifications outside of Facebook. You do that here. Turn off text messages, emails and desktop. Turn off the sound for Facebook. This way Facebook won't get you in from the outside.
- Do not use your smartphone as an alarm clock. Or put it outside your bedroom, if it wakes you up so that you get up immediately. Otherwise, buy an alarm clock. Take that morning moment to wake up, not to scroll.
- Replace Facebook pages with newsletters. You always see a newsletter in your mailbox, and you delete it without reading when you don't feel like time. A Facebook page that you follow requires much more attention. Stop following the Facebook page and sign up for their newsletter. It often comes with only the best news every month. (like the mine!)
- Unfollow, unfriend and unlike. Do you see a message on Facebook that you think is: why am I seeing this? And is that more often than not with that person or that page? Unfriend or unfollow that friend (with your colleague or family member for example) and unlike that page. This increases the quality of your Facebook timeline and helps you become aware.
- Focus. Would you like to see messages from your partner, your best friend or your grandmother? Put them on Always show. With this you never miss messages, so you don't always have to check. Even days later you just see these messages. (click in the top left on the three dots behind news overview and then on edit preferences)
- Replace messages with a bell, card or visit. Difficult, because there are so many messages of course and you will not replace them all. Tip: decide to send a card every week or month or to call or visit a friend. You can do that as a result of a Facebook message. Less Facebooking results in a smaller network, but also in deeper relationships.
- Rather grab a book. A good book brings you into a totally different world, or gives you profound insights. It is a long-lasting experience compared to Facebook that also gives more satisfaction. Especially useful in public transport, on the toilet, on the terrace, in bed or on the couch. Indeed: all those moments that you facebook differently.
- Schedule your Facebook moments. Because your employer does not want you to be on Facebook every 15 minutes, nor your conversation partner or table partner. It's great to take your Facebook shot at regular intervals, for example during lunch or after work. You will see that you will get more pleasure out of it. (because the pleasure is not in getting a reward, but in the expectation of it)
- Ask a Question. The person opposite you picks up the phone and you immediately have the tendency to do the same. Restrain yourself and ask a good question that makes the other person think. Ask for a recent experience, opinion, vacation tip, advice or a good recipe. Picnic also has those handy tickets for this.
- Mobile not in the bedroom. Staring at a bright screen is unhealthy for your night's rest. Your body does not relax (because of all those red icons, nice news and the bright light), so you get tired less quickly, stay mobile longer, go to sleep later and wake up tired and then start Facebooking again. Prefer to keep your mobile outside of your bedroom. That makes you calmer.
- Check that Facebook profile every week. Tip for the elderly who like to be kept informed of their children and grandchildren. Just check their Facebook profile once a week, there you will see everything they post themselves or what friends post on their page. You can always find that back. You don't have to see their responses and likes to other Facebook messages at all. That saves you time.
- Measure your Facebook time. Every week I get from RescueTime (for desktop and mobile) an e-mail how much time I have spent on all applications. In this way you gain insight into your Facebook behavior and you learn whether you actually Facebook too much in hours (or play too many games instead of your (homework) work). If you Facebook six hours a week, do you think what else you could do in that time?
- Rest your eyes. We have become much more visual. It is the age of screens. Close your eyes and think about what music you really enjoy. Then put that on, sit comfortably and just listen to it.
- Organize a meetup. Or a tea party, or a bottle share, a whiskey tasting, a park party (keep it tidy), a book club, a cooking club or a walking club. Come together with regularity. That has a low threshold, is based on your interest and you can meet friends or new people this way.
- Leave your mobile at home. When you go to that restaurant around the corner. Or visit your mother. Or just go to the takeaway Chinese (they usually also have the Donald Duck). Of course you will see that you just need your cell phone for something else, but that way you also have a cozier dinner, more attention for your mother and you also read the Donald Duck.
- Don't start with Facebook. Which homepage have you set for your browsers? Get Facebook out.
- Get up and walk. Need some distraction? Put your mobile away and take a little walk. Walk to the nearest park or to a friend on the receipt. Look around you, the street, people, nature. Walking is healthy and you get a breath of fresh air.
- Facebookless day. You can easily have a day without alcohol and also without meat. Then why not a day without Facebook? Choose your Facebookless day and stick to it yourself. See what it does to you.
- Facebook clearance. Go to your list of friends and say: bye-by-colleague I never speak to again, bye-bye knowledge of a vague evening, bye-by-friend I don't even greet in the AH. Only keep people in your timeline that you also want to see in real life. You can announce this on Facebook, but you don't have to.
- Birthday? Get rid of it. Facebook reminds you of every friend's birthday. No need to congratulate? An ideal moment to remove that person.
- Write a blog. Do you want to tell your story? Share your vacation photos? Start a blog, for example WordPress or com. Of course you can then promote your blog again via Facebook, but it is even better to use a newsletter for this, for example MailChimp (my manual).
- Take free from Facebook. For example, that weekend away, or that week of vacation. Feel free to report on Facebook that you are squeaking away, but do not keep sucking. Think for yourself what you do instead: a book, a game, a board game, a puzzle, thinking (yes you can take time for that), a job at home, the garden, a hobby project, museums etc.
- Are you with friends? Stack all cell phones in one pile. The first to pick up his mobile for whatever reason pays a round (or just the entire bill). This way you keep each other sharp and present.
- Missing isn't bad. A big driver of our Facebook behavior is 'fear of missing out' (FOMO), which also results in endless zapping or browsing through all news sites. Consider yourself: you can never know everything. And missing something really isn't that bad. If it is really important, they will call or you will hear it one on one from someone. What is also not bad: boredom, frustration, confusion and all the time you have already invested in Facebook. All reasons for facebooking, but that is only one way to deal with it.
- Sleep = do not disturb. Many phones have a night mode that turns off notifications between certain times. You don't always have to be available for literally everyone. Take your rest.
- Chat via Messenger.com. You want to chat but not facebook? Also from Facebook but without timeline: Facebook Messenger. You can also see all chat messages on Messenger.com, you don't have to go to Facebook.com.
- Remove that sidebar. Click Options at the bottom right, and then click Hide Sidebar. With this you remove the ticker, possibly your pages and existing contacts. Less distraction!
- Talk to a Facebookless person. You know them or ask Facebook differently if someone knows one in your area. Someone without Facebook. Why doesn't it have Facebook? How does that work? Don't you miss birthdays like that? And how do you maintain contact with this Facebookless person?
- Once a day. At a fixed moment the red icons go off and see what messages Facebook has selected for you this day. That way you stay up to date with the most important news and most popular messages. Note that if you stop, for example because half an hour has passed, your Facebook will actually close.
- Reward yourself differently. Was the laundry done? Sent that difficult email? Article off? Don't reward yourself with Facebook but with something physical and not addictive. A cup of tea, a piece of fruit, reading a poem (yes, you can still do that), setting up a CD or record (or Spotify).
- Make a Facebook friend a true friend. Do you like the same music, make the same sharp comments and drink the same on Saturday night? You seem to have a lot in common with that one vague knowledge! Why not meet face to face instead of facebook to facebook?
- Facebook only on your PC or tablet. And therefore not mobile, which you have with you everywhere. Enjoy the large letters and clear photos! By Facebook only on your PC or tablet, Facebook is bound for you at home or office (not during working hours of course).
- Addiction is due to lack of commitment. What do you miss in your life? What feeling? Are you looking for recognition? Who do you miss? Without Facebook you will notice that you are missing a certain bond. Recognize that and do something with it. Facebook addiction is one symptom.
- Switch to Instagram. More beautiful photos, no follow-up required, less text and fewer interaction options. You also spend less time on Instagram than on Facebook.
- Restrain the urge to prove. You cooked well. Your cat is tough. Your baby is the most beautiful in the whole world. All examples of the urge to prove: want to prove that you matter. The first step to restrain your urge to prove is to become aware of it. The second step is to just enjoy it.
- Really like it. Do you like that baby photo? Go by. Do you like that picture of that delicious food? Go to that restaurant yourself. The same with that photo of the park, that hobby and those people. Make it physical.
- You actually have to sleep or work or do the laundry and you still see that one video that you have to watch because otherwise it's gone? Save it! Click the top right menu of the message, and click Save Message. The next time on Facebook Facebook reminds you again, and you find it here back.
- Stop! With automatic play, video. If I want to see you, I will click on it. You fit that here
- Fuck Farmville. And Candy Crusher. And all those stupid apps that stupid people invite you to do stupid things. You turn that off HERERRRR under Game and app notifications. Also immediately check all apps and therefore companies that you have given access to your private data.
And as a last tip: go facebooking. Share this message on Facebook and start the discussion. Because it is easier to reduce together with Facebook.