A couple of weeks ago, I quit Facebook, after I was part of it for over.. phew I don’t know anymore! Probably for over ten years. Facebook was one of my websites that I visited daily. I wouldn’t say that I obsessed about it, but I did check it every.single.day. About a year ago I realized that it really does not add any value to my life any more. I always thought that I need to stay informed and that being in several groups about archaeology or university helped me to stay on top of things. Then I started to ask myself everyday if Facebook taught me something. The answer was always no. After a year of doing this, I quit.
Social Media as a general problem
So why is Social Media such a problem? A couple years ago, I was under the impression, that I browse Facebook or Twitter only randomly when I am bored or waiting for something. But after installing another launcher for my Android device, I suddenly had a small display that showed me what apps I use the most over the day and how many minutes I spend on them. The result was shocking.
The display showed me, that I spend around 45 minutes on Twitter and 55 minutes on Facebook every single day. This is nearly two hours of a 24 hour day. So subtract sleeping and I spend two hours of a 18 hour day (around 11%) with Social Media. So I asked myself does this Social Media browsing actually do something for me or am I wasting my time? Here the answer differed very much: While I was using Twitter more productively in creating new connections and networking, I used Facebook in a different way. For me, this Social Network boiled down seeing what other people do the whole day. Sure, that might be interesting, but in my opinion does not add any value to my personal life. So I decided to turn it down.
Tune down Twitter
The first step was to tune down Twitter, as this service is something I want to keep, because it actually is helpful to me. If you do not already follow me on Twitter, go on and start doing it. Twitter for me is the perfect communications hub within my field. I can keep contact with people around the world and promote what I am doing as well. It is not so much about gossip (at least in my timeline) than information.
Anyway, I decided to tune down Twitter in order to spend less time on the service, without quitting it all together. So I limited my time there to 20 minutes per day, which seems to be a good amount to catch up. I am doing this now for several months and it works just fine.
Facebook on the other hand did not add anything valuable to my life, so I quit it completely. As I described above, I took my time with it, but eventually realised, that quitting Facebook is the right way to go. Just remember, this holds true for me and for you it even might be the other way around. The important point here is to quit what you really don’t need, because it steals your time. Your time on the other hand is valuable and you should treat it that way.
Books like Atomic Habit or Getting Things Done repeat this over and over: Don’t do Social Media, it wastes your time. And they are right. Although I know that we all urge the feeling to be connected someway, it at least doesn’t hurt to think about the time we spent with these services. Maybe you have other parts, apps or services in your life that steal your time? Maybe you even feel relieved when quitting them. I certainly did.