In the years after its 2004 launch, Facebook experienced a massive growth in popularity. While new membership has slowed (after reaching a whopping 1 billion members), still every day hundreds of millions of users frequent the network. A 2014 study suggested 23 percent of Facebook users checked their account five or more times each day.
While some users may spend too much time on the network, there is a percentage of people who may be addicted to Facebook. Generally, most people probably are not addicted, but do find they simply spend too much time on the network. This realization may come if they find they are neglecting other things and/or not getting other tasks or responsibilities done.
Statistics suggest many people check their Facebook accounts numerous times per day. How many never log off?
Facebook can be a huge time waster if a person lets time spent on the network get out of control and/or has difficulty keeping track of time spent while surfing or chatting on the site. If you find yourself in this pickle, fortunately, there are some relatively easy approaches you can take to cut back on your Facebook habit.
Make a Decision
The first step is to decide it's time to scale back on Facebook use. Daily habits are often hard to break, and also getting lured into discussions (perhaps especially during an election season) or activities (i.e. games) are hard to separate from at times . However, once the decision is made that too much time is spent on Facebook and it's time to cut back, it gets a lot easier from there.
Keep a Diary
Many people use diet diaries when trying to lose weight, identify allergies or simply want to keep track of what foods they eat daily. The same concept can be used for Facebook. Write down each time you log on and when you log off and take a look at the time you’ve spent using the network. This way you can realistically see how much time you are actually spending on the network and decide where and when you need to cut back. It’ll also give you an idea of how much time you actually want to spend on the network.
Preset Lengths of Time
Budgeting your time from day-to-day can help. Not unlike a financial budget, set up a "budget" for Facebook time. First, decide what must get done and then see how logging into the social network fits into the schedule. Pick a set period of time to spend on the network and then log off when time is up.
Paying attention to the minutes and hours spent on Facebook is a good start to cutting back.
You may want to pick either a set time of day to surf the site, or a specified period of time to end a Facebook session. If you find it's too hard to log off or keep track of time, you can set an alarm as a reminder that the budgeted time is up. Consider budgeting enough time in to give yourself one or two snoozes if you think it’ll be too hard to shut down when the alarm goes off or you want to allot yourself a few minutes to finish up your notifications or posts.
Carefully Choose Activities
Facebook has an incredible number of ways people can spend time on the network. In many ways, Facebook has structured its network where members do not even have to leave the site to engage with others. Instead of trying to do web surfing and information gathering and/or sharing through Facebook, make a commitment to yourself to only engage in certain activities; perhaps your most favorite features or pick one game. If your friend list is huge and you’ve found you’re not interacting with your best friend from the fifth grade or any other people you haven’t talked to in ages, consider unfollowing their posts so you have less streaming through your feed.
Disable and/or Block Apps
One of the biggest time wasters on Facebook are the games and/or other applications that are offered either by Facebook or a third-party app that runs on the platform. Chances are, if you are an avid Facebook user, you probably have given permission to many apps. If so, go back into your user preferences and uninstall any apps that are not "necessary" to what time limits you've set on your Facebook usage. Plus, it’s a good privacy checkup to periodically check what and who has access to your account.
Do you know how many third party apps you've allowed access to? It's a general good practice to give yourself a routine review and revoke privileges to any apps no longer used. Plus, for those drawn to apps, this will remove them out of the equation and give back more time to do other things.
Scaling back excess time on Facebook might be difficult, but chances are once you set up a limited daily routine, you won't miss all those extra hours spent on the website at all. The key is to be aware of the minutes ticking away and continue being proactive in knowing when it's time to log off. Once you get going, you’ll probably find you’re much more productive in other areas of your life.
Facebook has its value, however, it can cause a true disruption in a person's life if he or she is not careful. That being said, it is entirely possible to enjoy the network's benefits, while minimizing the time-wasting aspect of the site.
These are some suggestions and this YouTube video offers some additional tips and approaches that might work for you if you're looking to scale back on your Facebook time: