Home / regulars / personal / How I’ll Maintain Balance After Reactivating My Facebook Account [pt 3 of 3]

How I’ll Maintain Balance After Reactivating My Facebook Account [pt 3 of 3]

Two weeks ago, I deactivated my Facebook account. Read why and my thoughts about moving forward before you read this post.

I have been off Facebook for two weeks now, and I have spent a lot of that time thinking about how I can continue enjoying the balance and—dare I say it—sanity that I have experienced for the last two weeks. I need to go back, not just for work, but also because there are still some people who I stay in contact with best through Facebook. Here is how I am going to use Facebook on my own terms.

Avoiding Facebook the Time Sink

I see three ways of limiting the time I spend on Facebook.

  1. Limit how long I spend on Facebook by using a timer each time I open the Facebook app or website.
  2. Limit when I check Facebook by visiting only at set times of the day.
  3. Limit how often I check Facebook by using a stopwatch to check in at certain intervals.

I think that limiting how often I check Facebook, and perhaps monitoring how long I spend on the site, will work best for my personality.

When I feel bored, I will instead visit Twitter (a much more authentic piece of the web, in my opinion), check my Google Reader feeds (where I have curated for myself interesting information), and news sites. I will remind myself that I am not missing out on “the Facebook party” by not checking in on what is going on, and that I also will not miss anything if I don’t check in for longer than 15 minutes. If I’m being honest with myself, I can admit that I felt that before.

Avoiding Facebook the Drama Queen

This is a tricky one because it depends so heavily on other people, but I have an internal locus of control, and I have been learning over the last few years that you have to put You first sometimes; you cannot live your life by other people’s standards. I think there are two strategies for keeping my inner peace while still using Facebook.

  1. Unfriend with abandon. This is my compromise with myself between going right back to where things were and unfriending everyone and starting over.
  2. Use Friend Lists to limit whose posts I see. This feature of Facebook is not as integral as Circles are on Google+, but it is there, and I will use it.

I know that some people get offended when someone unfriends them, but I have decided that if someone’s feelings get hurt because I unfriend them, that is their problem not mine. Also, I will use Friend Lists more purposefully so that I see the posts from people who actually post interesting things. I am also going to work on challenging those negative thoughts: What is causing this emotion? Is it valid, or am I just comparing myself to someone else unfairly?

Avoiding Facebook the Big Brother

Facebook itself is part of the problem here, but so are third-party apps. So I am going to

  • limit what I tell Facebook about myself by pairing back the personal information on my profile
  • avoid Liking every Page I come across
  • use only those third-party apps that I trust, like Goodreads, Twitter, or Hootsuite, apps who already have my information on their own site
  • check my privacy settings regularly

I’m in the habit of checking my privacy settings already, the necessity of which annoys me, but if I want to feel comfortable with the changes Facebook often makes to the way other people, apps, and brands interact with my personal information, I need to stay on top of it.

I’m going to leave you with a link to an article I found today that made me reconsider coming back to the Facebook Koolaid: Walled-in: Life Without Facebook by Leo Babuta over at zenhabits.

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