Facebook and Your Life

I know that sounds like a dramatic title, but maybe we shouldn’t be surprised if Facebook addiction support groups begin proliferating our cities. The first step is admitting the problem…

With Facebook dominating our Internet landscape, it is easy to spend hours without realizing it. I hear this all the time from those who tsk tsk Facebook as if it were a social evil. ‘Where do all these people have the time to write these things…and who cares what you’re doing all during the day.’ Clearly some people just don’t get it. We can just pray for them and move on – this attitude simply tells us that the Internet itself remains a mystery to them. Others have heard Facebook users reference it so much that they feel it would be an overwhelming experience and choose to stay away.  Unfortunately there are also those souls who simply give in and have not been seen in months, but we know they’ve been working on their farms, zoos, islands, mafias and cities. As long as they keep asking for help, we know they are alive.

Since Facebook is a challenge to those who enjoy it a little too much and to those who are considering jumping in, I want to share some tips on managing Facebook and your life. Hold on while I play a round of bejeweled – it’s only 60 seconds you know – and my team mates are counting on me.

(kidding)

How to manage Facebook, so it doesn’t manage YOU!

1. Check your privacy settings. Facebook’s default settings leave all of your information and pictures open to everyone to see. I have mine set for “friends”. If you wish, you can set your info to be able to be seen by “friends of friends”.

2. Enjoy lots of connections. Don’t be afraid to have a lot of friends – if they are people you know. Lots of new users will be surprised at the childhood friends, classmates, and other people from the past who will enjoy reconnecting with you. This is good.

3. Check when you can. This is important! Don’t feel obligated to look at every status update of every friend. Yes, you will miss some items along the way. Not a big deal. If is REALLY important and relevant to your life, it won’t live and die on Facebook. When you have time to sign in, just take a look around at the status updates and messages to you.  If you feel pressure to go back and catch up on eveyrone’s status updates, you could possibly suffer from OCD. Just relax.

4. Customize your Facebook experience. I really appreciate the way that Facebook has made it easy to customize. If you don’t want to see updates from a certain game, you can hide it. Is a certain friend bugging you to death? Either hide them or unfriend them. Only want to see updates from a select group of people? Make a list. I would guess for almost every Facebook annoyance there is a way to ‘fix’ that part of your experience.

5. Interact. I know there are a lot of lurkers out there, but go ahead and participate. “Like” comments you actually like! Leave a sentence or two on a friend’s page. Leave Happy Birthday wishes to your friends.

There probably is a place in your life for Facebook. You might have to give up an episode of Law and Order or something. lol Any other ideas?

John

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