“You know it’s on Monday, right?”
“HELLO?” (snaps fingers)
“Oh… I’m so sorry Boss… I was just…uh…checking my Facebook.”
(tsk tsk tsk)
That’s the problem with Facebook…
It’s FREE…and highly ADDICTIVE.
There’s a saying: “If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.”
Facebook wants you to keep clicking & reading…
(collecting your info, activity… selling YOU to the ads)
And sadly – it affects your health & relationships over time.
That’s why I’m sharing these 7 hacks to help you use Facebook responsibly.
Facebook Hack #1 – Disable All Notifications
Think long and hard. Does it matter to always get notified whenever someone likes, comments or shares your post?
Is it such a big deal when your new profile pic gains 20 likes in 15 minutes – and goes up to 120 likes a few hours later?
Don’t fall into that trap of relying on other users’ button clicks to boost your ego. The number of likes or responses shouldn’t measure your self-worth.
That’s part of the reason why many of us became Facebook addicts right off the bat. There’s always that urge to find out how “popular” your post becomes. It makes you feel like a celebrity for a day.
So put an end to those egotistical habits from here on out. Disable all Facebook notifications through the Settings function of your phone. Put the phone on ‘silent’ to stay extra safe – unless you’re expecting an important call or text.
Facebook Hack #2 – Maximize Your Privacy Settings
It’s ironic how most of us claim to value privacy – and complain about Facebook’s questionable privacy features – and yet we enjoy publicly showing snippets of our personal lives.
Wait… but isn’t your profile only visible to ‘friends’? The answer is yes and no. Although you can tweak the privacy settings to block certain stuff from public view – some materials can still be snatched by a random person online. *Ahem your display photo and cover photo*
Should you be worried? Maybe. Maybe not. But when you hear about these real-life scenarios where innocent Facebook users became victims of cyber bullying and identity theft – it makes you think twice about every word or image you post. Even your friends’ friends can do something with it.
So spend some time to max your Facebook privacy. Don’t even tolerate the smallest of not-so-private settings – like allowing users to “tag” you in pictures, or complete strangers sending friend requests. Save yourself from those potential hassles in the future.
Facebook Hack #3 – Unfollow People / Clean Up Your Newsfeed
First, let me give some genuinely good advice about spending your free time in the office:
Whenever you’ve got downtime, don’t waste it on Facebook. Read a nice book instead.
You’ll learn more from it than you would from people posting about cats… or their breakfast… or that song they’re obsessed with.
All of the above are what I call useless information. Stuff that’s only a waste of time and cellular data. Identify those ‘friends’ who frequently share those things… and unfollow them.
This is how you start decluttering your newsfeed – being selective about whose content you want to view. You should also filter out those annoying Facebook ads you don’t care about. Mark them as not relevant – and send some feedback as to why they’re useless or offensive.
Facebook Hack #4 – Unfriend Useless Friends
How many of those 500+ ‘friends’ on Facebook are actually friends in real life? How many of them would you go out of your way just to help? How many would pass the birthday test – as in you’d wish them a sincere happy birthday whenever you’re notified?
Besides family and relatives, you can probably count that number using both hands. Everyone else on your Friends list is either a “harmless acquaintance” or a “useless friend” – and you’re better off unfriending the useless ones. Ultimately, they’re really not part of your life outside Facebook.
Who are considered useless friends?
- Strangers who only added/were added by you because you went to the same school, or you have lots of mutual Facebook friends
- People who give you the temptation to compare your life to theirs – making you feel depressed or complacent as a result
- Those who keep voicing their opinions on controversial matters – especially if they differ from yours or make you angry (Remember last year’s presidential election? Enough said)
As much as possible, stick to keeping true friends and harmless acquaintances on your list. They should be able to express opinions you can respect. Don’t keep around anybody who pushes you to start a comment war over polarizing topics (or else it’ll be awkward the next time you see them in person).
And if your true friends are the ones “showing off” their fantastic lives each day, it should be no reason to feel worse about yours. Nobody has the exact same life as yours. Everyone has their own struggles – they’re just never talked about.
Self-comparison is actually one of the biggest dangers you can experience by focusing on the positive content of others on social media – and believing their lives are perfect. So don’t become a victim of it.
Facebook Hack #5 – Delete The App On Your Phone
Did you know that the average person spends about an hour every day on Facebook? Well… it’s probably not that surprising.
But here’s what was revealed by a Deloitte survey: many mobile phone users browse social media first thing in the morning – while they’re still in bed!
Whether or not you’re guilty of this, this is a problem that’s best solved by directly targeting the source – the Facebook app.
Facebook usage is like a jar of cookies. You should only treat yourself with it at a fixed time of the day (and ideally, NOT every single day).
Let’s say you have a cookie jar at home. Your little kids also love cookies. But they want to eat them right now – not wait until after dinner. What do you do?
Of course, you ought to hide the jar… in a place where it’s completely hidden from view. This will help enforce self-control – so they’ll be forced to wait until after dinner. Delayed gratification.
It’s the same deal when you remove the Facebook mobile app. It creates enough of a barrier that lessens your motivation to keep browsing Facebook.
Limit Facebook to your personal computer. Your phone has other apps and features to keep you busy anyway. But if you wind up giving in and reinstalling the app – delete once more right after using it.
Facebook Hack #6 – Change Your Password Regularly
Why bother with this hack? Isn’t it going to frustrate you every now and then – to a point you don’t even want to log in anymore? That’s the idea.
Changing the password frequently shows how much discipline you’ve got in your inner Dr. Jeckyll – compared to your inner Mr. Hyde. Always mix it up with random numbers and letters. And do NOT even think of saving the password on your phone.
And even though you might remember the new password, at the very least – you can be proud of the fact that you’re taking measures to use Facebook less.
Facebook Hack #7 – Let Someone Else Manage Your FB Page
In today’s world, social media management is a legitimate profession. And for any entrepreneur who’s just starting out, that’s a good thing!
If you outsource your Facebook page (or other social media account) and leave it in the hands of a marketing expert, not only will that make you less tempted to use your personal account.
It means you’ll get to stay focused on growing your company, product or service – as well as the business operation side of things.
In my case, I use Facebook as a social bookmarking service & mass communication tool while abroad. But I’m not there for personal reasons. I’d much rather spend the time with my wife and kids.
If You’re Way Too Addicted… Just Quit Facebook
You can try all those hacks several times. But what if they’re not enough? What if you still end up using Facebook as much as you always have? And you have trouble sleeping because of it?
Overusing Facebook can cause you to sleep less – taking a toll on your immune system, digestive system, and inhibiting the release of growth hormones. It can also limit your creativity, ability to think clearly… and make you less happy in general.
So why not quit now? Delete your Facebook NOW.
What’s the worst that can happen? You can always come back with a brand new account – and choose more carefully which people to add on your Friends list.
However… I also know people who have quit and don’t regret it. They’ve been able to form closer relationships with family and friends. They enjoy talking and communicating on a more personal level.
No comparisons. No useless information. No likes or comments to keep track of. And they believe their lives are much happier without Facebook.
So maybe it’s also your time to pull the plug…