Today I deleted the Facebook app from my smartphone. I’ve been considering doing that for a long time, but my final decision came when I understood what was happening to me:
The posts that I created on my free time were afterwards consuming my non-free time.
This is a very simple but also very subtle phenomenon. This vicious circle works like that:
- You have some free time, and then you decide to post something on Facebook just to avoid wasting this time, or just because you are bored.
- People start liking and commenting on your post, and then you get alerts and go back to Facebook to check who is liking and commenting.
- Since you are back on Facebook, you will reply to some comments, and probably like and comment on other people’s posts as well.
- Now you will get even more notifications, because besides your original post you will be probably involved in several discussion threads.
The main problem with this sequence is that the only activity that was really done in your free time was number (1). In all the subsequent activities you are probably being distracted by notifications when you should be doing something else.
The only way to avoid this chain is to avoid posting in the first place. In other words, you should only post on your free time if you can assure that you will also be able to handle all the ensuing notifications on your free time.
Other Problems with Facebook
Of course, wasting our scarce time is not the only problem with Facebook. I recently read two very nice articles that I would like to share with you.
The first is called “How to Spot a Narcissist on Social Media” by Aleksandra Atanasova. She says:
“Increased Facebook use is directly linked to narcissism in adults… As psychologist Eric B. Weiser states – social networks may create or reinforce narcissistic tendencies because they serve primarily as self-promotional platforms.”
The second article is called “Quit Social Media. Your Career May Depend on It.” by professor Cal Newport. He says:
“A dedication to cultivating your social media brand is a fundamentally passive approach to professional advancement. It diverts your time and attention away from producing work that matters and toward convincing the world that you matter.”
The messages in these two articles really resonate with me. I read both of them just after I deleted the Facebook app from my smartphone. If I kept using my “free-time” to browse my Facebook stream, I would not have found these articles. But for sure I would see unforgettable pictures of cute dogs and cats…