Facebook: Take The Power Back

by - October 23, 2016

Is Facebook making you feel depressed? Inadequate or plain bored? Here's how to take the power back and use it to get the most out of it without all the bulls***

I don't know about you but I have found myself Googling on more than one occasion 'Addicted to Facebook'. Even if you haven't actually Googled it you may have thought you spend too much time on it, or that your use of it is unsatisfying/unrewarding/pointless. Have you even de-activated it before? Perhaps more than once, just to come back to it? Yes, me too.

It's a bizarre thing really, to know so much about so many people, 80% of whom we are not even close with. Yet, this is the age of information, sharing, oversharing and sometimes what feels like narcissistic competition allowing your sense of self-worth to be determined by a number of 'likes'.

How often do you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through the news feed to see someone you used to work with 7 years ago has checked into somewhere. Cool. Or that geek you went to school with (Who you're probably only friends with because A) You want to increase the number of 'friends' you have B) You secretly see their lives, C) You feel obliged to be 'friends' with them for fear they might think you are 'rude' or something) Has got a new girlfriend. Do you need to know? Do you care? 

Or someone else has jumped on board the current political issue and has written their 'profound' take on it - it's fine to express your opinion but it seems everyone feels the NEED to write some passive aggressive statement and then go back to their entitled First World lives without actually taking action. For me that is just a self-serving way to assert 'intelligence' over something which they know relatively little about. The only facts we have are filtered through the media so it's never the full picture of anything. If you're genuinely concerned about these issues go and do something about it and save FB for light-hearted lols! Stirring up anger online doesn't actually change anything, people just get angry and then swallow it again through inaction! So what's the point even getting angry?

It's a funny obligation isn't it? Seems harmless enough to click 'Confirm' when you get a friend request because yes you kind of know them and they never did anything bad to you so why not? Yet do you really NEED their life information, along with the highlights of hundreds of other acquaintances' lives cluttering up your mind everyday in the form of 'news'?

However there are many reasons why we DO use it, of course. For me it's the memes. I bloody love a meme. The page 'Classical Art Memes' does it for me every time. Also Chris The Simpson's Artist and Utter Philth - all about Phil Mitchell. Well funny.

So how can you continue to use Facebook in a way that doesn't annoy the S*** out of you and leave you feeling inadequate that you haven't got married/had a baby/got the job of your dreams yet?

  1. Install the News Feed Eradicator.
I did this last week and it's amazing. It's an extension for Google Chrome which you just download and then each time you go on FB - no matter which account you use (I have two, one for work) your timeline is blank and in place of all the noise is just a motivational quote! This allows you to be reminded that you have logged into Facebook AGAIN and that you don't need to be there and also if there's no distractions coming at you from the newsfeed you can just check any notifications you have and then get off it again back to real life. 
It looks like this

Or if that's too extreme for you....

2.  Unfollow/Unfriend 

How often do you hear people who have deactivated it say 'FB is full of shit'? 

Don't forget you can unfollow people that are posting annoying/irrelevant stuff and it's very empowering. However if you don't know that person so well and don't care about their lives, why not just unfriend them? Difficult and guilt-inducing, yes but having an unfriending cull will de-clutter your news feed. Be ruthless - what's the worst that can happen? Alternatively you can classify people as 'close friends' by hovering over where it says 'friends' on their profile and then there's a list on the left of your close friends which will just show their news when you click on it. Imagine if you deleted everyone from your FB friends list that isn't in your current Whatsapp chat list? How clear and concise would FB be then? 

3. Change your perspective

Instead of letting that wedding photo/baby photo/new job status/new life update/food photo annoy you, why not kill your own inner self-critic that is spewing out hate talk such as "I DONT CARE ABOUT YOUR XXX " by giving it a like - kill it with kindness. Become a Like Monster. Like everything. We are so stingy with likes, seemingly only jumping in if there's already many likes already on it and you feel like you have to haha. It's so bizarre the whole thing, isn't it? 

Realise that these people have made these life choices. They have carved their lives out to be like this and you could to if you wanted to. Celebrate with them. Be inspired from them. Don't forget people only put the highlights of their lives, days etc on FB most of the time. You don't hear about anxiety attacks, arguments, feelings of helplessness and ailments, do you? Everyone's human and it's natural to want to share good news.

Again with all these sanctions in place you may want to ask yourself, is FB really worth it? What are you scared of missing out on? You can have photos you were involved in sent to you on Whatsapp or Dropbox.

4. Delete it from your phone. 

Delete the app. You can still access it via a browser on your phone but it's less intrusive because you won't get notifications popping up etc. 

5. Take a break from it.

 Deactivate it and see if you really miss it. It might bring you closer to your 'real friends' as you'll have more focus on those who you contact in other ways than FB. Aimless scrolling is killing your creativity and there are many studies out there linking the overusage of social media to depression. 

The constant comparisons to other people. Just remember that you're exactly where you are supposed to be, whether you shout about it on Facebook or not. Also think how long it's been an integral part of your life. I got it in 2007. That's almost 10 years. We can't really remember life without it, can we? Interesting....

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