It’s Not You, It’s Me
Ever since I started my business three years ago, I’ve worked from home. The convenience and flexibility are so enjoyable that I get nightmares about having to go to work in an office. Working from home does have one major drawback: distractions. They pop up not so much from boredom, but minor anxiety. Worry creeps in when I don’t know how to do something, and to cope with it, I instinctively reach for my phone and login into Facebook. Rather than facing the issue head on, I retreat, looking for an outlet for reprieve. I’ve noticed it as I’ve been writing this post. I don’t know the exact words to use and worry that it’ll be perceived negatively, so I shy away and look for something else to fill my time. Maybe that’s the root cause I should address. That’s for another post…
I Was Addicted To Facebook
Social media sites are meant to be addictive. They are a constant dopamine drip of information and methodically timed notifications. Since you don’t pay for use, these platforms make money from advertisements. The longer you use the service, the more advertisements you see, the more money they make. This isn’t unique to Facebook – Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Reddit all rely on similar models. They had me hooked. A quick browse of Facebook could turn into a 30 minute internet excursion, with little or no value returned at the end.
How I Quit My Facebook Addiction
It was a multi-tiered approach, each step designed to fix the problem, but ultimately requiring further action. First, I removed the Facebook app from my phone. This worked initially, but then I started going to the mobile website. Next, I unfollowed people who posted frequently. That didn’t work either, as Facebook just fills the feed with things people liked, were tagged in, or commented on. Finally, I unfollowed everyone. What I’m left with is a dated version of Facebook, what it was like before the news feed feature was introduced.
Let Me Tell You, It’s Far Less Addictive
The blank new feed means I have to actively search information out, instead of passively absorbing it. Facebook is now just a directory of people and events rather than a sea of mindless entertainment. It’s worked out great. For the first couple of weeks, I still instinctively went to Facebook, even when there was nothing to see. I had built up a Pavlovian response to the feeling of anxiety. That reaction has since subsided. Now I only use Facebook to catch up on specific people’s lives. It’s a much more targeted use, and has saved me a significant amount of time. Unfollowing everyone has turned out to be the cure for my Facebook addiction.