Let me admit that I was a full-fledged Facebook junkie. I was on Facebook every single free moment that I had. Scrolling through pictures, reading articles, clicking on those ridiculous tests. In case you were wondering, I am a genius of 80’s trivia, should have been a therapist, and should be living in NY. But I digress. I started to notice that I wasn’t enjoying the experience of Facebook anymore. I was stressed out trying to keep up with my moms group on messenger, trying to attend and support every event, and furiously checking to make sure I didn’t forget to “like” someone’s cool picture lest they think I was snubbing them. What began as something fun and entertaining began to cause stress and discomfort. Not only that, but it began to take time away from other important things. While I do enjoy Facebook, I had to do a little “fast” in order to de-stress and put some things into perspective. After all, I am always talking about the dangers of screen time for our little ones…mama needed a little screen diet herself! The benefit is that you WILL get some of your free time back if you follow some simple steps.
Delete the app: Okay, this is harsh, I know. However, muting the notifications really did nothing but slightly reduce the amount of times I was checking the updates during the day. By deleting the app I can no longer see updates or feel the urge to scroll through the same 20 stories on the news feed that I saw 30 minutes prior. I’m not going to lie. This was really tough. Usually, Facebook is the first thing I look at each morning while I heat up my oatmeal and the last thing I look at before I go to sleep. When I woke up, I reflexively grabbed for my phone but there was nothing to see. You know what I did? Had an uninterrupted 15 minutes before my daughter woke up. That alone made deleting the app worth it.
Keep your Messenger: Without the Facebook app on my phone, I thought I would have to resort back to the archaic form of communication known as texting. The horror. Luckily, Facebook allows you to keep the Messenger app on your phone so that you can still communicate with your Facebook buddies. I really like this feature, because I can message a group of friends and everyone can see who’s in the conversation. Unlike iPhone, where you cannot escape the group message loop even when it no longer concerns you, you can leave a Messenger group at any time. With this feature, I left a few group chats and streamlined others. Saved me HOURS of time in my day.
Force a time limit: Because I am an administrator of quite a few groups, I have to check in and make sure things are running smoothly. This requires me to go to my desktop, which I cannot do while my daughter is awake. At nap time, I set my phone timer for 15 minutes, and login to all of my groups and newsfeed to reply and see what I may have missed. Without that 15 minute timer, I can easily see myself losing track of the time I spend on Facebook. Since I began doing this, I have gotten more done while my daughter sleeps. Busy moms always need more time to “get stuff done.” You may want to adjust the time to more or less, but make it a time that works best for you.
As moms, we always think about how we wish that we had more time in the day and we never seem to find ways to do it. While I am in no way faulting Facebook for my time-wasting ways, I have to admit that I was becoming addicted. With all of the warnings out there about screen time for our children, I had to ask myself whether or not I planned to be a model of the standard that I held for my daughter. As it turns out, this has been one of the best decisions I have made for myself and for my family! You may not have to go this extreme, but think about where your “time suckers” are and take control.
Where can you get some more free time in your life? What kinds of technology do you think is your worst “time sucker?”