I was addicted to Facebook.
It wasn’t that there was anything particularly appealing about it, I just couldn’t keep from checking to see if there *might* be something worthwhile.
I would wake up in the morning and reach for my phone. I’ve always woken up better with a little interaction from the world. Even in high school, I would set my alarm to play the radio instead of a buzzer, but it wasn’t the songs that would get me going. It was the friendly conversation of the morning DJs. Facebook became my alarm clock, so to speak. As I read my friends’ statuses and shared articles, my brain would start going!
But I started spending longer and longer scrolling through the feed looking for something new.
Eventually, I would get the day started. It wouldn’t be long before I would need to use my phone for something: a text message, a recipe I pinned recently, or a definition or image we needed during school. When I turned on my phone, I would be greeted by that happy blue F and a little red circle with a number in it.
Oh, that little red circle!! How she tempted me!
It didn’t matter if the number was 1 or 21, I HAD to go see what the notification was. “So-in-so liked your photo”. Oh…and then my eyes would start reading the feed.
“Mommy! You’re on your phone again.”
“Oh, sorry Sweetheart. I’m just so distractible!”
Does that sound familiar? Is it just me?
Since I run three businesses online and Facebook is a primary source of sharing those businesses, there was no way I could delete my account permanently.
(Incidentally, I did delete my account a few years ago. Facebook has a way to deactivate your account, but if you do some digging, you can actually permanently delete it as well.)
So I set out to adjust the settings to make sure Facebook would be less of a temptation for me.
I deleted the Facebook App.
Removing the app from my phone altogether was a big step! It got me out of the habit of checking every time I had my phone in my hand. I kept the Messenger app and the Pages app on my phone to allow me to respond to messages and comments on my business pages.
That worked beautifully until I needed to share photos from my phone to Facebook.
Sure, I could upload them to my computer and post that way, but come on! That would be even more of a time waste.
So I had to reinstall it.
I hid the Facebook App.
I buried all my social media apps in one folder on the third page of my iPhone. Now, I have to deliberately hunt for it and open it to see what’s new.
There was just one problem. That little red circle appeared on the outside of the folder and now, not only did it show my Facebook notifications, but also my Instagram and Pinterest numbers too!
And, if I was on that page last, it would still be the first thing I saw when I turned on my phone.
I had to get rid of the red circle.
Turns out, it’s super simple.
Changing the settings within the app didn’t seem to affect much. To get rid of the red circle, I had to go to my iPhone settings. Then Notifications. Scroll down to the Facebook settings.
Turn off Badge App Icon!
That’s the red circle!
I also turned off Sounds and show on Lock Screen. (A banner popping up on my phone while I’m waiting for a little on to solve a math problem is surely going to steal my attention.)
Below those sliders, you’ll see Alert Style When Unlocked. I kept that on banners. If I’m using my phone, it will pop up a banner at the top of the page to tell me what’s going on on my Facebook. After about 2 seconds, it goes away. I can check if I want, or easily ignore it.
If I find that’s too distracting, it’s just as simple to set it to “none”.
This plan is working for me, but if you need something even more drastic, you should check out what my friend Elaine did.
Elaine and I repin each others content on Pinterest. We interact in a private forum. We even email back and forth. But we are NOT Facebook friends.
Because Elaine doesn’t have any Facebook friends!
Not even her husband!
You can read her story here: Why I Deleted All My Facebook Friends.
Maybe you’re not willing to go that far.
But Elaine does make some pretty excellent points!
I love being able to keep up with my friends on Facebook. I love all their kid pictures and their pet pictures and their significant other pictures! I love seeing what they think about tv shows and sports events (though I don’t keep up with sports). I even love their network marketing posts. My friend Elizabeth posts the funniest things to promote her products. My friend Laura is so inspiring about her business that I joined her!
Facebook is a great connector!
I’ve forged friendships on FB with people I barely knew in high school. I’ve been inspired and educated and amused! It’s like a big party with all your friends in one room and you can jump into any conversation you want!
It’s not Facebook itself that’s a problem. It’s the desire for NEW. Our brains are hard-wired to seek out novelty. We get a little rush when we come across something new. So, I scroll, mindlessly looking for the next hit of NEW to send my brain those feel-good chemicals.
I’m not really addicted to Facebook, I’m addicted to the high of NEW.
Controlling the notifications on my phone helps keep the FOMO to a minimum. (Fear of Missing Out.)
Do you find yourself hooked on social media? What have you done to keep it in check?
P.S. I mentioned my new business that I run primarily on social media. I have been so surprised with the results! It’s actually really fun and successful. I didn’t start it to make money, though. I actually wanted to learn how to be successful so I can help other women who are wanting to make some income from home too. If you are struggling with debt, living paycheck to paycheck, or just want a little fun money, email me or send me a message on facebook 🙂 and I’ll let you know what it’s all about. There is hope!