Sunday, 1 April 2012

The Facebook Diet

Writer and marketing pundit Charlie Hoehn is "embarrassed" at the amount of time he's been spending on Facebook.  In line with my belief that we spend too much time on fruitless online activity, Charlie bemoans the fact that of late he's been wasting hours every week floating around the social network.  He is self-aware enough though to catch himself in the act, and as a consequence has drafted a plan to reduce the time wasted each week on Facebook.

Here is the outline of his Facebook Diet.  It's perfectly plausible, if you ask me.

"1. I unsubscribed from everyone who popped up in the mini-feed who wasn’t family, a close friend, or someone I’d seen in the last three months. This includes all companies, band pages, etc. If they aren’t relevant to your daily life, their updates are a distraction. “But I find so many interesting articles/great deals from people’s updates!” So what? How many can you remember that have made a substantial impact on your daily routine? Exactly. If it’s truly important to you and your social circle, you’ll eventually hear about it from someone directly.

2. I deleted the Facebook app from my iPhone. If you’re not going to leave the site entirely, just reserve Facebook for when you’re sitting at a computer.

3. I deactivated my account for a month. Doing a Facebook fast was good, as it made me realize what little impact it actually has on my life. But next time, I’m going to do a month off of email, the internet, and my iPhone. 'Impossible!' Maybe, but taking a month off of all digital stimulation is a worthwhile experiment."

There was life before social networking, and the problem is we're engaging pixels rather than real life and real people.  Our online relationships are largely superficial so to spend hours entertaining and building such relationships is a waste.  As Charlie noted, for the most part he was "watching my friends and pseudo-friends turning their daily minutiae into my personal tabloid."

For networking purposes social media is fantastic, but let's face it: most of the time we spend on these sites goes to fruitless activities like looking through other people's profiles and photos.  Knowing what your friend ate for lunch or where they went on holiday may sound very social but ultimately has no bearing on your life.

Second to weight loss, this could be the most beneficial diet you can go on.

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