Facebook was an amazing addition to the world of communication, and set the stage for many other social media applications to develop. Like many, I was fascinated by the ability to catch up with old friends and see what others in my life were doing through reading their status posts. In fact, I found myself checking Facebook ALL THE TIME! I could not wait to see baseball scores of the kids we know, or hunting pics from deer season, or where someone had “checked in” for lunch. Over time I realized that I was spending too much time on the site; the first clue was when I went out for dinner with my family and spent my time reading Facebook. Realizing change was needed, I set up the following ground rules a couple of years ago for logging into social media sites:
- No logging in at work. My employer helps out by blocking social media software, but when my phone would ping with an update I sometimes took a moment to read it. No problem…if it only happens once. The last thing anyone wants is to post something on Facebook and have a coworker ask, “Did you just post something on Facebook?”. I did NOT want to be that guy.
- Family time is not media time. This is tough, because like most people I like to kill time by playing games or reading media posts on my phone. My efforts are aimed at doing that when alone or at the end of the day and give my family more attention.
- Driving and social media don’t mix. At one time reading Facebook posts while driving seemed like no big deal. But like texting and driving, Facebook and driving are not a good combination either. My self-imposed rule on this changed; at first, reading and posting at a stop light was allowed. After the first two horns blown to get me to get moving, that was abandoned as well.
- No posting from the bathroom. Don’t laugh – you’ve done it too. It’s a great idea until you walk out and come face to face with someone that just read your post. #awkward
- Think before you post. I throw this tip in only because it is common sense. Just because some people like to air every piece of their dirty laundry (with full description) online, that does not mean that you do.
It took a few weeks but my efforts paid off. The time I spent reading posts actually became more fun because I had more to read in one sitting and had time to enjoy the pictures and comments made. It also taught me that moderation is usually the best course of action in all activities, including social media.