Monday, August 8, 2016

Update: Seven Month (220 Day) Facebook Fast = 18 Hours of Additional Time

Last week I decided to post something on Facebook after 220 days of not using it. I decided to end my fast after relatives at a family reunion asked when I was going to post something. I realized that in my efforts to cut back on social media, I had actually cut off a connection with numerous people. I wasn't aware of important events that had happened in their lives, either. I believe there has to be a way to keep things more balanced.

After doing the math I was shocked to learn just how much time on Facebook added up: not using it for the past 220 days multiplied by 5 minutes/day (which I think is a good estimated average) totals over 18 hours over the past seven months. That is a lot of time! Annually, 5 minutes/day adds up to 30 hours. 

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I haven't figured out how I want to proceed from this point forward for sure. I will probably post a few times a year to stay in touch and limit the times I check Facebook, maybe just to Fridays since that alliteration seems like something easy to remember. I know I definitely want to limit how much time I spend looking at it and don't want to be on social media instead of spending time with family and friends face to face. I also know I need to be careful that the time I gain by not being on Facebook doesn't just get consumed by some other Internet rabbit hole. As Demetri Martin illustrates, the Internet can take quickly lead you away from productivity.

So I don't want to let it become too time consuming but still want to be able to keep up with major events happening in the lives of friends and family. Five minutes times 52 weeks adds up to 4.5 hours annually. That sounds more balanced to me! Five minute Facebook Fridays...even more alliteration.

I'm certainly not the first person to take a Facebook Fast. A number of people who continue to try similar breaks from social media and I hope the trend continues. Check out #FacebookFast and #SocialMediaFast for some additional examples. I'm always interested in learning more tips for maintaining a healthy balance with social media. If you have ideas, please let me know.

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