Avoiding Facebook Overload

Manage Your Time

Your own self-control is critical when using a platform like Facebook. I actually clock in and clock out of Facebook. For me a couple of 15-minute sessions or one hour-long session is enough per week. Compare your Facebook time to the time you would spend on a game, magazine or TV show. If your total time on Facebook slips into hours or you find yourself neglecting your real-life activities, you have a problem. Log out and stay off for a while.

Tie Notifications to E-Mail

Worried about missing an event or direct message? Facebook allows you to tie notifications to your favorite e-mail. When life becomes too intense with work, I simply do not log on to Facebook for a few days. In my e-mail I will be notified if someone is trying to contact me personally. This way I avoid the temptation to browse around the Facebook platform. When I do return to catch up, my real friends never mind. We just pick up where we left off.

Friend Real People You Know and Enjoy

I suggest you friend only people you know in real life on Facebook. I also suggest you be selective; befriend people you truly enjoy. I mean the quality, compatible people you would ask to lunch, not the ones you just met in the hallway. For some people 20 to 40 friends would be plenty. Building a quality list makes the experience intimate and entertaining.

Having 500 friends you barely know or like means a lot of noise to sort through on your timeline. I do recognize the exception to this rule for those of you in music, arts or acting. For you, your Facebook page is your business page. You can ignore my earlier tips. You may want the last one.

Toss Your Ego Aside on Your Postings

Do not let your self-esteem ride on your Facebook postings. Yes, it will be a thrill when you post something, and your friends respond. I also guarantee there will be days when no one responds to your postings. When no one responds consider these possibilities:

  1. Your friends may have more pressing real-life activities that keep them from Facebook.
  2. Your friends may just be scanning the timeline and not reading every single posting.
  3. Some friends have Facebook profiles that they log into a few times and never use them again.
  4. The thing you posted simply does not appeal to your friends on Facebook.

After you post an item, be patient and wait a few days. If Situations 1 and 2 are the problem you will see a few replies with patience. If you suspect Situation 3, start visiting your friends’ profile pages directly. If you see stale pictures and postings from months ago, then those people are not using the platform.  After several days of no response, think of Situation 4. Remember it’s not all about you. It’s about what others want to hear. Delete unliked postings from your profile. Pay attention to what does drive responses and bring your friends more of the same. For example, my crowd loves cat pictures; they do not like any news about my favorite sports team. Live and learn. Or post and learn?

For those of you who already use Facebook, what do you do to make it manageable?

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