What do you do when you feel bored, lonely, frustrated, upset, stressed, or disappointed?
Do you go to Facebook to cope with your reality?
Facebook Addiction although not medically diagnosed as an actual addiction but rather measured as an activity (Paddock, 2015) is still a problem that most people who enjoy social media are currently facing today. The truth is that spending unbelievable amounts of hours on Facebook consumes the time that any individual could be using to do productive things, such as socializing with real human beings. Excessive time spent on social media takes away the ability to interact with others in a healthy way; it deprives individuals from enjoying all of the beautiful things life has to offer.
Simply ask yourself a question – When was the last time you enjoyed a bike ride to the park? A cooking class perhaps, or a wine auction? Even better, when was the last time you visited a museum, or went to a concert?
It seems as if those amazing things available to us, have started to slowly fade away because of social media. Quite frankly, I think that is such a shame; especially if you are an individual that works long hours, has a family, or going to school. All of us need a balance in life; too much work, and no play is not the healthiest way to live life. Some of us need to get away from everything sometimes, but getting away from reality to enter into a Facebook Reality TV Show, is simply not the way to balance the life stressors at all.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above on the subheading, and if you are seeking solutions to those problems, please do not rely on Facebook to solve them. Seek other avenues to help you cope with life, with your life stressors, and life’s unexpected surprises. The best thing one can do, is to reach out for HELP. There is always someone out there that is willing to help you when in need; and no, it is not Facebook!
The first step to beating that Facebook addiction is to admit that you have one. Are you ready? Your success depends on how ready and willing you are to make that change.
Once you have come to terms with that fact, it will become easier to slowly make your transition back into reality, or as we simply call it “life”. And let’s be honest, lying to yourself about the issue will not solve your problem, but rather make you relapse and go back to the same habits you had before. The key is to start with Baby Steps, to reach short term attainable goals.
Let’s take the first step – To assess if you have a Facebook addiction, answer the following questions truthfully:
1) How often do you access Facebook when you’re not supposed to? – Such as school, work, church, meetings, etc.
2) How often do you “check-in”, and post your location on Facebook during the day?
3) How often do you post photos of your social gatherings to the point that your friends are asking you to get off Facebook?
4) How often do you access Facebook before you go to bed, and post that you are going to bed?
5) How often do you wake up, and the first thing you do is access Facebook and post a “Good Morning Facebook”, or something similar?
6) How often do you spend hours waiting for a reaction to a post?
7) How often do you access Facebook to check notifications or messages?
8) How often do you take a selfie, photo shop the picture, and then post it?
9) How often do you take your phone with you to the bathroom, the shower, to the table to have a meal, to work, to school, or any other place, just to check Facebook?
10) How many hours a day (after reading these 9 previous questions) do you spend on Facebook for personal reasons other than work related time?
Now that you have answered these questions in your mind, are you surprised of how many hours of the day you spent just on Facebook alone?
If your answers result in one hour, or less than an hour then you shouldn’t be so worried about it. But if you answered more than an hour daily, then that’s a warning signal that you are getting addicted or you are really addicted to Facebook.
But do not worry, there are ways to start breaking that old habit, and tips to regain your life in a healthy way. It is also imperative that you do understand that what works for others, may not necessarily work for you. But you will not know that, until you try.
Tackle your addiction
Let’s take the second step – To begin changing your life, follow the 5 steps below:
1) The first recommendation is to start a Daily Log to enter every time you access Facebook, and the amount of time you stay on face book – Do this for a week. At the end of the week tally all the times you accessed it, and how much you spent. Write an attainable goal to decrease the amount of time, and the amount spent. For example, if you spent 7 days per week, make it a goal to spend 6 days only the following week. Pick a day that you will commit to not accessing Facebook. If you spent 10 hours a day on Facebook make it a goal to spend 9 hours on the following week. Every week, check your progress and do not stop until you have reached your goal.
2) The second recommendation is to Stay in Touch – Write down a list of friends and family members that you have not contacted in a long time. Once you have that list, save it as a favorite on your phone. Whenever you feel the urge to access Facebook, go back to that list and call the first person on your list. If the person is not available at the time, move on to the second person on the list and so on. Record who you called and how long you were on the phone call on the same log you used for step number one.
3) The third recommendation is to find your Local Events Calendar; you can get a calendar from your local chamber of commerce, your church, and/or a website. Do not access Facebook to find events near you; the goal is to break those bad habits. Once you find the local events, pick one that you are interested in and go have fun. Check the events calendar every Monday, so you can plan accordingly and have something to do during the week, or the weekends.
4) Pick five of your best friends, family members, or acquaintances that you absolutely love spending time with. Out of those five, invite one every week to partake on the event you are interested in. If they are unable, then pick the next person on the list. Once you have committed to a day-out, or night-out with your friend, log the details on the same log you used for Facebook. Record the event, the details, the person that went with you, and the time spent together. If no events attract you, talk to your friend and find Team Building Activities that both of you will enjoy.
5) And last but not least, write a list of all the Fun Activities you haven’t done, would like to do, or would like to learn. Once you have that list, start with number one and plan on accomplishing one at a time each month. The goal is to spend time doing things that you like, may like, or didn’t know you like.
Now that you have a list of steps to follow, take into consideration that you will have obstacles, or Road Blocks in your life that may prevent you from doing one or all of the steps simultaneously; but that is not a real problem. A real problem would be you letting those obstacles prevent you from accomplishing your goals in life. If you are truly committed to changing those habits, pick an hour out of your day to write down all your entries on your log. For example, write your daily events on your phone notes, your email if you have access to it, or a piece of paper. At night, before you go to sleep, transfer all of that data into your log.
The most Rewarding Thing to Give Yourself, is to see all the progress you make throughout the weeks following the five steps to beat your Facebook addiction, and to a healthier life style. You owe it to yourself to find true meaning to life, without having to delete yourself from social media completely.
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