Hello SOTGC community,
I made a decision many years ago that I think was critical to my self-preservation. This decision continues to shock most of my friends, all of the new acquaintances I’ve met along the way, and I am sure it will have the same effect on many of you reading this right now.
Brace yourselves… I do not have a personal Facebook account (Facebook for business is another topic). I opted out because I just knew it would be a huge distraction for me, and I am confident that I made a good choice.
To all of the dismayed individuals out there that have told me to, “Get with the times”, I can only respond by saying that I am more aware of my time (and have more time) than most of you as a result.
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, to name just a few, have been gobbling up our time at an alarming rate. For instance, the average amount of time spent on Facebook alone is 8 hours per month.
As a coach (and frankly as a human being), one of the most common phrases I hear over and over is, “I don’t have the time”. This statement is actually rarely ever true – we all have the same amount of time in a day, and while our responsibilities and obligations may differ, it is how we manage our time that makes the difference.
The truth is that a lot of our time gets sucked into social media, and much to our detriment; many people are outright addicted!
While Facebook is commonly cited as a way to stay “connected” with those in your circle, studies show that many people are in fact using Facebook because they are bored, or surfing to fill time…not to build relationships.
The time we spend addicted to social media sites eats away at the time we could be spending with actual human beings, making true connections that are more meaningful. Rather than looking up a friend’s profile to see what is new, why not call them on the phone or Skype with them instead?
I also happen to know a lot of people that take their laptops/iPad’s into bed with them at night and scroll through Facebook until they fall asleep. It is interesting to note that those exact same people seem to report higher levels of stress and fatigue in their lives. This is not merely a coincidence.
I can tell you that it has been proven that the kind of blue light emitted from screens (TV’s, computers, Smartphone’s, tablets, etc) actually interferes with melatonin production; melatonin is the hormone that we need for healthy sleep. Poor sleep = lower levels of wellbeing + higher levels of stress.
One of the biggest concerns I have with social media and all of our “electronica” is that they serve as a huge distraction, fragmenting our attention.
Not only does this make us less effective in our personal and professional lives (multi-tasking is not real folks), the net result is that we are much less mindful as a result; remember, the present moment is all we have.
While I am certainly not suggesting that you put Facebook to rest (the truth is that I do look at it from time to time), I do think you may want to ask yourself if the time you spend with your Facebook “friends” is actually meaningful, or whether your time may be better spent on something else that truly will enrich your life, and your overall wellbeing.