Summer’s over, and as time had passed, you’d probably been vegging out and gushing over Orange is the New Black, and you hadn’t missed a single bit of your news feed. However, the long-awaited fall semester has started. You’ll be shuffling through a lot at this time: your job, roommate politics, exams, essays, clubs and Greek life. Do you really want a social network to add unnecessary stress to the mix?
Sure, Facebook can be a great way to connect to old friends and family, but at some point, one should recognize that it gets in the way of real life – it’s a reality that happens to most of us. The website has been known to be addicting. Here are several ways to beat the addiction, written by a former addict herself.
1. Post less, worry less. If you’re always posting stuff, be it as controversial as your romantic life or as mundane as your lunch, you’ll be anxious to know who acknowledges it, either lovingly or … not so much. If you don’t post anything today, you won’t be in a rush to your computer later. (Like as soon as you’re done with class – you didn’t really need to review your notes at that golden time of memory-enhancement, did you?)
2. Get the application off your phone, seriously. This may seem like a paradox, like it would just make you spend more time on Facebook later, but in reality, it makes the notifications you get more cherishable when you do see them. If that’s not reason enough, realize that your phone goes through way less battery when you delete such a memory-reliant app. This makes more time for phone availability. No need to charge your phone at a risky place like work anymore.
3. Realize your messages and notifications can wait. As mentioned prior, waiting makes your communication more cherishable. People used to communicate by snail mail and not only did they survive, they were elated when they finally did get their long-awaited letter – so much so, that they would often hang them up in their bedroom mirror and read the letter many times over. Think of Lucy in The Beatles’ musical review, “Across The Universe” and how she delighted in her boyfriend’s letter as she sang a rendition of “It Won’t Be Long.”
4. Live in the moment. When you’re with your friends, allow yourself to laugh, talk, listen and play wholeheartedly. When you’re writing a paper, focus completely on that paper. If you’re at work taking someone’s cash for a transaction, count out the change with your mind invested fully into it. Your longterm rewards will be awesome: less mistakes and less missed-opportunity regrets.
5. Don’t give yourself too much free time. This is a slippery slope that just bleeds out into time that would be spent being productive. Give yourself a to-do list and mess around on Facebook later. It will keep you organized, which is a precious virtue in school.
6. Make friends with people who don’t spend their lives on it. Nowadays, it seems like you can’t hear three sentences from people without the word “Facebook” mentioned somewhere in one. If you can find the rare exception to the rule, it will inevitably take your mind off the net. You won’t feel like you’re necessarily missing out on social ongoings just because you’re hanging out the old-fashioned way, sans constant cell phone use.
I can especially attest to this – I spent a week with my roommate, who very rarely uses Facebook, and her sister this summer, and we were attached at the hip. It felt refreshing. I felt like I didn’t know what I had been missing. It actually affected me long-term and to this day, I don’t feel as magnetizingly pulled to that little blue icon as I used to. If you can find a friend like the one I mentioned, jump on ‘em. Literally (well no, don’t do that).
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