Crippling FaceBook

I’ve already Minimized Twitter, now it’s time to cripple FaceBook. Like Twitter, I think that FaceBook has its positive attributes, but I also think that it’s too easy to spend far too much time on there. And I want to spend less time on my computer.

What I like about FaceBook

  • Allows me to keep in touch with family and friends who are geographically spread out
  • Provides an opportunity for business to keep in touch with clients/potential clients

That’s it, two things. I don’t care for the games, for the ads, or for the idea that just because I’ve met someone we should be FaceBook friends.

Steps to Cripple FaceBook

  • Just like with Twitter, I had too many friends on FaceBook. Well over the 150 that Dunbar’s law states we can be friends with. So it was time to cut back. I went from around 300 to just over 50. This wasn’t a one-time event, but whenever I had a few free minutes I would go and scan through the list and delete people that I don’t actually talk to or keep tabs on.
  • Since I’ve got fewer people clogging up my feed stream, it is easier to read through it and get up-to-date. I can now do so in less than 5 minutes, including responding to any messages that I may receive.
  • After reading this post by the Practical Nerd, I went into FaceBook and turned off all of my email notifications (the only kind that I had). Now I won’t know when someone has sent me a message, unless I log into FaceBook and check. But that’s ok. They are never urgent, and checking once a day is more than enough.
  • Finally, since I’m also tired of all the ads on FaceBook, I installed a GreaseMonkey script for the FireFox browser that hides all of the ads and suggested friends and junk on the right side of the screen. Now when I log into FaceBook, there are fewer distractions and less clutter on the screen.

As of right now, FaceBook has been crippled. I can use it to do what I want, without getting sucked in for hours. I’ll try it out like this for now and see if I want to change it any more.

3 thoughts on “Crippling FaceBook

  1. marlon @ productivity bits says:

    This is another valuable post, Matthew. Most people look at social networks as something useful to their lives – Connection, Friendship, Relationship, etc. And that is, of course, NOT something bad. But if the *usage* of these social networks becomes a stumbling block to productivity and to life itself, then I guess it’s time assess – is this how I want to spend my valuable time?

    I don’t really want to use the word “cripple”, I’d say I want to make my Facebook lean & green. 🙂

    • Matthew says:

      I’ve had a lot of friends who mention how much time they spend on Facebook (or other social networks). They never fail to mention something about wasted time, or getting nothing done, or something along those lines. This is part of what made me take a look at my own habits. I love using FaceBook to keep up with far-flung friends and family, but other than that simple purpose, I don’t want to spend any time on the site.

      Hmm…. You’re right. I like the sound of lean and green. Cripple might not have been the best word. I’m still debating on if I should keep FaceBook, however, so I might end up just flat knocking it out (instead of killing it, which may be more accurate) in the future. So for now, it’s just crippled. 😛

  2. Rebecca Burgener says:

    I’ll admit, I have been a facebook junkie. I got addicted to a dozen games when my youngest was nursing. It took me a while to disengage from the games once he quit. It is a huge waste of time. I’d rather build a real life home, farm, etc. I think if God blesses us with another baby that I am able to nurse, I’ll read or write instead.

    I’m still on facebook, but I do not allow it to be an ever present part of my day.

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