I was addicted to Facebook
I was seriously addicted to Facebook and wasting the hours away. Here’s how I finally stopped scrolling through my Newsfeed.
As I mention in the video, you can view my results for the final week at the bottom of this page.
If you want to get all the goods on work-life balance, don’t forget to sign up for my personal love letters here.
But first, how much time are we talking here?
I used to be quite strict with my social media time. But since the holidays I let my guard down and allowed myself some down time. Lately, I’ve been feeling a bit gross after using social media which is an indicator that I must be doing a bit too much of the scrolly-scrolly.
So I looked at my stats and they were pretty shocking (see below).
Rescue Time tracks the time I spend on any application on my computer, including Facebook. Below I have screenshotted 4 different weeks. First the week of Christmas and then the 2 weeks following. Check out the red boxes in the right-hand column and pay particular attention to my Facebook time.
So it turns out I was doing pretty good around Christmas. I was obviously distracted by all the activities and actually spent my time away from the screen.
The next week is less impressive, clocking up over 5 hours on Facebook over the week.
So the following week I allowed myself to binge watch a show for the first time in my life. I can no longer claim I’ve never binge-watched but The OA was so unique that I got hooked. Plus, Brad Pitt was an Executive Producer so it had to be good, right?
But the worrying part is that I also managed to spend over 6 hours on Facebook that week as well. I have no idea what I would have spent that time doing.
My theory is that I get caught up watching videos, it’s 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there but it really adds up after a while. Well, I know for sure that multiple hours were spent learning from inspiring people on Facebook live. But still, 6 hours and 37 minutes seemed a bit excessive!
The following week I improved a little bit but I still knew that I needed to make a change!
How did this happen?
Well firstly, Facebook wanted this to happen. Facebook is loving this! They’ve changed their algorithm so that videos now have priority in our Newsfeeds. Apparently, they want to be the TV in our pockets.
That means videos will show up more often and we’ll get roped in to spending more time on Facebook than ever before.
Plus, I think I got a bit addicted.
You see, every time we open Facebook we get a hit of dopamine, the same thing happens when we see something of interest or when someone likes our post. Dopamine, dopamine, dopamine. This is the same thing that happens to a smoker or alcoholic, they get a hit of dopamine when they have a cigarette or drink. It feels good even though you know it’s bad but that’s what makes it so hard to stop.
Why was I spending so much time on Facebook?
At any moment that a task I was doing became too difficult or I had a spare second I would jump straight to Facebook. If I clicked on Word but it took more than 2 seconds to open, then I’d click on Chrome and have Facebook up within the next second.
I was tricking myself into thinking I was being productive by ensuring that there was never a second wasted.
What a false reality considering how much soul-sucking scrolling I was doing.
Even when I told myself I was just managing my social media for business, I would end up scrolling through the feed and seeing if anything had changed. Then I’d refresh and check again. If I was just putting up a post for my business page, Anna Johnson-Hill, it would have only taken a few minutes each time. If I was replying to comments or messages, that would have only taken 10 minutes per day.
So the fact that I clocked 6 hours and 37 minutes within a week is mind-blowing. That’s pretty much an entire work day.
What a waste!
Now let’s imagine all the amazing things I could have spent that time doing but didn’t do because I didn’t have enough ‘time’.
What I could have been spending that time doing
+ Meeting up with friends – I was invited to go boating and another time play cards – although I honestly had to turn cards down because I was exhausted after a full day of intense cleaning
+ Creating new products for AnnaJohnsonHill.com
+ Sending emails to awesome bloggers/vloggers to collaborate with
+ Walking along the beach
+ Going on a date with Douglas like chilling at Zambrero’s then watching a movie
+ Crafting little surprises for the Work-Life Balance Warriors tribe
My system to stop the scrolling
Facebook and social media is only allowed during email hour. That is, 10am-11am and again at 4pm-5pm. Exceptions were allowed for pre-planned activities such as Facebook Lives with my business coach or creating posts. Any time outside of email hour was capped at 5 minutes as a post should not take any longer. In addition, Facebook Lives from the AnnaJohnsonHill.com page must only take place during email hour.
So those were the rules to overhaul my Facebook use. These were my new results from the week of 22-28 January, 2017…
My latest results
These results from Rescue Time were much more promising. As you can see, my productivity has improved from 42% to 59%. And my time on Facebook has decreased to a mere 2 hours and 19 minutes (so less than 30 minutes per day) which definitely makes me feel happier. This week I’ve also had more time to exercise, hang out with friends and create epic resources like this. It’s been an epic week and I’m looking forward to many more productive weeks away from my Newsfeed.
So that’s how I finally stopped scrolling through my Newsfeed.