Back in January, I wrote a column about my New Year”s resolution – to limit the time I spent on my phone. Like most twenty-somethings, I found myself constantly texting, posting and scrolling, most of the time out of boredom. And though I can admit that I”ve improved since I made that resolution by leaving my phone across the room when I studied and only opening social media when the notification is time sensitive, I can”t say I”ve perfected the art of cellphone abstinence.
My greatest weakness? Facebook.
The spring semester has been over for weeks, college friends have largely gone their separate ways, and the only way to stay in touch most of the time is through Mark Zuckerberg”s time-eating creation. There”s nothing wrong with that, but I”ve discovered that the time I”m spending browsing my Facebook timeline is mostly meaningless.
That”s not to say Facebook isn”t a great tool for communicating, because it is. It”s how I keep in contact with distant family members and friends, and it”s how all of the employees at The Argonaut stay connected. But does that mean all of my time spent watching Vines and browsing Buzzfeed articles is justified? No. The reality is that Facebook is a waste of time, most of the time.
Because Facebook has so many useful applications that most of us rely on for creating events and communicating in groups, cutting it out of our lives cold turkey isn”t realistic. But doesn”t the pointless scrolling always start thanks to that enticing timeline home page? It might be worthwhile to try bookmarking the events page or group page rather than Facebook”s home page – a.k.a. the time-sucking timeline.
Another tip – which requires a bit more self-discipline – is to set a time limit for each scrolling session, or, better yet, designate half an hour each morning or evening as specific time to indulge in other people”s online lives. Want to scroll through endless photos of a friend”s baby making different facial expressions? Want to watch Tasty videos the whole time? By setting aside those 30 minutes, that will be the only time squandered – guilt-free.
But for those feeling more drastic about limiting time on the most addicting form of social media, there is always the most effective form of limitation: delete the phone app.
The account will still exist, and only being able to access it on the computer will make those impulsive timeline scrolls harder to do while waiting for laundry to dry or procrastinating getting ready for work. Most will admit that the app is the true time sucker, not the website itself. This also eliminates the impersonal convenience of opening Facebook rather than communicating with the people in the room, which brings me to my final point.
What are we missing out on while we spend so much time on Facebook? It”s summer. Rather than spacing out on Facebook for hours, go make Facebook-worthy memories – and then try not to post the proof on your timeline, unless it”s within the designated half hour.
can be reached at
or on Twitter @lyndsie_kiebert