Hi. I’m Karen. I’m Facebook addict. Or at least I used to be. It was a mild addiction, if there is such a thing. Or maybe I came to the realization FB was a big time suck and I needed to DeKlutter it from my life.
I had about 200 Friends, belonged to a couple dozen groups, and followed many pages. My original goal was to use FB to stay connected with close friends and family, get inspiration from quotes, and maybe find a good new recipe or two. However, I have spent way too much time on my tush in front of the computer screen not accomplishing those goals.
Once upon a time when FB was in its infancy, your news-feed would consist of mainly status updates. I felt connected, I knew who had recently given birth, who had news to share, and who had a bad day.
Then things started changing. The news-feed became saturated with news articles people wanted to share. Or worse, tragedies. The same horrific crime with photos of the victims and faces of the murders. Over and over and over. Big dislike.
I was getting frustrated with recipes I was never going to try. Or the human interest articles that began something like “He/she was teased at school until … did this…! Curiosity peaked, but I didn’t have time to find out what amazing thing transpired because I had to go make supper–something the kids were actually going to eat– not one of the delectable recipes I saw posted.
Almost two years ago I moved to a new community. Before the move, FB was (and still is) a great place to ask questions about where to buy XYZ, recommendations for service professionals, etc. However, once I moved I heard “I know you–you’re Karen Furman! Welcome to town.” On one hand, it felt like a sort of celebrity VIP status, but on the other hand it was disconcerting to be recognized by strangers.
Lately the FB feed is filled with posts of “X liked Y’s photo”. Recently, a plethora of Purim photos showed up because someone ‘liked’ it. Photos of strangers in my news-feed. Not good. I hoped my security settings were set so that this wasn’t happening with my photos. I sent a message to a “Y” informing her that her little one was in my news-feed and was she aware. She wasn’t.
So slowly slowly I started to wean myself from this social media addiction. It hasn’t been overnight. To go cold turkey didn’t work. I’ve tried it. A FB fast didn’t work either because I tried that, too. So slowly slowly. Here’s what I did. (or more tantalizingly: She was addicted to Facebook, you’ll never believe how she quit!)
- I started by “un-following people”. Some people post things all the time and it was overload for me. I can easily type a name and see a page. It is “more effort” to type than to scroll.
- I began “un-friending” people. This was not to be mean nor show any dislike towards anyone. There are exceptions to my own rule, but the criteria were: Do I want to have a chat conversation with them? Do I actually have a chat conversation with them? Do I know them in real life? Do I communicate with them in real life by e-mail, phone, or in person? Do I know the names of their kids and/or spouse?
- I started removing myself from groups. Where I live, there are groups for everything in this community such as: I love XYZ grocery store, babysitters group, buy/sell/swap group, frugal living group. The list goes on. I didn’t need to be on all of them anymore so I removed myself from some of them.
- I opted not to get notifications from my groups. If I want to look, once again “effort needed” to click instead of scroll.
- I opted not to get notifications from my ‘liked’ pages.
After doing all these things, FB has become quite boring. I’m saying to myself “This is really boring!” Mission accomplished. The addiction is going away. I’m in recovery!
No worries about my Klutter Koach page becoming inactive. I still find plenty of de-cluttering and organizing things to share. I post for myself, but if anyone else likes my posts, too, then all the better.
If my blog or Facebook page isn’t sparking joy for you, spend your time elsewhere. Since you’ve made it to the end of this post, thanks for reading.
-Karen, The Klutter Koach
April 13, 2016