Friday, March 18, 2016

The Facebook challenge

A few years ago, I realized I spent too much time on Facebook. At work, I was always opening Facebook to share some little thing I was doing, or to see what others had written in the last hour or so. Facebook began to drive my day, rather than the other way around.

I intended to use Facebook as a way to stay connected with friends, especially those who I don't see all the time. Instead, I found Facebook generated too much noise. And in return, I created too much babble of my own.

So I created my own Facebook challenge: only post to Facebook once a day. It is an interesting limitation. Is this article I want to share really important enough to make my one-a-day quota? Is this cute photo really worth it? Or the funny video? Every time I think about sharing an item to Facebook, I consider if this really rises to my one-a-day self-limit.

My cat Fanir (orange) and Zoƫ (grey). I still share cat photos on Facebook, but now I do so less often.

Since taking on this challenge, I have become more thoughtful of what I share on social media. Looking back on my Facebook timeline, I don't post inane items, and rarely do I write about the news of the day. Instead, I choose to share significant life events, accomplishments, and other things that are important to me.

My other cat Nyssa. Even though she is very cute, I don't post photos of her on Facebook all the time.

I also noticed another, more subtle change in my social media behavior. While I post only one item a day (sometimes two updates, if it's a very interesting day) I still comment on others' posts. But since taking on the one-a-day quota for myself, I find my comments on my friends posts have become more mindful. I reflect on what they share with me, and I try to comment positively and constructively on their life events. But when my Facebook usage was "me posting about me," I think I rarely did this.

Today, I extend this Facebook challenge to you. Think about what you share to social media, and try to limit your Facebook posts to one or two items a day. Posting a photo? That's one item. Sharing a news article? That's one item. Writing about a life event? That's one item. Find that one item that you think merits your one-a-day limitation, and avoid the senseless noise that most people broadcast on their Facebook walls.

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