Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon, Friendster, Tumblr, Xanga… the list goes on and on. And if you are any sort of tech savy, there is good chance you are a member of multiple social networks. Even I have accounts with at least 5 of these. While there is a lot to be gained by using these services, there is also a lot to be lost.
In case you hadn’t heard, Facebook users share not only a social network of over 200 million, but also significantly lower grade point averages (GPAs) than their non-member classmates (according to Time Magazine). And apparently Jennifer Aniston ended her relationship with John Mayer because he was addicted to Twitter (as apposed to drugs like other musicians… ). This begs the question, how many of us are addicted to social networks, and what can we do about it?
You may think, “I’m not addicted, I can quit anytime!” Well if you have more Facebook friends than real friends, something must be done. If you spend more time on Twitter than in sunlight, it’s time for change. If you spend more time working on your LinkedIn profile than doing actual work, it’s time for an intervention. Regardless of your excuse, this is not ok.
Obviously the first step in your rehabilitation is to admit there is a problem. How could you not pick up groceries on your way home from work, yet somehow you twitted 3 times before making it home? You have a problem, and until you realize it, there is nothing we can do for you.
You need to realize that these systems are in place for you to use, not to use you. They are tools, not lifestyles. If you are using the tool for anything other than it’s intended use, chances are you are wasting time. Don’t fret though, with hard work, discipline, and the help from Lifehack, we can beat this addiction, and use these tools the way they were intended.
Here are a few tips that can help you monitor your social network use, and ensure that you are being productive instead of wasting time.
It’s time to take back your free time. Remember that these sites are built to make money, not increase your productivity. Nobody is looking out for you except you (and me…). Follow my tips and live life in the real world instead of the e-world. Trust me, it’s more fun this way.
Have any other tips to help your fellow addicts get through this rough time? Leave a comment below, and let us know you care.
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