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This Is How Your Facebook Newsfeed Reveals How Productive You Are

This Is How Your Facebook Newsfeed Reveals How Productive You Are

According to Lars Backstrom, engineering manager for Facebook’s News Feed ranking, the average user’s News Feed has around 1,500 possible stories filtered through per day. Not all of them will make your feed as only about 20% are what you see. Yet, how much time you spend on Facebook and what you actually do on this social media site could explain how productive you are.

The average person spends 22 minutes a day on Facebook. And surely this social media site is willing to squeeze more time out of you. You really are not meant to like everything you see on your newsfeed and all Facebook’s fancy algorithms may not be what will inspire the most productive feed for you. Your Facebook newsfeed reveals how productive you are and how much you want to get value for your time. For many productive people I know, decluttering their newsfeed aids their productivity. Here is how your Facebook can tell you how productive you are.

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1. You have fewer unknown friends.

We tend to put so much meaning to the word friend. We could think that many others users in our networks are friends, but how many do we really know? I have not met many of my “friends” on Facebook in person and when you either have to unfriend or unsubscribe a “friend,” we feel we might hurt someone’s feelings. Busying yourself with the activities or “noise” from unknown friends can affect your productivity negatively. The best thing is to appreciate quality over quantity and focus on the friends that are known and add value to your progressive goals. The rest you can either unsubscribe or unfriend or make adjustments to.

2. You have reduced many annoying applications.

There is nothing as irritating as being informed about someone’s farm or requests about you joining a farming group when actually this is not your interest. Such doesn’t add to your productivity so go to the upper right-hand corner of the app posting and block apps like Farmville and other annoying applications.

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3. You are more selective about the posts you want to see.

Truthfully some of our friends on Facebook posts great content, but these contents could be deluged and clogged by poor contents from certain friends. If you have taken the time to engage in beneficial posts from perhaps from influential thought leaders, it means you are willing to be more productive and selective and have more of such incisive posts on your Newsfeed.

You could also improve on your Facebook experience by seeing less of someone’s annoying posts by clicking the Friends box and select “Close Friends” or “Acquaintances.” The acquaintances list will rarely be shown while “close friends” will be shown more often.

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4. You have fewer sponsored posts and ads.

Some sponsored posts and ads can be annoying and distracting. Yet there is no way to fully eliminate ads from you News Feed. However productive people who’re concerned about less distracting ads use Adblock plus to get rid of annoying ads, and focus on the nitty-gritty of being on Facebook. You could also reduce annoying ads by providing feedback on the ads you like and those you don’t like by clicking the arrow in the upper right-hand corner of annoying ads.

5. You are willing to be flexible with your Facebook account.

People who get stuck to the old ways and approach are really unproductive and not willing to improve on their feeds. Being productive means you are willing to take measures to get value for your time. Getting informed about changes Facebook is making to the Newsfeed shows you are willing to get more value for your time and improve on what you see on your Newsfeed.

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Featured photo credit: http://www.pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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