An average person is estimated to be about 40 minutes per day on Facebook (FB). Regardless of how many minutes a person actually looks at FB and how many FB stays open in browser, most people will agree FB is a time wasting tool.
To answer Facebook problem, some people deleted their FB or created rules on when they can use and when cannot you it in their daily lives. For example, no FB during the work hours.
And while we all can see the benefits in closing our FB on our daily productivity, most of us will never go this far. We cherish our long acquired contacts and we actually like to use many features that Facebook offers.
Still, aside of closing FB there are few other things we can do to use FB in efficient and productive ways. In fact, by following bellow described guidelines you can make FB into a productive and motivating tool from which you can even make money.
Since we are expected to spend hours and days of our lives on FB, perhaps it is a good idea to invest few minutes in understanding how we can improve our experience in using it.
1 – Unfollow but don’t Unfriend
There are three types of people on FB.
In first group we have people who we really like to have on FB and whose updates we want to see.
In a second group we have people who entertain us. They are the people who post content that is funny, shocking or eye catching, but serves little to no point in the end of the day. These are people who keep you unnecessary long on FB.
Third group of people is even worst. They post things on FB that in not interesting, informational and which wastes precious time in our lives. I am thinking of food pictures or pictures with other people who we don’t know or care about.
My advice is for you to unfollow people in second and third groups.
I am saying unfollow, but not unfriend because people build social capital. Our social capital is our online image, which is built by being connected to people. By unfriending people you are losing social capital and may create unnecessary tension with certain people.
Look, even if you are not receiving updates from certain people on FB, consider that you added them for a reason. To have someone on FB is an investment from both sides. It is at least 1 step away from a stranger and in the future you can always reconsider and start following them again. Moreover, we may not want to see their updates, but it may be a valuable contact in the future, say if we are going traveling, meaning that you can still chat with people whom you are not following on FB and still have a great relationship.
By applying this insight you will make feed composed only of few important updates at a time, reducing time wasting from average 40 minutes per day to a few productive minutes.
2 – Don’t LIKE everything
Likes is also part of social capital on FB.
Liking a page, for example, will start pushing notifications from it, similarly as if you were following a friend on FB.
Most companies want you to follow them because it gives them a free Marketing opportunity inside you feed as well as it shows a public appreciation for a brand. Most companies invent strategies and tactics to get you to like them. Some of them pay from 1 to 3 dollars per like.
Liking things on FB can also become an addiction, which was nicely called by a comedy group College Humor – Addicted to likes.
After all, we are trying to reduce our time wasting on FB, so lets stop liking and commenting unnecessary. This will go miles into reducing time you spend on FB.
A good rule I follow is if it is not private message worthy, probably I can avoid liking or a commenting on it.
3 – Get notifications
As already mentioned, there will be some people you will to know what they are doing and to receive notifications from them as soon as they post something.
There is a good feature for this called “Get notification”, which will push an update into attention bar as they come in.
4 – Remove notifications from your apps or emails.
I feel that this is not a groundbreaking insight but FB and other Apps will push by default notifications to your email and to phone attention bar. You will want to turn these notifications off.
It is easy to do. Go to Setting. You will find you solution there.
5 – Organize your friends into lists
If you are a heavy Facebook user, you may want to divide your friends into lists.
The reasons to do it, because now your friends are compartmentalized. FB is built to take advantage of this compartilization.
When you invite people to your events you can do in one click, or you can set privacy rules for certain groups, which is helpful if you want to exclude people from seeing your posts (we will see later why it is helpful) or even just to remember how you know some people.
You can have groups like “Family”, “Work” and “Paris 2009”.
This may sound like an investment in a short-term but trust me, in a long-term it makes your life easier.
Adding people into groups is the similar process as for getting notifications, except that you need to create couple of groups:
I suggest to start adding people into groups when you are in your extended friend list.
6 – Your Fans
Take a close look at who likes your content. If it is only your mother, you are in trouble. If it is the case you may consider that your content is not good enough and that you should probably stop using Facebook until you get your social identity together.
Still, if you are an average person, you will have about 10% of people from your friends list interacting with you. From these 10% there will be 10% (meaning 1% of your all your friends) who will be “fans”.
Fans is why you don’t want to unfriend people. Even if they are not interesting for you, they are interested in you and you should cherish that.
They are the people who care about you the most. Take a good look at who are these people are. You may be surprised.
Fans will represent you. They are your reflection. So if you don’t like your fans, you may want to review your life.
If you are desperate to change your image, do the following. Take a look at FB of 20 people who would like to follow you and see what their FB looks like. You will want to have a similar or even better FB.
Fans are important. You have to cherish and interact with your fans. They are they people who will be there if you decide to travel, if you organize an event, or anything else. They are the people who are most likely to interact with you.
Your fans will help you to be your brand.
7 – Social Capital and Your Brand
Everything you post online goes towards your brand.
The better brand you have, the more fans you have.
If you are posting something, chances are you want other people to read it. Otherwise you would not post it.
You don’t want to be a person from point 1, who people unfollow. I mean, food pictures can be interesting, but they have to be consistent with who you are.
8 – Work Colleagues
Not all people are the same. Some people are Fans, but some are Haters. Perhaps a good idea is not to accept the later group at all on your FB if you can avoid it.
A group of people who you may not want to have on your FB is your work colleagues.
They may be good people, but they don’t have to know what is happening in your personal life, unless you can trust them.
As countless stories go people are either not hired or fired due to their online content.
In book “Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google” William Poundstone concluded that our online profiles mater for out work, as 22% in 2008 and 45% in 2009 employers admitted looking up possible candidates online.
Moreover, in one of surveys mentioned by William Poundstone 35% of recruiters decided not to hire someone based on inadequate content they found online, like provocative photos or photos of drinking, which is about what people are expecting to find on others FB.
If your colleages decide you add you on FB, just give them your Email and WhatsApp and tell them that FB is out reach. Be serious and decisive about it. Don’t mix personal life with your work life. If your work and personal lives are the same, you may want to do something about it.
If that does not work, just add them and add them to restricted group already mentioned above or just clean your online profiles.
Why take any risks? After all, some people are haters and should not have access to your personal information. Don’t provoke them by putting this information online.
In any case, to put strict restrictions on your FB is a good idea. Only people who are in your life should know what you are doing.
As a Hasan Elahi in his Ted Talk “FBI, here I am!” put it nicely “by putting information out there we are saying everything, but behind the noise, [we should] live quite anonymous and private lives”.
So lets facilitate it and make our lives easier by making a smart use of our FBs.
If you liked this article check also:
- 5 Ways we Pay for FREE Products
- YouTube Manifesto – 8 Guidelines to Smart YouTube Use