In my weekly writing group, one of my friends shared that she has “quit Facebook.”
She recently broke up with someone, and she saw that he posted a picture with a girl in the background. It was just too much for her. So she decided she’s going on a Facebook fast.
After college, I found out that my ex was dating another girl because she wrote Miss you… on his wall. Ick.
But, ex boyfriends aside, I’ve heard lots of people recently talking about wanting to cut down on Facebook time.
In my Mastermind group, one of the women shared that she knows she’s struggling when she keeps refreshing a post again and again to see if anyone new has liked it. (Raise your hand if you’ve done that before. Come on, get it up.)
I shared that I not only check Facebook too much, but I have been addicted to checking my blog stats as well. For a few months, I would obsessively check my WordPress stats to see my page views. (Like it really matters if 10 more people have looked at it in the past few minutes.)
And I would also check my MailChimp stats at least a few times per hour. If someone new subscribed, I would get a little jolt of self-confidence.
Checking Facebook, blogging stats, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. has become an addiction. So many bloggers (and people in general) I know have told me they struggle with it.
All it does is:
1. Distracts you from what you should really be doing – which is writing amazing blog posts.
2. Gives your self confidence away to other people, which makes it really hard to motivate yourself to keep blogging.
3. Shifts your focus from the creative process to worrying about what other people think of you/your blog, and to whether other bloggers are more successful than you are.
4. Makes you worry that you’re not good enough to make it as a blogger.
5. Takes you out of the present moment.
If you feel like you’re checking Facebook too much, you probably are. Here are 6 alternatives that won’t make you feel like a crazy person.
1. Call a friend.
When I check Facebook, it means I want to connect with other people. I want to feel validated and loved. I want to share what’s going on with me, and find out what’s going on with other people.
Which is really important when I’m sitting at home alone blogging a lot of the time. The problem is, it often makes me feel disconnected instead.
You will have a real conversation, and a real connection. You can tell your friend what is going on and if she is a good friend, she will make you feel seen, heard, and validated. You will also be there to support her.
Drop your need to be validated by strangers, and actively seek connection and support instead. It feels a whole lot better.
2. Read a book.
If you’re checking Facebook, or your blog stats, too much, it may be because you are bored or trying to escape.
If you feel like you need creative stimulation, close your browser window and read a book instead. You can become lost in a great story, or learn something you never knew before. You won’t be bored anymore, and you also won’t feel crappy about yourself.
Reading great books can also give you great inspiration for your blog posts. 2 books that have inspired me recently are Made to Stick by the Heath brothers, and Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. Both of those books made me see things differently.
Facebook, on the other hand, rarely expands my mind.
3. Do affirmations.
Affirmations aren’t just for woo-woo people who sit around singing Coombaya. They are actually really powerful statements that can really benefit bloggers.
I started doing affirmations after reading Miracle Mornings by Hal Elrod. I’ve looked them up online, watched YouTube videos, and made them up myself.
My most recent affirmation strategy has been to use the Power Thought Cards iPhone app by Louise Hay. If I feel myself needing a little confidence boost, instead of going to Facebook, I just open up the app and have it pick a random card for me.
I told my Mastermind group about this, and my friend Brenda said, So you are basically just going straight for the personal validation. Instead of looking for it on Facebook, you’re finding it in yourself. Pretty much.
4. Get some exercise.
Getting exercise is a better alternative to many, many things. Feel like binging on ice cream because you aren’t getting enough shares of your latest blog post? Go for a run.
Feel like watching TV for 10 hours because you’re nervous that no one will like your blog? Go swimming.
Feel like checking Facebook because you’re lonely? Go to a yoga class.
You get the drift.
Exercise will actually make you feel better most of the time. On the other hand, if you are feeling sad or lonely or depressed, or even just bored, Facebook will often make you feel worse.
You’ll get pissed because so many people liked another blogger’s recent article, while only a few people liked yours. You’ll start to Facebook stalk the guy you like and decide he’s an asshole. And so on.
Better to go out for a run. You’ll feel better in your body, you’ll get out of the house, and it’s amazing how problems start to evaporate with your sweat. (Not to gross you out or anything.)
5. Keep doing whatever you were doing before you wanted to check Facebook.
Checking Facebook is a great distraction from work. If I feel like I’m not getting enough writing done, or if I start to worry that my blog post sucks, that’s when I am most likely to check Facebook.
But the problem is, checking Facebook actually makes my blog writing time take longer, and feel less fulfilling. It gets my mind onto other things, and when I come back to my post, it takes longer to get into the flow.
Instead of checking Facebook or doing something else, sometimes the best thing to do is to keep writing. You’ll get your writing done faster, and you’ll actually enjoy the process more when you are completely focused on it.
Because really, you don’t need to know what millions of strangers are doing right now as much as you need to get that amazing blog post written.
6. Notice what is around you. Like, in the real world.
When I’m on Facebook, I start to get sucked into this virtual world, which is really my own brain worrying about other people and how great their lives (and their blogs) are.
Sometimes I even find myself checking Facebook when I’m out to a meal with friends, or walking my dog on the bay with my husband. Instead of enjoying my surroundings, and my life, I am in my Facebook brain.
The next time you find yourself obsessively checking Facebook, notice what’s around you instead. Are you hot or cold right now? How do your feet feel on the ground? What can you smell right now? What can you hear? Who are you with? Are you alone?
Tap into your 5 senses and really experience what is going on in your physical environment.
Doing so will help you remember that you are living your life story RIGHT NOW. It will help you detach from all of the stories being thrown at you on Facebook, and it will get you living your own life instead.
Tapping into your 5 senses will also make you a better writer. When you practice noticing the little details in your life, you start to incorporate those details into your writing.
I don’t think Facebook is evil. In fact, I love it. I could spend my whole day in certain Facebook groups.
But if your goal is to feel happier and more productive, and to have a strong feeling of self-worth that comes from YOU, it may be time to close that Facebook tab and do something else.
I know you can do it.