Saturday, January 17, 2009

How to Avoid Wasting Time on Facebook

Ladies and gentleman, today, we're gonna talk about 'How to Avoid Wasting Time on Facebook'.

Some people love to use Facebook to keep in touch with friends. However, Facebook seems to be set up to try to draw you in and spend (waste) more time there, and to get your friends to spend more time there. If you just want to use it to keep in touch with people, renew contact with old friends, and just maybe do some networking, here are some ways to avoid wasting too much time.

  1. Ignore requests. When someone sends you a request, you may not be able to see the full details of the request. You may wonder if it's important, or interesting. But if you really just want to check out the networks and not get completely into the more frivolous activities (playing vampires and werewolves, for example) then don't feel you have to respond to those requests. They do take time.

    • Leave a note (in your status, on your "wall...") that explains you often won't reply to most requests.
    • Remember, a lot of Facebook applications send requests to all friends by default, so your friends may not really be expecting you to respond.
    • On your "confirm requests" page, you don't have to click "ignore" on every request. Scan the page, see if there's anything of value - e.g. any old friends you're happy to heard from - and after you've approved them, click "Ignore all" near the top right.
  2. Stop the constant emails:

    • Click settings (top right) and choose Account settings, then the Notifications. Switch most of the options to "off". You may have to click Show more at the bottom to select for all applications, and you may need to do this again when you add new applications.
    • Alternatively, use an email filter so you don't get distracted by frequent emails from Facebook. Just go to the site regularly enough to catch stuff that you are interested in. Check the requests and notifications on the site itself - if you're a few days late it generally won't matter.

      • Simple filter example: filter out anything from E.g. if you use Gmail, make a filter and for "From:" enter, and in the next step choose "Skip the Inbox (Archive it)".
      • You might make an exception for emails for certain types of notifications, e.g. with the text added you as a friend on Facebook, if you don't want to risk missing friend requests. E.g. in Gmail, when you're setting up the filter, for "Doesn't have:" enter "added you as a friend on Facebook". (You can add more than one phrase using OR and putting quotes around each complete phrase.)
  3. Avoid games and third-party applications (apps). Playing games, decorating your profile, and rating your friends will suck up your time before you know it.
  4. Bring a timer with you to the computer. Whether it's the timer on your watch, or an actual kitchen timer that "dings" when the time is up, make it a habit to start the clock as soon as you get on Facebook, and get off as soon as your time is up. Fifteen minutes might be a healthy amount of time to spend on a Facebook session.
    • If you use Firefox, you can use the LeechBlock add-on to track your time spent on and kick you off after a period of time you specify.
  5. If all else fails, quit Facebook.
Which of coz, in my case, none of the 5 steps above works. All hail Facebook!



manda. said...


please don't post this kinda thing i love facebook okay! *shy*

DerekTan said...

or.. you can open facebook and forget it exists.. while doing some other things.

Joy said...


At the end of your entry, you write that all the steps don't work.
Can you imagine how a random reader *coughLikeMecough* might be motivated to do all that, then when they reach the end they get all demotivated?