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I’m a Facebook addict. It’s not even something I’m embarrassed to admit, most people in college and high school are addicted to the social networking website. However, I know that Facebook consuming one’s life can be distracting, especially post college, so as an addict, I’m going to begin weaning myself off the Facebook Crack.

Here are my steps to reducing my Facebook time. They’re just my method, but if people have any suggestions, feel free to post them.

As a note: No, I am not intending to delete my facebook page at any point in time. Facebook is my most effective way of staying in touch with friends from high school who went to college in different states as well as my old friends who live in England.

1. Cease using Facebook Chat

This is the simplest one, and one I’ve been meaning to do for a while. As a client Facebook Chat is clunky, unreliable, inefficient and inconvenient. There’s no way to set one’s status except as their overall status on the network, on some browsers the receiving of a message prevents you from doing ANYTHING until you have looked at and responded to that message. I have lots of friends on Facebook, but the first step is informing them that if they wish to chat with me, I have a perfectly good AIM / MSN account.

2. Set facebook to maximum privacy

I did this when Facebook first came out, but due to changing terms and conditions and new features, new issues of privacy have come up. Thus, in order to maximize privacy on facebook, settings need to be adjusted both under Account Settings and Privacy Settings to Friends Only.

Why did I go for this? I don’t want people being able to search for me on Facebook. Facebook is not networking for me, it’s a place for keeping in contact with old friends. This is a fairly optional ┬ástep, but I consider it essential, especially as a person about to seek employment in the age of the internet.

Why does this help reduce Facebook usage? Less friend requests essentially. Nothing fancy, but it reduces Facebook as a Social Networking site for meeting people, thus reducing time.

3. Reduce Profile Information

By Profile Information I mean things like relationship status. Likes and interests. Things you post that give your impression on the internet. I say delete ’em. Get rid of them. Make them insignificant. Give the message to the internet that if people want to get to know you, they’ll have to work harder than just looking at your Facebook page. also, Relationship Status. For the most part, the information of who is dating whom leads to nothing but drama. Whether you’re single, married, divorced or anything in-between, keeping that information off Facebook can lead to less stress and drama.

4. Before checking Facebook, Check your email

Facebook sends updates to your email account, yes? It’s one of the primary functions of the site. Thus, checking one’s email allows the checking of facebook, and if you have no new messages from Facebook, then there’s no real reason to go to Facebook. This takes time, and practice, but it’s probably the most effective way to reduce Facebook time.

Why is reducing time on Facebook a good idea to me? Because we live in an age where internet communication is taking priority. We’re drifting apart and becoming more alone in our connections. And I’d rather a friend give me a call or meet me in person than talk to me on Facebook. Ultimately, I know I’ll be better for it.

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