Saturday, February 20, 2010

How Facebook is Worse Than Smoking

I am sure you've heard the statistic that for every cigarette you smoke you take 11 minutes off your life.

How about this statistic: the average U.S. Internet user spends more time on Facebook than on Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Amazon combined. According to Facebook, the average Facebook user spends more than 55 minutes per day on the website (or 5 cigarettes a day, however you want to look at it).

The fact that you are reading this probably from a link on Facebook (however ironic) shows that I am not anti-Facebook.  In fact, I like it.  There are many benefits to the website.  I enjoy keeping up with my friends, checking out new pictures and perusing the latest gossip.

The problem for me though (and I suspect others) is that I spend too much time on the website.

Because of this I have decided to drastically cut back on the time I spend on Facebook.  I will be going on the website once, briefly in the morning for business purposes/responding to messages and that is it.  No lunch time FB surfing or late night creeping.

Am I just becoming that old man who hates technology?  Perhaps. But the numbers do not lie.  Facebook is a time eater.

For me, the opportunity cost of Facebook is big.  I have several goals I am trying to accomplish and rarely have the time to get them done.  Here are a few things I will be doing instead of checking the latest updates on Facebook:
  • Working out: I am still working on hitting my goals previously mentioned.
  • Spending more quality time with my wonderful fiancee
  • Wedding planning
  • Anything not on a computer: I am on a computer all day at work...I do not need to be on one when I get home.
  • Sleeping: I am a big fan of sleep.
While I am laying off Facebook for the next few months I am not necessarily advocating that everyone should.   If millions of people are spending this much time on a website it can present business and networking opportunities.  It is undoubtedly a great way to spread ideas and reach out to contacts.  Also, having an outlet is fun and necessary.  Facebook can provide a good break from work and really is an easy way to stay connected with your friends.

It is all about balance.  For me, FB can still be this outlet without eating away at my valuable time if I limit how often I check the site.

So the next time you log into Facebook think of this quote from a certain former IL Governor that I've modified for my own purpose:  "[time] is a f*cking valuable thing, you just don't give it away for nothing."

Photo: Benstein

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Break on Through

It is really easy to get sidetracked from accomplishing goals.  Spend five minutes looking through my archives and you will see some great examples.

Often there is something in our lives that we want to change, we get excited, set a goal, hit a bump and become discouraged.

A big component to successfully reaching goals is being able to overcome these setbacks and mini-failures.

In light of this, here are a few tips to overcoming this cycle and associated barriers:
  • It's a continuous cycle.  The cycle doesn't have to end after giving up once.  Get back on the horse.
  • Progress is progress.  Setting goals, making a bit of progress and failing is better than doing nothing.
  • Break on through.  When you initially hit resistance or find yourself too busy it doesn't mean you have to quit.  If, for some reason, you missed a week of working out, just start again the next week.  Do not get too down on yourself because...
  • Everybody fails.  Everybody.  If you do not occasionally hit resistance you are probably not setting hard enough goals.  Push yourself! (On the flip-side, if you are doing nothing but failing, set some really easy goals. Accomplish them and make the goals a little bit harder.  Incrementally give yourself more confidence in your ability to succeed.)
  • You will always be busy, so make some time.  This is the biggest one for me.  It really is true-- unexpected stuff is going to come up, you will be busy...just deal with it.
Failure is part of life.  Embrace it, get over it and dominate. 

Photo: tpower1987

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Be Content

"Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you."
-Lao Tzu