ImproveYour Mental Health: Cut Back on Facebook

Yesterday I wrote an article about Facebook Addiction*.  Namely, I provided some questions to ask yourself to determine if your Facebook use is having a negative impact on your mental health.  Take a look.

Today I am thinking about how to make changes in our Facebook use.  Keeping in mind that Facebook is not necessarily an evil force in all of our lives, but that for many of us it can cause some pretty negative and unnecessary emotions.

Some tips for changing your Facebook use so that it adds to your mental health (rather than taking away from it).

  • Set a time to check your Facebook account.  For example, check it on your lunch hour only.  The rest of the day is Facebook-free time.
  • Set an amount of time to check/post to Facebook.  For example, set aside 3o minutes/day to read and post – the timer on your phone or computer can come in handy with this one.  When the time is up, leave it alone until the next day.
  • Hide people whose posts upset you.  Why do I still read the “friend’s” posts that make me mad? We all have friends who post things we would rather not read.  Take the control Facebook gives you and hide their posts from your feed.
  • Don’t accept every friend request.  This may be a generational thing, but I don’t think we need to be “friends” with everyone.  As in the above tip, use the control you have and be selective of the people you let in to your Facebook world.
  • Consider a Facebook holiday.  I have a friend who is giving up Facebook for Lent.  If you really want to know how Facebook is affecting you, run an experiment and notice your mood now, and then after giving it up for a few days or a week.  See a big change for the better? Perhaps it’s time to give it up for good.

*Please note that Facebook Addiction is not an official diagnosis in the DSM-IV (or V as far as I know).  While it is not a “real” diagnosis, overuse of Facebook can certainly be detrimental to mental health.

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