Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Facebook's Herd Mentality: Regarding the Attacks on Paris

I, like many others, have noticed a type of "herd mentality" that exists on Facebook before the Paris attacks.  However, I write this post now as this herd mentality is extremely pronounced.

I do not need to say that the attacks on Paris were sickening to me.  I have been following and speaking out to people against ISIS for quite a while (mostly on deaf ears.  While others were busy posting about Kim Davis and the Clock Boy, I was baffled by why people were not saying anything about ISIS, focusing their lives on largely pointless issues.  Now that ISIS has attacked France, I am told that Facebook is awash in people's profile picture being changed to a French tricolor.  It is great that people are supporting the French people in this (but they need real support).  However, I can not help but wonder where this support was when other attacks happened, most notably the very recent airline crash that took place in Egypt.  Yet, the Egypt crash that killed over two hundred Russians was totally ignored by most on Facebook.  Why is this?

One user retorted:
"The French supported us during our 9/11 terrorist attack by hundreds standing around a us flag. This was a terrorist attack by the group we are at war with, and so those are the main two reasons I changed facebook had it as an option on my timeline. I think it's great for everyone in Paris to get on and see all of the support of their flag standing everywhere, all over the world. We stand together through this."
I wonder, is this why we started calling French fries "freedom fries" after 9/11?  Yes, there was a lot of French hate in the media after 9/11, but many do not want to recall that now.  The truth is, that people on Facebook seem to act in tandem.  Facebook has a way of making people think as one big and sometimes dumb group.  Certain news stories get the spotlight (clock boy) and other bigger, more important stories (such as the attacks in Beirut) get ignored.  Conspiracy theories regarding Obama or Donald Trump are more important to many than anything that is going on in the world that tear lives and people apart.  

I do not want to seem unsympathetic to France or the French, and I hope that you do not think I am.  I think that there are better ways to show that you care about humanity or stand with those who have been attacked than changing your picture on Facebook.  Such an act of self-aggrandizing does nothing for the world at all.  In fact, you might as well just reach your hand around and pat yourself on the back for being so culturally aware on your profile before going off your all-important political views on Islam or sharing pictures of your latest meal.

One interesting tidbit about the France attacks was that, at first, it seemed that there was a lot of unity on Facebook.  Now, Facebook is full of arguments over what should be done regarding ISIS, refugees, and other points that armchair political strategists feel the need to debate behind their phones and computers.  You may have that tricolor as your Facebook image, but behind that glow, you are still wasting your time on one of the biggest time suckers in existence.  Facebook wants you to think that you are doing something in support of the terror that happened in France, but the truth is, if you were to log off Facebook and never show yourself on that site again, France (or the world) would not be any worse off.  If you want to show real support on the war against ISIS, start caring about every human, no matter where they are from, who are hurt by this vile organization.  Mourn not just for the French, but for all those who have died by the hands of these people.  Don't let Facebook tell you who you should be in solidarity with.  It's time you move away from the herd mentality that exists on Facebook and start thinking for yourself.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Using Facebook as a Weapon

Facebook is advertised as the chain that links people and societies together.  Mark Zuckerburg, Facebook's big cheese, claims that the website exists to "create a more connected world."  To me, Facebook (and other (a)social media) are websites that end up sucking people's time from their lives, leaving them with negative thoughts of jealousy, anger, sadness, and regret.  However, there is another sinister side to Facebook that I have not talked too much about.  It is an important aspect of Facebook that has caused great damage in many lives.  I have seen it firsthand in my own life.  It is using Facebook as a weapon.  Below I will discuss a few ways in which Facebook is used as a weapon.  I may have left something out.  If you see something that should be added, or if you want to share your own experiences, please leave a comment.

Unfriending People

Relationships and friends are vitally important to Facebook users.  (a)social media would not exist without all the online "connections" that exist between people.  Yet, sometimes people get angry at others, or do not agree with their views and, as a result, punish them.  This is most often done by unfriending the person.

Unfriending oftentimes is used to send a strong message to the other person.  It's a message that states that the person is angry at you and has acted on that anger.  It is a message that states that you did something wrong and that you should be sorry.  The wrong could be anything - minor or major.  It could be a differing political view, your religious views, or the fact that you said something wrong on Facebook (which is a real danger since many people have no personal filter when it comes to writing on Facebook).  It could be that that the person just does not like you.  It could be that the person wants to control you.  No matter what reason it is, if you are using Facebook as a form of punishment, you might want to think about the maturity of such an action.

I have unfriended people before when I was a Facebook user.  I tried to do it in a way that they would not notice it.  I do not like to hurt others.  There are legitimate reasons to remove a person as a friend on (a)social media.  For example, if you do not know that person well and there is no real relationship, you might as well move on.  However, even when fighting with a person over a personal view, should you remove them?  I think that when the friendship seems totally irreconcilable, then it's time to say goodbye.  Yet, the truth is, I see too many people unfriend a person to friend them a few days later and pretend nothing happened.  It ends up looking and feeling awkward.  It is a waste of time.

As a Facebook user, you are bound to be a part of the "friend and unfriend merry-go-round" that is part of the Facebook culture.  Historically it has never been normal to be exposed to every political view and every aspect of all of your friends and acquaintances lives.   Some stuff is made public on the internet that is really none of my business and I should have never known about a person.  And, I am sure that I said some things that were better kept between me and my family (or just to myself).  The truth is, we talk far too much on Facebook, and that talking gets us into serious trouble more often than not.

Liking One Person's Posts and Ignoring Another's

Some people use the like button as a weapon.  Some will like every post but yours or ignore your posts on purpose.  I have seen people that would like every one of another person's pictures.  Hundreds of pictures.  Almost each and every one.  Yet, this person rarely liked anything that another person that was related to her.  It caused some jealousy issues and made that other person feel left out.  This blatant favoritism can be used as a weapon to control another.  It is an issue that many deal with.  If you are dealing with this in your own life, could you please explain to me why you are on Facebook?

Trolling and Lying

Some people use Facebook as a means to troll others.  It is not yet as bad as Twitter, which is full of some of the the most vile comments on the internet, but many are trying to troll others on Facebook and some are devising some new ways to get at others as I write this.  While this is harder to do when people make private profiles, trolls do exist through various news stories and political posts.  Many people have created famous memes and images that have been used to troll the world into believing something that is completely fake.  And people mistake these outright lies for knowledge and they share it with others.  How sad.

Bragging to Make Others Feel Inferior

Bragging about life is another way in which Facebook is used as a weapon.  In the wake of the tragedy in France, a Facebook user told me that he was bragging about his great apartment that overlooked One World Trade Center, which was all lit up in the French tricolor.  This was said to be an attempt to outdo a relative who was sharing his sympathy about the attacks.  Seriously?  Many are on Facebook for the sole purpose of bragging about their careers, leisure time, lifestyles, educational attainments, money, etc.  Some will use any excuse to brag about their lives.  Many of these people do so to get at relatives/siblings, ex-girlfriends/boyfriends, spouses, friends, classmates, etc.  Wealth comes and goes.  We all live and die.  So why are you wasting your time on the internet instead of enjoying life?  If you are bragging about life and are glued to Facebook, you really have nothing at all to brag about.  Facebook addiction is not anything that should be envied, and instead of bragging about your life, you should come to this site and see why Facebook and (a)social media is toxic.

Why Do You Spend Time On Facebook?  Don't You Have Better Things to Do With Your Life?!

I have written a lot on this website about how I feel Facebook is a toxic pastime.  I have said over and over for the past few years how Facebook is a time eater that gives a person nothing back for the amount of time that is spent on the site.  Facebook may also be a tool to gather information from individual users, and a huge part of the world is willing to freely share their lives and personal information on the internet because they are addicted!!  You are giving your private data out to a company that has shown over and over again that it can not be trusted, yet many do not care.  Many do not care that they log off the site feeling depressed and self loathing.  Many do not seem to care that they go through each day feeling lethargic due to the comparisons that they have made with other people.  Many will place themselves on a website where they are exposed to constant bragging and political nonsense.  What is the gain?  Tell me that.  The main excuse I hear is that it "allows me to keep in touch with others."  Would the world be so horrible if you had to keep in touch with others through e-mail or via phone?  Would your life really be that awful if you did not have hundreds of connections through an (a)social media website?

How we spend our time is a choice.  I hope you make the right choice and spend your time in a positive, uplifting and productive way.  Being on Facebook is not a positive, uplifting or productive pastime.  Nobody has been able to tell me with a straight face that their time spent on their personal Facebook page has been productive.  You are wasting your time.  But, the good news is that you can leave at any time you wish!  You can end it all and enter into a more full life.  Now is the time for change.  It feels good to let go.  You will be tempted to return.  I won't deny that.  Even I have been tempted over and over again, and I have given in a lot.  Every time I am smacked alongside the head by something I read.  Every time I am baffled by the time I waste on the site.  Even if it is just fifteen minutes a day - it adds up.  Yet, it is rarely just fifteen minutes a day.  It's usually much, much more.  How much time are you serving on Facebook?  Are you a prisoner to (a)social media?  Then do yourself perhaps the biggest favor you have ever done in your life: Quit now.  Your life will be much better.  That's something I truly believe and that's why I am still writing on this website years after creating it.  Stay strong and don't give into the pressure to be on these websites.  Remember, it is your choice, it is your life.  Unconnect from (a)social media and reconnect with the world.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Holidays and Christmas on Facebook: Now is The Best Time to Leave

The holidays are approaching.  This is going to be a time for you to compare your life and your achievements with every acquaintance that you have known since middle school.  It’s also a good time to see where in the world it is snowing, as if it has never snowed before.  It is a time that many will spend ignoring others while pretending that they are having the best season of their lives.  Sadly, most are living a fantasy, viewing the world through Facebook-colored lenses.

About a decade ago, people were less likely to spend their holidays on their phones and on (a)social media, but times have changed.  Recently I pointed out how one in seven people log onto Facebook every day.  Chances are, when you are gathered around the Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner table, someone there is going to be on Facebook.  And, chances are, the dinner will be lit up by the flash of cameras taking pictures to share the feast on Instagram and Facebook.  Will you be tweeting about the gravy?  Will you share with the world just how moist your Butterball Turkey was?  How quickly will you upload those pictures?  Will it be during the prayer, or do you have the self control to wait until someone is passing you the corn? 


The holidays are the BEST TIME of year to get rid of Facebook.  You might consider focusing on enjoying the time with family and friends and trying to move away from consumerism and trying to compare yourself with others during this festive period.  Why spend your time inundated with thoughts about not being good enough as others or wanting to prove yourself on the internet?  Why waste your time being thrusted into political debates or hearing about news that only brings you down and makes you feel miserable.  It’s great that uncle Tommy is a born again armchair vegan or that your sister’s boyfriends father is the CEO of a company that sells pirated DVDs.  And how many times do you really need to feel special about reading words upside down and backwards?  We get it, only one in ten people have that skill… and they are all on Facebook!

When your family asks you why you are not taking pictures of the wishbone this year, tell them that you are taking a break from Facebook.  Tell them that you are not updating Twitter.  Tell them that Instagram is off your radar for a while.  Let the family know that you are celebrating the holidays with your children and family, not with the guy who you met at Chuck E Cheese, who somehow contacted you and added you on Facebook.  Tell them that you would rather have a quiet Christmas like you remember it being years ago.  Let your loved ones know that Christmas is a time for family, for giving thanks, and NOT for Facebook.  Tell them that you are on vacation from (a)social media, and let them know that you may never be back.  


You are truly not missing out.  If anything, everyone who is not enjoying the moment, but rather, living for Facebook, are the ones who are going to miss the special time of year that is approaching.  Those who are dying for the moment when they can upload thirty pictures of the tanembaum are the ones missing out.  Instead of taking a bazillion pictures for Facebook, in the hopes that they get noticed, take the pictures to show your children and to look back on yourselfThis time of year is for you and your family, not for your Pridebook.  

How are you spending the next couple of holidays?  Glued to Facebook, or with your family and friends?  Now is a great time to quit Facebook.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Arguing on Facebook: Starbucks Red Cup War

The latest stupid argument on Facebook
Facebook is rife with arguments on topics that have no bearing on the lives of most people.  Instead of focusing on the good things in life or on real friends and family, those who choose to use Facebook are saying in actions that they would rather argue about the most stupid topics.  Topics such as a red cup from Starbucks.  That's correct, instead of doing something productive with their lives, billions of people are opting to belong to a website that has become full of and promotes such stupid arguments.

Sadly, the holiday season has been turned into a way for family and friends to argue if everyone should say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" and whether it is okay for Starbucks to have a red cup this holiday season instead of the somehow more Christian snowflake/tree/snowman design it had in the past.  Christmas has turned into a season of arguments on Facebook and it only hurts the people who spend the holidays on (a)social media.  If you are not on Facebook, you are really doing yourself a favor this year.

People on Facebook are Obsessed with the story of Starbucks' Red Cup:  Vox: Starbucks’s red cup controversy, explainedThe Atlantic: The Inanity of the Starbucks Christmas Cup ‘Controversy’

The Starbucks red cup argument is just another annoying argument and time waster in a long series of arguments that have taken people's lives and times up over the years. From Kony 2012 to Kim Davis to Obama's place of birth, people have wasted their lives arguing on the internet and Facebook is argument central.  Yet, the arguments really seem to heat up around Christmas, which is quite ironic.  Instead of spreading good joy and cheer, many would rather tell others what they should say regarding Christmas or brag about what they are doing and what they have received during the holiday.

Is being on Facebook and reading stupid arguments really how you want to spend your life?  Are you getting that much out of your presence on Facebook?  Or, is it just causing you to feel depressed? Many people seem to be so used to the constant Facebook depression and arguments that they do not think about it.  They don't know that there is a choice to be on the site, sadly.  Yet, another holiday season is coming and the same posts are filling Facebook walls.  Instead of enjoying another year of your life, you are spending it on Facebook.  What joy is in that?  If you are on Facebook instead of spending that time with family and friends, you are truly wasting your life.  Yes, that's right: Facebook is a WASTE of time.  

Thursday, November 5, 2015

One in Seven People Log Onto Facebook Daily

Are You One in Seven?

According to various new sources, including the mouth of the beast itself, one in seven people in the world logs onto Facebook daily.  That’s right, the entire world is becoming obsessed with Facebook and many can not go a day without logging in and checking their news feed.  Of course, this is a good thing from a financial standpoint for Facebook.  For humanity, not so much.

“A more open and connected world is a better world. It brings stronger relationships with those you love, a stronger economy with more opportunities, and a stronger society that reflects all of our values,” wrote Zuckerberg.
More connected? To what? Your screens? Facebook is not real human connection. Talking to yourself and pretending that other people are actually listening is not connecting with others. Bragging about your life or talking at over 100 people at once is not connecting. It does not bring you closer to people. In fact, it does the opposite. You find that you are starting at a phone while ignoring the people who are right there around you.

Do you log in daily?

Can you go a day without Facebook, or is logging in as common to you as sleeping, eating, brushing your teeth, or going to the restroom?  Do you feel compelled to open Facebook in your browser window and see what you are missing out on?  Are you really missing out?  Do you have better things to do?  Have you asked your children what they are learning in school, or is watching the life 
of what is now a stranger more important to you?  Do you really need to see those vacation pictures of the sibling that makes twice the amount of money as you do?  Will that make you feel happy?  Will you feel like you accomplished something in your life if you check to see if you still have the best job amongst your high school chums?  Maybe you just realized that you forgot to post that picture of you plastered at SeƱor Frogs in Cozumel during your last birthday. 

When is the last time you logged in on Facebook?  What did you do while you were there?  Do you even remember?  Was it worth your time?  Would you have really missed out if you did not log in?  

I know that this often goes through one ear and out the other, but life is really better without Facebook and all that (a)social media.  Few people really care about all those pictures and nobody really cares about how you snuck into the neighbor’s barn while drunk.  Few are going to click on that political story that you felt the need to plaster on your wall.  Most people are too wrapped up in their own lives or want to be noticed themselves.  You are wasting your time with (a)social media.  The people who do care about your life are the ones you might as well just pick up the phone and call.  The people who do care are the ones that you should have a relationship that is a lot closer than Facebook. The rest of it is a dangerous game of emotional Russian roulette.  

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Facebook Makes You Miserable

I have seen first hand how Facebook grasps onto a persons emotions and rips them apart.  Many people have stated that they can only endure so long with Facebook.  Most people deactivate Facebook for a while at times when posts start to anger them.  It could be a post about politics, religion, or based on something mean that someone else said.  Maybe it's a post about a problem in the family, or one that causes extended drama.  It could just be because of the arguments that always seem to manifest themselves on Facebook.  Whatever the reason is, Facebook makes many people miserable after a while.  Many have reported that they need to take a break from Facebook from time to time.  I found that, before I created this website, I needed to take time away from Facebook to de-stress and get my life back on track.  Now, I have found that Facebook and similar (a)social media make people feel miserable.

As you read through this post, ask yourself if you can relate.  Then, ask yourself why you are on Facebook.  Maybe you will find that it is time to get rid of the (a)social media habit altogether.  I can tell you from experience, your life will be much, much better!

Why Does Facebook Make A Person Miserable?

1.  One of the biggest problems that exist with (a)social media is that you are often bombarded by others’ accomplishments.
Whether it’s someone uploading photos from his or her graduation or tweeting about an awesome new car, social media implicitly causes us to compare ourselves to others. 
It’s not surprising that studies have shown individuals who spend a significant amount of time on social media report feelings of increased anxiety and low self-esteem.  (Source)
As stated above, Facebook causes a person's self image to be measured by comparing your accomplishments with the accomplishments of other people.  What others have done with their lives does not matter at all when it comes to your own happiness and your own life.  While you are comparing your accomplishments with others, you are destroying your drive to succeed in your own life.  You also will tend to feel less happy for the things that your life has been blessed with.

It is great that your friends are accomplishing so much, however, the problem is that sharing these accomplishments oftentimes turns into bragging.  Facebook is such a competitive place that many are trying to outdo each other, and thus, you are going to hear about every small accomplishment in one's life - even if that accomplishment is going out to a nice restaurant.

2.  Facebook makes you too dependent on others for your happiness.  

Those who use Facebook oftentimes search for validation from others.  When friends and family do not hit like on one of their posts, people oftentimes start to wonder "why not?"  After a while, this can become depressing.  Are family and friends ignoring you?  Do they not care about what you have to say?  Should it matter?  Most of us are adults now, and we should not be looking to other people for our happiness.  Many of us have families of our own and we have a duty to them.

Many times we feel the want to have our lives validated.  We wonder if we are going about life the correct way.  Maybe there's a better path?  If so, do not look to Facebook for validation.  There are much better sources out there, believe me.  Few people on Facebook are going to validate your life.  Why?  Because they are too busy trying to have their lives validated.

3.  Facebook makes you compare yourself and your accomplishments with others.

This is one of the biggest and most depressing parts of Facebook.  It is a constant game of comparing yourself and your life with other people.  Do you measure up to what your siblings and classmates have accomplished?  If not, will you ever?  Should you care?  Life is not about comparing yourself with others.  That does not bring happiness.  Instead, it brings misery.

Happiness is something that should come from within, not from other people you may not even know that well.  A lot of times many of your Facebook friends may be people you actually did not really care for when you were younger or that you have a history of competing and arguing with.  Why then, are you using these people as a means to validate your life?

4.  We all post things that we regret and we oftentimes pay a large price for those things we said.

We sometimes tell too much and wish we kept those thoughts to ourselves.  On many occasions we find that we should have said nothing at all.  Sometimes we say something that we did not mean to be offensive - yet it somehow is.  We say too much and the price is depression.  I know that I have logged off Facebook after being told what I said was somehow wrong and I thought about it throughout the day.  I often regretted it, and although you can erase the post, you can't really take back the words that were said.  I know that I am not alone.  Many people spend hours and days defending what they said after posting something.  At work and at school it eats at them.  They can not focus in the classroom.  Their work performance suffers.  They battle the want to log on and check to see if everything is better.  In the end, many slink off to deactivate and later feel bitter.

5.  Life is too public with Facebook

Many people like the idea of being a private person, yet your life is not private on Facebook.  Not even close.

I found that I was far too public with my own life, while at the same time I was craving privacy.  I wanted a quiet life mostly in the company a few close friends and my immediate family.  Yet, on Facebook, I found the nagging desire to share everything about my life.  Some of them were impressive, others not so much.  It is hard to not share details about one's life when you are on a website where you are supposed to do that and where everyone else is doing it.  If you want to be a private person and you are on Facebook, maybe it's time to get real.  Some will say that they are only there to spy on others, yet, if that's the reason, you are comparing your life with other people and not focusing on your own life.

If you truly want to be a private individual, (a)social media is not for you.  There is no rule that says you have to have an online presence.  There is no rule that says that you will be cut off from the world if you do not have Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter profiles.  Instagram and Pinterest are not required to live a happy life.  The media loves to make you think that and it may be harder to use some internet sites without Facebook.  But, what are you really losing?  So what, you can't comment on some websites.  You're probably actually better off.  Do you really need to argue with others on the internet?  Also, there's a huge world out there that is not on the internet.  Many of us seem to have forgotten that.  And, yes, life is still far more interesting offline.

6.  Facebook makes it hard to change yourself for the better.

It is hard to change yourself when you are doing the same thing every day.  Old habits persist when you are logging onto Facebook daily.  You go through the same emotional roller coaster day after day.  You compare yourself to others, see how many people liked your posts, try to think of something interesting to say, share a few news stories about your favorite political party, and then salivate over the food pictures that some of your friends posted.  All the negative emotions come out each and every time.  It does not get any better.  No matter how often Facebook tries to repackage it, it is all the same.

Instead of sitting down and writing that book or starting a new project, you are behind a computer screen passively wasting time.  Time is passing when you could be trying to become a better person or accomplish your goals.  Instead of achieving your desires, your mind is wrapped up in things that make you feel lethargic.  It is little wonder why so many people log off Facebook and feel tired and depressed.  It saps away at you.  It makes it so you do not have the willpower or energy to change your own life.  Facebook is a dead end.

7.  Life becomes stagnant.  There is little change.

Related to point six above, Facebook makes your life become the same, every single day.  Time spent on Facebook is time that could be spent somewhere else.  You are interacting with other Facebook users who have stagnant lives themselves.  When I left Facebook I noticed huge changes taking place in my life.  Many of these were almost effortless. A big part of it was because I had a lot of new free time to accomplish the goals I had for myself.  I quickly found that I was not alone.  Many of the comments on this website attest to the fact that many people left Facebook and saw that their lives were changing for the better.  Many started businesses, spend more time with their children, or did something meaningful with their lives.  Without Facebook one can move forward and begin to change their life for the better.  Facebook is a pacifier.  Life is best lived when pacifiers are avoided.

8.  The amount of time spent on Facebook becomes in itself a burden.

How often do you check Facebook? The number varies widely from user to user.  It was reported that the global average was 20 minutes, but in the United States, the number was actually much higher.
Although 20+ minutes is the global average, people in the US spend much more time than that, according to Facebook's internal numbers. In Facebook's Q2 earnings last year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the average US consumer spends 40 minutes on Facebook per day. (How Much Time Do People Spend on Facebook?).
Do you spend forty minutes or more?  Remember, some people bring down the average by going there only for a couple minutes.  Also, people log on for small periods of time many times throughout the day.  You may spend five minutes at one point, six at another, three during lunch to see if you got any likes, four minutes after school and ten minutes before bed.  This eats up more time, and one is still thinking about Facebook after they log off the site.  Just because you close the page doesn't mean your mind is off Facebook.  The things you read and see on the site affect a person, and they cause that person to continue to think about them throughout the day.  Is that a good thing?  I'll let you think about that.

9.  Facebook is a distraction from the things that make life enjoyable.

I am glad that I spent most of my daughter's life off of Facebook.  While I felt the want to show her off to others and share her growing up with my friends and her family who live in the United States (I currently am doing work in Ukraine), I realized that the time spent away from her and on Facebook would be something I deeply regretted.  I was right.  I would regret it.  She will not be a baby forever.  Likewise, I found that time spent on Facebook wasted my day.  There is so much that I enjoy in life, and Facebook took me away from those things.  I found that I wrote less when I was a Facebook user.  I found that I did not want to go outside, or by the time I got around to it, it was getting dark and other things needed to be done.  And worse yet, I found that I was doing little with my life in comparison to not being on Facebook.

One thing that always stuck with me is how many people are glued to Facebook when traveling.  I have done a lot of traveling in my life and no matter where I go, I see people on Facebook.  I remember visiting Singapore and seeing the computers at the hostel I was staying at totally full of people posting on Facebook and people waiting to use them.  In Mexico, people would be posting on Facebook and uploading pictures instead of enjoying the gorgeous beaches right in front of them! What a waste of time!  What a waste of a vacation!  Unless you are independently rich in both money and time, why squander a vacation to a splendid area of the world by spending your time on Facebook?

10.  Reality is distorted greatly.

Here's an important fact about the things you see on Facebook: Much of what you read is not true.  In fact, I have come to thank Facebook for making me realize that most of what you see and read on the internet is not to be trusted.  Take the picture to the left, for example.  It was one of many false images that was going around Facebook when I went back.

It is now known by many that such quotes by Einstein that are seen on the internet are fake (link).  Yet, many believe these quotes to be real.  And they persist constantly.  Why spend your valuable time reading things that are false?  Why tie your time up in trying to decipher if something is true or not?

What is true and what is distorted is not only related to memes, however.  There are many news sources that can not be trusted.  Many political websites twist reality and distort facts so people will click on the links and help them generate ad revenue.

Furthermore, there's the fact that people exaggerate their own accomplishments on the internet, sometimes to the extreme.  Perhaps the majority of Facebook users/addicts post only the positive attributes of their lives while not sharing the negative or mundane.  When you log onto Facebook, it seems that everyone is living an amazing life full of new accomplishments and happy times.  Yet, is that really reality?  I found that a few members in my own family who were posting about how great their lives were spent their time off Facebook battling drug and alcohol addictions.  Talk about distorted!

11.  People punish each other for not agreeing with their views.

Have you ever been "unfriended" for disagreeing with another person?  I have!  More than once.  In fact, when I was on Facebook, I constantly noticed that people were "unfriending" others left and right when they did not agree with something they said.  It's kind of sad that it has gotten to the point where one can not disagree with others without fearing social chastisement on (a)social media!  How is a person supposed to grow as an individual if their beliefs are not challenged?  Many beliefs out there are false - and that is the truth.  However, punishing a person for thinking a certain way is not right, and it is all too common on Facebook and on the internet as a whole.

Rifts that start on Facebook oftentimes enter into the real world, and many a family has been torn apart by the internet and (a)social media.  I know all too well, because mine has.  And I know that I am not alone.

12.  People still try to control your life.

Are you an adult now, or do you still live at home with your parents?  If you are on Facebook, maybe you should just move back in with the parents.  You'll probably save some money with rent costs and you can use their washer and dryer instead of going to the Laundromat.  In all seriousness, if you are sharing the finer details of your life and your parents and siblings are on your friend's list, chances are they are going to harp on you about many of your life choices.  Now, I will state that I do believe that sometimes a parent has a right to tell their adult children what is right and wrong.  I admit that I will probably do it some when my daughter becomes an adult.  However, some parents take it a bit too far and try to control everything about their adult children's lives, including career plans and where they go and when they go somewhere.  For example, I heard a lot about going to Ukraine to work from family and friends.  Yet, many choices in your life are between your immediate family - you and your spouse, and also to an extent, your children.

13.  Facebook creates envy and dissatisfaction.

And finally, Facebook makes one jealous of others and dissatisfied with one's own accomplishments.  It's a dissatisfaction that lasts long after one logs off.  It is something that eats at a person and can cause long-lasting effects in their life.  Envy is not a good thing.  It is said to "rot the bones."  Living a life of dissatisfaction is a complete and utter shame.  There is no reason why many people who have the means and ability to spend vast amounts of time on the internet should not be thankful for the things that they do have in life.  Many are wasting their greatest years feeling depressed over their lives while comparing themselves to others.  Instead of counting the blessings in their lives: family, friends, a roof over their heads, money, job, personal possessions, health, etc., many are instead lamenting over what they don't have and feeling bouts of envy.


It might be imperative for your mental health that you leave Facebook and move on with your life.  If your goal in life is to truly grow into a better person and live a life with high satisfaction, then why are you on Facebook?  Your mind and your body are both, by far, the most important possessions you have.  They are more important than anything else that you own.  Your car, your home, your wealth, none of that comes close to your mental and physical health.  So, why are you destroying both of those things by spending time on Facebook when you could be living a full life away from it?  It is a choice, and one that you are free to make.  You are not losing out on anything by not being on Facebook.  You are gaining freedom, mental peace, and a lot of extra time by being away.   No matter how careful you are with Facebook, the truth is, Facebook makes most people miserable after a while.  That is a fact.  It will catch up with you sooner or later.

Serious about giving up Facebook?  Check out our new checklist of Facebook achievements and goals for making giving up Facebook and (a)social media easier for you to achieve.

Friday, October 30, 2015

PrideBook: Facebook is a Tool of Pride

If there is one thing that Facebook is good at, it is assisting a person in proclaiming how wonderful they are.  Ego is at the center of Facebook, and for many, ego has taken a life of its own.

Facebook has become a way to befriend people from the past and then let them know just how great our lives are.  We try to prove that we are worth more than others by parading our life and so-called accomplishments in front of those who will listen.  Yet, who is listening?  Who is going to jump through the screen and pat you on the back?  Perhaps you are talking to yourself?  Perhaps your pride is starting to take on its own existence.

How wonderful are you if you are addicted to (a)social media?  If you live your life through Facebook, how great is it?  Think about that for a bit.  You may list ways in which you are great, but the fact of the matter is, when you are listing how wonderful you are, you are not doing anything productive.  You are not improving yourself.  You are not doing anything worthy of being called "great."  Instead, you are merely bragging to the world, trying to puff yourself up and trying to look better than everyone else.  Furthermore, you are rubbing your most-likely exaggerated achievements in the faces of those who may be going through hard times.  How wonderful art thou!

Recently I saw a very large fight between some of my family members on Facebook over politics and religion (what else, right?) and could not help but see the sheer amount of time being wasted arguing over such things on the internet.  In the end, the comments got out of control and both parties went to their own walls to proclaim how they were right and the other was wrong.  Facebook, as usual, was used as a mechanism to draw people away from each other and destroy relationships.  As the fight progressed, one person claimed that another person was "a liberal" and, in response, that person felt the need to write her life story, chock full of every accomplishment she has made in her life.  Of course, the list was quite long and reading it gave me quite the headache.  It was far too wordy, about working for nothing, dual masters degrees, and helping the homeless with shelter in the two houses that this person owned by her own sweat and blood.  After a mental golf clap, I realized that it was just another way to show pride, and to show how great one perceives themselves to be.  It is great to do things for others, and to achieve things.  It is not so great to go on Facebook and brag about them, puff yourself up about it, and use it as a weapon to make yourself seem better than other people.  And, one thing that I noticed, this woman is on Facebook a lot!

Facebook: a type of death?
There is no chance of pride leaving Facebook.  You will see it within seconds of logging on.  Everything points at the person who is posting:  Their views are right, their life is front and center, their accomplishments are the biggest and most important, their problems are the most vital, their life is the one to follow.  Yet, there are billions of people in the world.  Just because you made a post on Facebook does not mean that you are the star of the show.  What it really means is that, while others are doing things with their lives, you are sitting on Facebook.  Is that really something to be proud of?

Is time spent on Facebook worthy of feeling good about?  If you are bragging about your life behind a computer, perhaps you do not have much to brag about.  And, what ever happened to giving thanks for the things that one does have?  Facebook culture has turned into a person doing something and then running to Facebook to show it off.  It's like what young children do, yet on Facebook it is "adults" that are doing it.  No wonder there is so much dissatisfaction among many in our "connected" generation.  Comparing ourselves to others, hoping to be noticed for what we say and do on the internet, and feeling that we need to prove ourselves on Facebook does nothing positive for the mind.  It affects a person.  It hurts a person.  It is addictive, and there has to come a time when a person stands up and says, "ENOUGH!"

Are you sick of the constant bragging that takes place on Facebook?  Do you think that ego and pride has run amok on this website?  Do you feel good knowing that a few people are raking in billions of dollars while you are trying to prove your life is something to be envied, and they are laughing all the way to the bank?  What are you really on Facebook for?  Isn't it time to get away from the site and make a fresh break for it?  I think now is a great time to leave Pridebook, or if you prefer, Bragbook.  I think there is no better time than the present.  Shut it down and walk away.  There's no reason for you to have to compare your life with those behind the screen.  You have your own life to live, and trust me, it is worth living!

Serious about giving up Facebook?  Check out our new checklist of Facebook achievements and goals for making giving up Facebook and (a)social media easier for you to achieve.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

A Population Pacified By Facebook

There is a lot of talk in the news lately about the cost of living increasing and the wealth of average Americans staying stagnant or falling while the rich population of the United States (and the world) grows richer and richer. Recently, I saw a graph put out by the Social Security Administration of the United States that shows that half of American's make around $25,000 or less per year (link). An article I just read states that half of the world is owned by 1 percent of the population (link). "Credit Suisse: with just $10 “you’re wealthier than 25% of Americans.”

So, what does this have to do with Facebook you ask? Quite a bit actually. The population is becoming more and more pacified. In fact, many people get worked up about things such as gross income inequality or school shootings or the environment but when it comes time to take a stand on an issue that they care about, it happens via Facebook. Either that, or many people are so pacified that they just play a game of Angry Birds or watch a movie and forget about the world. Those in power and with great wealth know that people will not really call for change if they can be pacified and spend their time on the internet or engaged in various forms of entertainment. Many think that they are making a difference on Facebook, yet that could not be further from the truth. Posting something on Facebook really does nothing at all. Why? Because, most people just scroll past it, or give it a quick like and move on to the next thing.

I did not really support Occupy Wall Street at the time, but I will say that their biggest mistake as a group was taking the movement to Facebook. There were ways that they could have got their message across better at the time, but they were a rare group that actually stood up and went out to state their beliefs.  In the eyes of those who opposed them, moving to Facebook was the best decision that they could have made. Why? Because Facebook is just a noise machine. There's a lot of talk and not a lot of action. This is mainly because people are more concerned with their own lives, sharing their own pictures, bragging about themselves and playing games and pacifying themselves. Not much actually gets done that is meaningful. Facebook pulls you in and consumes your time and energy.  It saps you and leaves you feeling lethargic and depressed.  Why care much about what is going on in the world when you can play Farmville for hours or see how many likes your latest picture can accumulate? Why bother making the world a better place when you can log into Facebook or play a video game and forget about the outside world?

Never before in the history of humanity has the general population been more pacified. We are a world obsessed with personal entertainment. It is now cheaper than ever. It does not take much wealth to have a smart phone or television in the modern world. It is said that more people in India have phones than have toilets. Inexpensive and time consuming entertainment is everywhere. Our leisure time is now spent in front of screens instead of with other people. Instead of spending time outdoors, we are stuck in small apartments passing the time with technology in our faces. We constantly hear about issues such as income inequality or crime, but there is little reason for us to care. Why care about such issues when we could instead watch a television show, update our Twitter, log onto a computer game, or check Facebook?


When is the last time you went a whole day without watching television, logging onto Facebook, wasting time on the internet, playing a video game, watching a movie, or using something with a screen other than for making a phone call? Even when people go camping they feel the need to bring technology with them to pass the time. For many, nature is not interesting enough on its own anymore. As a person who loves the outdoors, I think that this is quite sad. I also think that it is quite scary that we live in a world where entertainment has become an idol.   We live in a world where Facebook becomes a hiding place for us and a way for us to escape reality. Ask yourself: Is this a good thing? Is it good that we can run away from reality and put our heads in the sand of Facebook? Is it good that even our children have screens in front of their faces? Is it a good thing that entertainment has become so engrained in our lives? Many of you will probably say that there is nothing wrong with it. But, take a look sometime at the world, and ask if you really think life is better now than it was in the past, before Facebook and smart phones became a pacifier. 

 The good news is that you have the choice to do something about it in your own life.  Get rid of Facebook.  Say "enough is enough."  Tell the world you will not stand for it any longer.  Your life is more precious than spending it stuck behind a screen.  There are better things that you can do with your time.  You only have ONE LIFE.  Why squander it.  Why waste it.  This was not why you were created.  You are worth more than spending your existence on entertainment. 

Contrary to what the world tells you, you do not need to be on Facebook.  Wake up from the slumber of pacification and go out and live.  Do something meaningful with your life.  If you see an injustice in the world, be willing to stand up and do something about it.  You will not be able to do much behind Facebook.  In fact, few are able to do anything about it at all.  It's your choice.  It's now up to you.

Serious about giving up Facebook?  Check out our new checklist of Facebook achievements and goals for making giving up Facebook and (a)social media easier for you to achieve.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Forced to Use Facebook for Work but Don't Want to

Some of my readers have written me in the past and told me that they want to give up Facebook, but due to their job or position, they are required to be on Facebook. At one point, such a thing would have sounded absurd, but I have come to realize that this is the reality for many people in the world. Many jobs require people to be on networks with other people and Facebook is the easiest way to do this. However, many say that because they arerequired to be on Facebook, they end up spending too much time on it. Some even tell me that they would rather not be on it and would not be if they had the choice. So, the question then becomes, how can one minimize their time on Facebook when they are required to have a presence on the site?

There are some ways in which you can minimize your time on Facebook.  If you have been following this site, you have read how I have been stating for a long time that Facebook is often a huge waste of time.  You have read how I stated that Facebook is very depressing, and how Facebook makes us compare our lives with others.  Oftentimes we boast about our lives on Facebook or feel the need (or want) to share everything.  Other times we are bombarded with negative information like politics and it becomes draining. It is  no wonder that many people do not want to be on Facebook at all.  

First, if you do not want to be on Facebook and you really have no choice, you have to be committed to curbing your use of the site.  It is hard.  I know all too well about the pull of Facebook.  Humans enjoy comparing themselves to other people.  It is through comparison that we find out how we measure up and where we stand.  However, much comparison does us no good in the end.  I propose that you set a goal of only using Facebook for business.  What does that mean?  It means not using Facebook at all for personal communication.  This means not being friends with people you went to high school or college with.  It means not friending family members.  It means only using it for business.  Make your profile private.   This may sound extreme, but if you are truly on Facebook for business, you have to make that point known to others.  Tell them that you would not be on Facebook but for being required to by your place of employment or the business that you own.  Tell family members that you want them to contact you by phone, e-mail, or via other more personal types of communication.  If they do not like it, send them here.  Be honest.  There is no reason for you to be ashamed for not wanting to be on Facebook.  In fact, more people should feel good about taking control of how they spend their time.  In the end, you will show others that your time not spent on Facebook has allowed you to do other things in life.  Things that are better for you, your family, and your job - the same on that requires you to be on Facebook.

Next you have to put a limit on the time you spend on Facebook.  Just because you erased your family and friends from Facebook does not mean that you will not spend time comparing yourself to your employees, employers or coworkers.  One way in which you can minimize the time spent on Facebook is to only follow those people who are absolutely essential for your job.  The less people you follow, the less will be on your wall.  With less on your wall, the less time you will feel compelled to use Facebook.  

Remember, limit the amount of time you spend on Facebook.  Only check it for work.  If you do not need to check it, don't.  Constantly remind people that e-mail is the best way for people to contact you.  You can have it so Facebook e-mails you if you get a message on the site.  Only check it when you get a message.  Tell people that you respond quickest to inquiries or to messages if they are sent via e-mail instead of Facebook.  Show the people who follow you on Facebook that you do not use it much.  If people see that you are rarely on, they are likely to do business with you via e-mail or by phone instead of using Facebook.

It is tricky to "have" to use Facebook for work or business, but remember, the amount of time you spend on the site is really up to you.  Set boundaries and follow them.  Even if you are forced to do something that you really do not want to do, you have the right to set boundaries in life.  I hope this helps.  Stay strong!

So, to recap:
  1.  Set a goal to spend less time on Facebook.
  2. Make Facebook less personal: do not friend family members and friends.  Tell them that you will contact them using more personal means, such as phone and email, or in person
  3. Make your profile private.
  4. Limit time spent on Facebook: 10-15 minutes a day should be sufficient.  Do not check it on days that are not necessary.  Treat it like e-mail.  Check it for important posts and leave quickly.  
  5. Follow only the people who are essential.  Do not follow anyone else.  
  6. Do not feel compelled to share private information or post pictures of your life.  You are not there to impress others.  You are there for work.  A profile picture or two is sufficient.  
  7. Keep telling people that e-mail works best for communication.  Tell people that you respond quicker if they contact you via e-mail or phone.
Serious about giving up Facebook?  Check out our new checklist of Facebook achievements and goals for making giving up Facebook and (a)social media easier for you to achieve.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Facebook NEVER Wants You To Leave

Here's an interesting article for those of you who are needing help with time management and who are on the fence about doing something empowering with how you spend your time online.
Facebook never, ever, ever wants you to leave. That’s why it’s replicating features from other apps and pulling content like videos and news articles inside its app. The more time you spend on Facebook, the more it accomplishes its “open and connected” mission, and the more money it makes by showing you ads. Here’s 20 new ways it’s assimilating the Internet, in GIFs and photos.

It is true.  Facebook, like most other websites, wants you to spend as much time possible on their site.  Some would argue that this is merely how a business makes money.  For the most part, that's how businesses on the internet work.  Yet, as people, we have to consider how we spend our own lives and what we do with our time.  Facebook wants you to spend hours at a time on their website, but you have a choice as to whether you will do that.  Facebook has engineers who are doing whatever they can to make the site more addictive.  Do you really want to be addicted to a website?  What about your children?  Do you want your children to grow up being on a website that is addictive and time consuming?

A while back, people used to say that there was no way that the internet could be addictive.  They said that only things like drugs and alcohol could be addictive.  Websites were something everyone could walk away from.  Yet, look at the world, with many people having their phones stuck in front of their faces.  I think it's obvious now that a website can be addictive.  I think it is apparent now that websites like Facebook change how people think.  I think it's also obvious that websites like Facebook make people feel depressed when logging off and we spend much time while away from these sites thinking about something we saw on them earlier.

People Taking a Break From Facebook For a While - Only To Return Shortly After

When I was on Facebook I noticed some people who said that they had to leave for a while because they could not stand what others said.  Those people always seemed to come back, sometimes within hours.  Some would state that they were leaving, but post a few more things before they left.  Sometimes a person would come back to "check" in but state that they were not back yet.  Facebook is incredibly addictive.  For many, it is the internet, and this is how Facebook wants it.  You can do almost everything that you can do on other entertainment websites right in Facebook.  Not only that, but you can share those things with others and see what others are doing.  You do not have to even leave your screen to visit family and friends.  It's an (a)social wonderland!

Do You Have More Important Things To Spend Your Time On?

Every day Facebook is engineering the site to make it harder and harder for you to get away from it. Yet, when you deactivate and leave, you don't really think much about it.  Life goes on.  There's so much to see, to accomplish, to do in the outside world that being on Facebook is such a waste of time.  Are you going to spend your life behind a screen, or do you have something more important to live for?  Do you have goals, dreams, a relationship with God, or something else that is far too important for Facebook?  If so, please share in the comments. 

Serious about giving up Facebook?  Check out our new checklist of Facebook achievements and goals for making giving up Facebook and (a)social media easier for you to achieve.