Is interesting how Facebook slowly takes over your life.

I am a loyal person. Very loyal. I was first in Friendster and said will be loyal to it but only until messages after messages came inviting me to Facebook – finally, I gave in and registered an account to see what has it got. Surprisingly simple to use, easy to connect and a heaven of Internet “bookrmarks” ie you can share and tag a photo, video or note, or even synchronise with a blog, twitter, plurk; inviting friends to an event even knowing the RSVPs, joining a group or fan page, even for business connections. Facebook statuses now serve as a quicker, speedier, more accurate news updates than newspaper or TV news.

Then slowly, internet games where you connect and socialize with friends. I must admit I know a lot of new, close friends when playing one of the games, Farmville of course! While it takes up much of my time, I slowly need self discipline to control myself. Fortunately, I have strong self-control.

Last Tuesday I have decided not to go to www.facebook.com for 7 days. Boy, the first hour of that decision was difficult but then I blended in – by reading, spending time with dog, cook for family, write some articles, research some knowledge, getting more information on dogs, going to office, play badminton…. wow imagine the bonding back to real physical life!

However, as there are comments by friends on my activities still dropping via email, I find a few questioned my 7-day-no-facebook determination. Many thought I have logged in but in fact I merely shared links via youtube and websites, became a fan via fan box in a website and updating my twitter – which appear at the status! Wow… even NOT logging on www.facebook.com – doing daily activities on the web will update the Facebook wall – imagine how Facebook has controlled our lives. Almost every other websites you visited – has “Share on Facebook”, “Become a Fan” or even “Join us on Facebook”.

No doubt Internet is one thing that I may not be able to do 7-day-no-Internet thingy. I have been to a 10-day meditation retreat thinking it will be great to stop from Internet as laptops were not allowed but my PDA has EDGE! Alas….

But today is the 5th day I successfully abstained from www.facebook.com. 2 more days I can log in back. How I did it? I have tried scheduling my calendar to specific time or hours of the day only for facebooking – failed. I have tried only certain days – full day facebooking, other days NO facebook – failed. I have tried reading – failed. I am a person who must be treated with super drastic change. So how..?

1. Determined in the mind that I will abstain from Facebook and announce it to the world – I put on my status! Take stock how much time you are spending on facebook and try imagine what you have always wanted to do if not for facebook blocking that time – ie going for a movie, shopping for family, walking the dog, teaching the dog new tricks, cooking for family, calling some friends to reconnect, viewing some properties, learning money management, reading…. lots of things!

2. Remove facebook from bookmarks – it never pops up in front of you – the lesser the better – none pop up  the best

3. Think of ONE alternative word for facebook ie BOOK and have it so many with you. So when I thought of facebook or the itchy finger would like to type www.facebook.com, I think of BOOK and I grab the book I was reading half way and continue reading. I even have that book in my handbag just in case I thought of facebook while driving – I’m PDA connected! I am only about 3 chapters away from finishing the book now! Amazing how things get done without much facebook.

4. Arranged my time with outings – Yesterday I went for a dialogue, then to the Grand Opening of Monavie, then to PAWS Mission looking at dogs and I purposely stayed there for dinner, shop around till night, came back to train and play with my Beagle and then bathe and all I have was time to sleep. No facebook for another day, yay!

My purpose of facebook-fasting is not to abstain it forever but to completely cut down the time on facebook and then slowly increasing to an hour a day. Yes, facebook can never disappear from our lives now but if we do not control our lives, most likely Facebook will!

4 Responses to Control Your Life BEFORE Facebook Does It!

  1. Axiao says:

    go for a holiday where no internet access is available…no fb for sure!!

  2. Sue Ann Tan says:

    Hi Hoong Ling,
    I love your post. Super true! I feel emptiness if I don’t go into facebook in just one day. Even though I rarely post links, send message and play games but by just reading other people’s status satisfy my needs. I wonder why!! It is until the extent that I felt like cutting off completely from FB (felt like deleting my FB account) to stop the addiction!! But, I think both of us can’t cut-off completely from FB as we still need the social networking function. 🙁 But, after reading your post, I will know what I can do to decrease the level of my addictioon towards FB! Thanks so much! You rock!

  3. 张玉燕 says:

    Hi There, I’m glad that some people like you realized that FB is trying to control people’s life. I once like many out there got addicted to the Farmville and chat with friends until one day my identity got stolen. I then contacted FB administrator but had no luck of fixing that. I don’t know who and how they did it by using my name to post messenges on all of my friends’ wall. Finally, I decided to cancel my account. It is very interesting that after I canceled my account, FB still contacting me by email to remind me that I still have 30 days to change my mind. Once I closed my account, I had never went back to Facebook as it is quite scarry to me.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Every thing back on control, nobody can control me instead of myself. I do stuck in fb, take a fresh air go elaborate all your points. Then suddenly my fb account blacklisted. That is good for me, i know something fb can’t do. Facebook kills most of people like me. I would donate a fund raiser to damage Mark Zulkerberg. We have this sucker everywhere lurks especially dark. Becareful my friends, they sucks your blood. Just becareful, that’s all.

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