My name is Dr K and I am a Facebook addict. I confess to having spent many hours on Facebook skipping important activities. Fortunately, recent research shows that we can significantly benefit from your time online on Social Media.
You heard me right! Spend more time on Facebook! Research shows that people who feel connected with their family and friends and share even trivial aspects of daily life are happier and less stressed than “disconnected” people. Even introverts benefit from connections to the people they are closest to.
Disclaimer: Before you go on a Facebook binge, I will warn you that Facebook can be a big time-waster. I do not have Facebook on my phone and I have to login and out of Facebook on my laptop to access latest messages and updates. This reduces my Facebook time considerably. I also do not access Facebook at all on Saturdays.
OK – proceed further with caution! 🙂
Here are three ways to enhance your Facebook connections:
- Make time for quality interactions with your family and friends. It is not enough to add a quick note on FB on a person’s birthday. Make a special effort to think about the person and write a detailed birthday note in their timeline or by private messaging.
- Use your FB status frequently and wisely. Use the FB status to ask for advice and help. Use this opportunity to reciprocate. Support your family and friends efforts, do random acts of kindness and leverage FB to enhance your giving nature.
- Like and follow your passions in Face Book. Do you like calligraphy? Do you enjoy movies? Find FB groups and contribute regularly to these groups.
There are two major categories of support that a good group of close family members and friends can provide you a) emotional and social support b) information on important decisions. Do not underestimate the value of the support, information and help that you provide to your network too! It feels good to help and support other people!
BUT make sure you are aware of key challenges with using Facebook regularly.
- Be mindful of any objectionable or indecent material that you post or read daily.
Irrespective of FB privacy settings, there is always a possibility that private and personal information you post can be become public knowledge.
- Remove FB from your phone. Make it a mindful activity to login into your face book and log out rather than keep it on all the time. Facebook can become a distraction or a tool to promote procrastination on important tasks of your life.
- Learn to unfriend toxic friends and family members – If you are in a stage in life, where particular friends or family members are being a bother or a challenge, remove them from your list of friends and avoid online interactions and provide them an avenue of communication online.
J Vitak, NB Ellison ‘There’s a network out there you might as well tap’: Exploring the benefits of and barriers to exchanging informational and support-based resources on Facebook – new media & society, 2013
Köbler, Felix and Riedl, Christoph and Vetter, Céline and Leimeister, Jan Marco and Krcmar, Helmut, Social Connectedness on Facebook: An Explorative Study on Status Message Usage (July 16, 2010). Proceedings of 16th Americas Conference on Information Systems, 2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1641178