Ah, Facebook. The social media platform I have the biggest love/hate relationship with of all. I love it because it affords us a way of communicating with our people and a relatively simple way of building a community of rad folk like you.
But UGH. I really really dislike using it personally, and post to my private, non-work profile pretty infrequently. It just grates on me, and the hours of time I’ve wasted over the years of looking at holiday photos of people I went to high school with just makes me a bit mad, you know?
It’s undeniable that I do use it frequently for work, though, which means I need to monitor my use of it pretty closely so that I don’t tip in to the mindless scrolling mode that made me dislike Facebook in the first place. So in today’s episode Ben and I discuss the different measures we’ve put in place over the past couple of years to ensure Facebook stays in its box and doesn’t impose on parts of work or life that it doesn’t need to.
Ben’s only just gotten back on to Facebook after many years away, solely to assist me in the running of the Slow Your Home page and the online retreat group. He has zero friends (me included) and has no problem in keeping it at arm’s length and keeping his personal life off the internet.
A few years ago I made the decision to no longer accept friend requests from people I didn’t know personally, and that, paired with our decision to keep our kids and personal lives off Facebook means that it’s largely not a privacy issue any more. It’s just a time issue. So I’ve also been happily reducing the number of people I follow, and feel completely free to unfriend or mute those who’s posts are troubling. We might be on these social media platforms because we feel like it’s a requirement (it’s not, but I get it) but that’s not to say we don’t have a certain level of power over what gets in front of our faces when we log on.
When it comes to work, Facebook is by far the biggest consideration for us. It’s where the majority of our audience spends time, so it’s important that we show up. The key is doing so in a way that works for us too. In order to maintain control on our time, over the past couple of years I’ve been instigating the following strategies. Like anything we’re not perfect at it (far from it actually) but generally they allow us to strike a balance between being available and being offline:
- schedule new podcast posts ahead of time
- schedule occasional articles from other sites
- I’ve created an auto-response for anyone who writes to us on Facebook, explaining that we can’t always reply to every message
- I try to log in at least once a day and respond to as many as I can but it doesn’t always happen.
I believe we’re all still trying to find a way of balancing social media and mindful living, but what I’ve learnt over the last couple of years is that doing things just because we’re told they’re the “right thing to do” isn’t a good enough reason to stress ourselves out with constant connection. Like anything, the more mindful and intentional we are about our choices and actions the more likely we’ll be to strike a balance that works for us personally.
How do you use Facebook? Do you find it overwhelming or comforting? Do you have any boundaries on it, or dip in and out as needed?
Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:
- If you’re not already following Slow Your Home on Facebook you can find us here.
- SLOW, my brand new book is now available in Australia and New Zealand! (US and Canada, Spring 2018) Head over here for details.
- Destination Simple is now available in North America! Grab a copy here.