This morning my local NBC station had a news item about average Facebook use increasing in 2011 by about two hours per month over 2010 usage. They billed it as ‘Facebook addiction,’ but how can you tell if you’re addicted when you can say you’re using Facebook for business use?
Addiction of any kind is nothing to take likely; if you, a friend, or a loved one is in need of assistance to overcome addiction’s psychological or physical pull, please seek appropriate help in the form of a hotline, qualified counselor, or mental health resource. Help is there if you ask for it.
That said, it does appear that social media and Facebook have joined the long list of addiction possibilities, and a recent study indicated that not only are many people checking email first thing in the morning, they’re also sleeping with their mobile phone either on the bed or nightstand.
A 2010 Philadelphia ABC news report interviewed a self-professed ‘Facebook addict’ who logs 56 hours weekly on the site, sometimes only getting three hours of sleep nightly in order to get her ‘fix.’
The news report also features a book on the topic. Facebook Addiction: The Life & Times of Social Networking Addicts, by Nnamdi Osuagwu, is a fictional work depicting characters involved in social networking activities, and incorporating actual news articles from the New York Daily News. With very positive Amazon.com customer reviews, it seems the book has struck a chord, examining the parallels between extreme social networking and chemical addiction.
It’s one thing to get sucked into online social networking during personal hours, but what about when it’s business? Can a Facebook addiction masquerade as a dedication to building bigger and better horsebiz results?
If you’re concerned about your Facebook and social media use, here are a few tips to start reining things in:
- Set limits on how much time you’ll spend on Facebook, and social media, each day or week.
- Review your analytics to be sure you’re heading in the direction you want to go.
- Ask yourself if the time spent on social media is translating into real-life results, such as new customers or sales, project partners, or useful connections, or if it’s just siphoning time away from other, more important activities.
Only you can determine if your Facebook use is helping you meet your horsebiz networking and marketing goals, but this 15-question Facebook Compulsion Inventory, developed by North Carolina-based therapist Paula Pile MA, LMFT, LPA, can help you get a handle on your level of involvement and whether there’s any cause for concern.
The bottom line is that Facebook can be a useful tool, connecting like-minded individuals over shared interests and activities. I like the changes in the past year that have allowed for more custom branding, instead of the ‘we’re all Facebook’ look that used to be the sole option. What’s key is in managing time and making Facebook, and social media, work for you instead of against you.
Kemp Equine’s Facebook business Page is now up and rolling! You can connect with us here: Facebook.com/KempEquine
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