Facebook: Blessing or Curse? #infographic

Facebook: Blessing or Curse?I had a MasterMind meeting the other day and this question came up, “What’s one activity you wish you could do every day and one thing you could dump, delay, or delegate to make time for that one activity?”

One of my colleagues answered that she wanted to get back into exercising. She has a video she used to watch and exercise by daily, but alas one little “devil” now seemed to interfere with that activity. The one thing she said she would dump in order to make time for exercise? It was time on Facebook!

Yes, that wonderful social network that many now have a love/hate relationship with.

As I sat down to write this post, I came across this infographic posted on Mashable’s site. Research shows that the average person spends over 12 hours a day in front of a screen. OMG!

Facebook: Blessing or Curse?

Take a look and see what you think. Each day, the number of hours spent online using a laptop went from 3 hours in 2010, to slightly more than 5 hours in 2013. Granted, that time isn’t only on social media, but notice that the breakdown shows social media as the #1 activity we’re doing online.

I have to admit, I think I have become slightly “addicted” (though not enough for a 12-step program) as it seems I spend more time on it than I did a year ago. To me, it has its merits and there are times it has definitely been a blessing (see this post about my dog Ike and how Facebook helped me when he passed on). Other times, like my colleague who wants to exercise, I find it’s an activity I can certainly delay in order to enjoy more time away from the computer.

So are you addicted to the screen? Is Facebook (or another social network) a blessing or a curse in your life? Please share you comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

Debra Jason

Marketing & writing with heart, not hype at at The Write Direction
A recipient of the “Creative Person of the Year” award, Debra educates and empowers creative solopreneurs and enthusiastic business owners to create a lifestyle business that provides them with the flexibility, fun and freedom to do what they love. She also inspires you to communicate your marketing message in a way that captivates and converts your prospects into loyal, raving fans - even if you have been struggling with how to transform your ideas into words in the past.

Comments

  1. In some ways, FB makes me feel more connected, even though I’m sitting here at my desk. But I realized that it was time to go out an meet REAL live people. That’s made a big difference in my mood, and hopefully, my business! It was a stress relief to get out from behind the computer!

  2. Hi Debra. I’ve been spending that much time on my computer since the early 90s when I was a computer programmer! Now, at least the time I’m spending is interacting with people that are interesting to me rather than “bits and bites.”

    That being said, it’s really important not to get lost in the ever expanding world of information that we can get on the Internet. One thing that I do is schedule in time every day in the morning, afternoon and evening to be computer free. I get really specific with that time too. For example in the morning, that’s my fun reading time. In the afternoon I take a walk with my dog. And in the evening it’s time with the family. I found that by scheduling in specific “non computer time “and specifying how I will use that time insures that I’m spending it the way I really want to.
    Stephanie Calahan recently posted…8 Ways to Get More Speaking GigsMy Profile

    • What I love about Facebook (and other social networks) is that it does connect me with people I may not meet otherwise. After all, that’s how you and I met (and what fun we had when we got to meet in-person as well).
      Like you, I decided it’s important for me to schedule some time to step away from the computer to enjoy things like a walk outside, a dance class, or to meet up with friends.
      I bet your sweet little Danny is VERY pleased that you take time out to walk him every day and of course, time with family is precious.
      Thanks for sharing.
      ~Debra

  3. Yikes, this is me. I feel obligated to go through the many posts on Facebook and Twitter and share and retweet. It seems only fair for the support I’m given everyday to get my message out to the world. Some days though, it becomes an excuse not to do other work. One of the days I’ll find the best balance.
    Julia Neiman recently posted…What Tools Are in Your Business Toolbox?My Profile

    • I understand what you’re saying Julia. It is great to share the love on social networks, but when it gets in the way of being productive, it may be time to re-evaluate.
      As you said, there is a balance. Here’s to finding what works best for you.
      Thanks.
      ~Debra

  4. Ann Covey says:

    I ask myself this question everyday 🙂

    This is a great infographic, thanks for sharing it.

    ~ Ann Covey

  5. I started using a timer when doing anything with social media. It helps me do what I need to faster and also not get lost wandering around. Time flies away from you when you are on the computer.

    • Michelle, I was just talking with colleagues the other day about using a timer. For me, the purpose was to get off the computer, in general, and take a break (i.e. walk outside, yoga, lunch, stretch). I think it’s a great idea to set the timer for getting on & off social media too.
      Thanks for the helpful tip.
      ~Debra

  6. Like eating that can be either healthy or a mindless search for fulfillment, social media can be a blessing and a curse. It’s certainly a great biz tool, opportunity to explore, gain insight and connect with interesting and loved people. And, it can be a means to delay, turn off the brain and do something that requires little of us instead of the more challenging work or conversations awaiting our attention. I guess the important issue is knowing when you’ve crossed the line from one to another and maintain mastery over both

  7. I have to admit Facebook has never been my favorite social media site. I tend to like Twitter and LinkedIn more.
    Toni Nelson recently posted…3 Reasons you want people commenting on your blogMy Profile

    • Hi Toni, while the blog focuses on Facebook in the title, the infographic mentions “social media” in general. Whichever is one’s social network of choice, there is a balance to be found between spending time on them (on the computer) and getting out from behind the computer and networking face-to-face.
      Thanks.
      ~Debra

  8. Facebook is neither good nor bad really. It’s all about how we choose to use it. I enjoy the connectedness of it and how I can meet fabulous people via the groups. At the same time if I am not aware I can certainly spend more than my share of time on there. It does seem to have some sort of time vortex but not as bad (at least for me) as Pinterest! 🙂

    We just need to be aware of the choices we are making and decide what works best for us. I have to admit I was shocked to read that the average person spends 12 hours a day in front of a screen. That is most of our waking hours! Far too much in my personal opinion.
    Bonnie Copeland Coaching recently posted…The Ego’s PathMy Profile

    • I agree Bonnie. There’s no right or wrong. When I first got on Pinterest, I found it addicting. Now, I’d like to think I found a balance.
      It is amazing to read that, on the average, 1/2 a day is spent in front of a screen (whether it’s a TV, laptop, smartphone, etc.). While the connectedness online is fun, so are the connections we make offline!
      Thanks.
      ~Debra

  9. I spend less time watching TV but more on my tablet and laptop/desktop. For me, Facebook and other networks are a blessing. I’m thankful to have access to them to be able to build my business from home in a way that I never could without them. 🙂
    Michelle Shaeffer recently posted…BlogMy Profile

    • I don’t own a TV Michelle so I definitely spend more time on my laptop/desktop than any other device(s). I absolutely agree that the blessing of Facebook is the network of colleagues & friends you can connect with (who you may not have met otherwise). Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!
      🙂
      ~Debra

  10. I so remember life before the computer, the iphone and the tablets and facebook! I almost feel as though they are a bit of both, curse and blessing. I think it is a blessing because we are so connected to people all over the world and that is wonderful. However, this stuff is distracting and addicting. It wasn’t so bad until I began facebook last year for a class I was taking. Then it just spiraled from there until I now have a fanpage that is worked on everyday…twice a day. That’s why I only use facebook for social media…enough is enough!
    Belinda Rose recently posted…The Wisdom Our Cats Teach UsMy Profile

  11. I definitely have a love hate relationship with Facebook. I love finding out what my friends and family are doing and being a part of their lives. I also love using Facebook for my business. At the same time though, I wonder if I really need to know what my friends and family are doing. I also wonder if I’m losing the personal one on one touch. This is a hard one to navigate. Thanks for bring up this discussion!
    Minling recently posted…What to do when your plans failMy Profile

    • I think you still have that one-on-one with Facebook (especially with Private Messaging). However, there is nothing quite like the one-on-one time you get face–to-face or even during a phone call. I think either option is much more personal and intimate because not everything belongs on Facebook. Some things are better left unsaid online!
      Thanks.
      ~Debra

  12. Great article, Debra! Such a great question! I used to avoid FB like the plague, and am just now starting to get into it a bit more, and learning how to use FB for business, but I think my addiction lies more in emails and videos! Yowzers! I’m definitely one of the 5 hours per day crew! I want to reduce that and work more efficiently… Merci!!! Wonderful as always!
    eyenie recently posted…Jetsetting, Neon Dresses & Low Pain Thresholds: Women Living in NEON! Interview with The Social Media DJ Jo Westwood!My Profile

    • Bonjour mon amie, it is a thought-provoking question, isn’t it? Good luck in reducing your hours online. I need to do more videos. I started and then stopped, which I know is not a good idea. Thanks for the reminder.
      Merci beaucoup
      ~Debra

  13. I find FB amazing in some ways and also a huge distraction. I’ve connected with wonderful people on a few forums I’m in—and even met them in person and we’ve become great friends, plus I’ve made many business connections. But on the other hand I can go down that FB rabbit hole of reading to many posts. I’m grateful for FB but definitely have to keep it in check.
    Tracey Ceurvels recently posted…A dream in the making {Coriander-crusted sea bass}My Profile

    • I hear ya Tracey. It’s fabulous when you get to meet someone face-to-face after you connected online (whether on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.). It’s happen to me several times. I love it.
      Thanks.
      ~Debra

  14. Social media is a fabulous platform to engage and create deeper relationships, both personally and professionally. As a virtual assistant, FB is a necessary evil to be able to network, connect and collaborate. I feel you need to be disciplined enough to tune out and turn off when necessary as it can become a real time suck if you are not mindful.

    I certainly enjoy my “online family” and circle of clients, that never would have been possible without social media.

    • Right on Suzie. Facebook has its advantages when it comes to building relationships, not only with an “online family” professionally, but with peeps who are members of your personal family (but are many miles away).
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
      ~Debra

  15. If there’s a difference between “addiction” and “habit,” I’d say I’m in the latter column. I find myself picking up the phone and mindlessly checking social media — but it’s not so much an irresistable compulsion. I could certainly be more disciplined about it, though — and I know the kids are watching so I’m working on it. 🙂
    Jessica recently posted…Sit Happens (if you want to be healthy, anyway)My Profile

  16. I have a rule that if an activity or product starts showing signs of creating time wasting activity or addictive habits, I go cold turkey!

    It’s happened with my relationship with Facebook and Blackberry and the only way out was a 2 prong approach. The first thing I did was to remove my Blackberry service so that I would not have access to social media without my laptop and the second was to actually do a Facebook hibernation!

    I make it a rule to check in only 2-3 times a day and that too for 12 minutes.Oh, and I stopped playing Mind Jolt games. 🙂
    Vatsala Shukla recently posted…Nirbhaya, when did we forget that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world?My Profile

  17. I often think about what we did before Facebook. I mean we had to be doing something important with that time right? I’ve been trying on the weekends to avoid social media all together. I still wind up playing games though.
    Tai Goodwin recently posted…Suspect Sales Strategies: The Six-Figure ShuffleMy Profile

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