You’re driving in your car, and you pull up to a stop light. You have time to kill, about 30 seconds or so. Instead of just taking a moment to breathe, reflect, or better yet – pay attention to traffic, you decide to pull out your phone and check Facebook. Before you know it, cars are moving, the light has changed to green, and the guy behind you is laying on the horn for you to go.
Listen – I love Facebook. Why? I live in Florida with my wife and daughter, while the rest of my family lives in Middle Tennessee and North Alabama. It is a simple, easy, and fun way to send pictures and update each other on life and activities. However, recently, I’ve noticed that social media is starting to take more and more of a stranglehold on my time.
Ephesians 5:15-16 says “Be very careful then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity.” Time is a treasure we’ve been given by God, and I dare say He didn’t plan on us spending our days glued to a screen staring at social media.
Recent studies done by various time management groups show that as of March 2017, adults ages 18 and over spend 2 hours and 51 minutes on their smart phones every day. Now, if you’re doing business, that’s one thing – but most aren’t. In fact, 1 hour and 56 minutes of that time is spent on various social media outlets. Broken down –
- 40 Minutes on Youtube
- 35 Minutes on Facebook
- 25 Minutes on Snapchat
- 15 Minutes on Instagram
- 1 minute on Twitter
Now, your mileage may be coming from different sources, but reality is – this is a problem. Over a lifetime this equals upwards of 5 years and 4 months spent on social media.
Do you want to know what I think are the real dangers with things like Facebook, and other social media outlets? It never ends. When you read a book, eventually, there’s a final chapter, a final page. When you watch a show, or a movie, it ends. But log into social media and start scrolling — and there is no end.
Recently, I rediscovered something that is very useful in social media usage – and it’s called “Social Fixer.” If you’re using your desktop/laptop to scroll through Facebook, I highly suggest you download this today. It will take back your time, while still allowing you to scroll through and enjoy. In essence, it gives you control of Facebook.
For example, in the top left corner of your facebook page, you can set your stories from “Top Stories” to “Most Recent.” But did you know that Facebook will automatically reset it to Top Stories after a while? Why? Because if you have it set on Most Recent, it doesn’t keep popping up as much new material for you. And you know what that would do? It would cause you to stop scrolling.
Social Fixer – along with having some really cool filters, fixes it so it maintains that “Most Recent” setting, along with a lot of other great things.
- It can remove the ads that are on Facebook.
- It can filter out posts – such as political posts, posts with certain words, etc.
- You have the ability to “check off” that you’ve read a post, therefore keeping it from popping up again.
- You can set how many posts it will show you, to keep it from going into an infinite loop of regurgitating things.
For example, look at this screen shot. This shows how it hides ads, how I’ve read a post and it minimizes the post, how I’ve hidden something I don’t ever want to see again, but most importantly – it shows how it has stopped loading stories for me. This is a GREAT tool on how to limit your time on Facebook.
I’ve seen people “quit” Facebook. I don’t think that’s a great idea. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – these are all great tools if used the right way.
Psalm 90:10 tells us that are days are numbered – 70, maybe 80 years – they quickly pass. And in verse 12 it tells us to number our days aright that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Use social media, but use it the right way. If you need to delete it off your phone – DO SO! If you find yourself spending countless hours scrolling through something that simply doesn’t matter in the long run, get rid of it. If you get upset over what your friends are posting – don’t look at it. Unfollow people if necessary – or simply learn to appreciate other people’s opinions no matter how different they are from yours.
But at the end of your life, don’t look back and say “I should have spent less time scrolling and more time _________________.”