Facebook once per day [EXPERIMENT]

You didn’t know this (unless you happened to check my Doing page recently), but for the past few days I’ve been trying a simple Facebook experiment:

Rules

  • Visit Facebook once per day
  • Stay as long as you want
  • Don’t come back again the same day

For some of you, maybe most of you, this wouldn’t be all that radical of a change. Before this experiment, though, I visited Facebook a lot. I’d check in the morning. I’d check before bed. I’d check when I got home from anywhere. And I’d check whenever I got back on the computer (and I’m on the computer a lot). That adds up.

I was probably visiting Facebook seven times a day.

To get some context, think of something you do once each day, like taking a shower for instance. Now imagine cutting that down from seven times per week to one time per week. That’s how much of a cut I did for Facebook, from seven to one.

Observations

It was surprisingly difficult. The temptation wasn’t too strong. It was just difficult because I constantly thought about it.

If you do anything seven times per day, it means you’re doing it roughly once every two hours you’re awake. When you stop, though, you think about it even more often than that.

For example, if I would normally check Facebook at noon, I wouldn’t just forget about it until 2:00 PM, my next normal check point. Instead, I’d think about it at 12:10, remembering that I hadn’t gotten my 12:00 o’clock fix. In other words, a missed checkpoint wouldn’t make my desire to check go away. In fact, it would remind me all the more. And so it would go.

This happens with most addictions really. Every time I try to change a habit, I notice it. The nice thing, though, is that I probably wouldn’t have remembered to write about it if I hadn’t purposely set up this experiment to write about it. (I guess this is turning into an experiment within an experiment).

One of the other big lessons I’ve learned with habit change is to work in opposites. It’s not enough to quit something. You have to fill it with something else.

For me for now, this means reading books. I have a bunch I’m trying to finish before moving to Korea, so I’ve been keeping them handy (and enjoying them).

The only other thing I can think to mention right now is that I definitely enjoy Facebook more when I do visit. I anticipate it more and have more notifications when I check.

All around, I enjoy it. And I think I’ll stick with it. (But I was pretty sure about that before I even started… because of my next experiment.) 🙂

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