Let's face it. How many people do you know doesn't have a Facebook profile? But, do we really need it?

Facebook is for personal, social networking needs. In a tame description, its for keeping in touch with friends and family. In a wild manner, its for dating and getting hookups. This is a great target for advertisers, for product marketing, etc. Everyone is just there! (except probably your seniors)

But, what do you really get from using Facebook?

I have my own account. I keep it bare. I don’t like putting in information that the “real friends” already know of. I used to almost put everything inside Facebook, until I realised the irony of it. People add people for hoarding great number of “friends” online. People put in too much information that actually no one wants (needs) to know. Worst.. people take advantage of anything you say and do.

Identity thefts, social engineering for financial thefts, bullying... It is now getting abused. I have learned how to keep off cyber networks to protect myself and my loved ones. Maybe one day, I’ll build a social networking site that doesn’t put any of your data anywhere online. “Set an appointment with me. Let’s have coffee!”

So, in order to divert my precious time from being sucked away by this network, I tried several things. I’d list them down and tell you what worked and what failed.

  • Deactivate your Facebook account. Yep, crazy idea. You know you’ll be back. You might as well turn off emails, and other notifications instead. Don’t let Facebook autopilot you. Make it a manual, optional activity. #fail
  • Deactivate Facebook app from your phone. This kinda worked, until families kept asking: “Did you see my recent post?”, or friends who’d say: “Where were you? You missed this event!”. #fail

When you do deactivate your Facebook app from the phone, you might as well turn on something else. If you don’t you’ll feel like you want to go back to Facebook browsing to fill in your idle time. STOP.

i. Try installing GooglePlus. It is a healthier community without your usual selfies on Facebook. You can join “communities” that whet your appetite and interest. ii. Install more games iii. Install book applications like Wattpad, Aldiko, and even browse Google Books via the Play Store.

  • Can’t keep off Facebook? Get a routine. Mine used to be twice a day. In the morning, then at night before bed. Catch up with friends, see what’s happening that needs attention. Now its once a day for me. #success

This also helped friends and loved ones get in touch with me through “real” communication. Facebook is not a conduit or replacement for text messaging or phone calls or invitations! Email is still best for invitations. An SMS or call is even more of a bonding than Facebook chat/messenger.

  • Set medium term to long term priorities. Who do you want to be in the future? How do you want people to perceive you online? Invest in information that deserves attention. Circle yourself with the things that interest you. Not only does this keep brain cells from deteriorating, it also sparks your interest in innovating or exploring more. You’ll see more of the world that is connected via the web, in a daily manner. #ultrasuccess

An example of setting priorities could be: i. Be more of a book reader. Subscribe to channels and feeds of categories that you love to read. Set a budget and a schedule for buying books. Don’t go shopping recreationally! ii. Be more of a blogger. Set your desired number of posts every week / every month. Stick to it! iii. Swim more. An exercise routine that doesn’t hurt, but gives great benefit. Set an hour a day to swim and get back to your routine. iv. Web reading. Find the channels that suit your interest.

    • a. You’ll find that Pulse, StumbleUpon have great Smartphone apps that could help you.
    • b. In my case, I love BlinkFeed on my HTC One.
    • c. Twitter and LinkedIn are also great sources for news. I use it to follow interesting people, read and share articles that relate to my interests.
Now, my daily routine involves reading morning and night. In the middle of the day, is more like anything goes. I have a fixed time for swimming and I work around it. I have time to meet friends anytime and still be productive at work.

There you go. I ditched Facebook as timesink. I went on to reading “real” news, “real” information that benefit me in many ways! I think, so should you!