Six Tips to Prevent Facebook Burnout 35


So, we all know that Facebook is the voyeur of this decade.  We can turn on our digital devices and look into other people’s lives without them really knowing. The problem? The stuff that we view on Facebook is heavily edited and weighted towards perfection.  This can lead to Facebook burnout.  

Facebook Burnout

You see a post with a beautiful four-course home-cooked meal:

My family hasn’t had a home-cooked meal like all year!

You see the vacation your friend recently went on…for the third time this year.

We couldn’t afford to go on vacation this year…

You see the beautiful pictures they post of their children.

How come my kids never keep their hair combed in a picture?

You see the post on the perfect birthday. The party, the dinner, the presents, the friends.

Great…

And on and on…

And, the comparison and self-esteem depletion goes on and on.

Some may say that if someone struggles with Facebook, then it is their own insecurity. It is their own problem.  There is some truth to that, but honestly, these are our friends we are talking about. We all have imperfections and insecurities. We can all show a little more kindness and empathy online.

Reflecting

I believe Facebook is supposed to be a social network, which means, a place to get to know one another and keep in contact, not a place to compete, feel depleted and insecure.  So, here are a few tips to be more Facebook Friendly and prevent Facebook burnout:

1.  Be Friendly First

Humans want to connect, but they really want to know this one thing first:

Are you interested in getting to know me?

If someone feels that you are truly interested in them, then they are more likely to be friendly.  So, if you truly want to connect with others on Facebook, do this one thing:

Be a real friend.

Don’t just post stuff about yourself.  Like and comment on other people’s updates. Wish them a happy birthday. Congratulate them on their accomplishments. Show interest. And, don’t just do it on Facebook. Be a friend in real life. You know: face-to-face. Facebook does not make up for real-life interaction. If you are lucky enough to see a Facebook friend at the store, be sure to say hello.  

2. Post family friendly stuff.

I like to see updates. I like to see pictures. I love the funny videos and silly tests, but I also think it is important to be family friendly.  I can’t tell you how often my little ones will crawl up on my lap when I am checking Facebook.

Sadly, I have learned there are some videos that I won’t click on because I have experienced the panicked: Where is the BACK button??? while watching a video with a little one in my lap.

I really don’t want to explain what that four-letter-word means to my five-year-old.  If you are going to post something less family friendly, put a warning in your post.  

3. Give the benefit of the doubt.

If you have a complaint about someone’s post, my best advice is this: give them the benefit of the doubt.  It is like trying to communicate emotionally through a text message; there is so much context that is lost online. You cannot hear a tone of voice. You cannot see and interpret body language.  Don’t be too quick to jump to judgment, and certainly don’t jump on the bandwagon of contention.

Now, there are some places and some Facebook pages where disagreement and being argumentative is encouraged, and if you visit there and understand the rules, then by all means, do your worst.

But, in general, people like to be liked.  They want to be given the benefit of the doubt. 

Practice giving it.  You will become a bigger person for doing so.

Heart

 

4.  Please, please, please…

Don’t correct someone’s grammar on Facebook.

Maybe this is my pet peeve.  But, most people do not correct another’s grammar in person, so why do we think it is o.k. to do it on Facebook, where anyone and everyone can see and laugh into their computer screens? 

I love to see words correctly used and spelled as much as anyone, but why do we have to point it out publicly?

It is just not nice, people. We all make  mistakes. We all type too quickly or misremember how to spell a word.  Give us a little leeway — please!

5. Remember, there is this thing called Perfection Distortion.

Facebook posts are only a fraction of what happens in other’s lives. We only see a small part of their very real life. Don’t compare yourself. Remind yourself that it isn’t all real. It isn’t all perfect, and that you are only viewing a part of the picture.

It is so easy to judge and compare when you only see a portion.  It is like those perfect Christmas letters that we used to get, only we get them every day, updated regularly. You only see the good stuff.  Nobody really tells you when their kid got busted for drugs, their dinner burned for the third night that week, or that they just had a miscarriage.  Even though they posted great pictures of that perfect birthday where they went out to eat, had family over and got great gifts, they omitted that they yelled at the kids and cried themselves to sleep.  

Remember that we look through only a portion of the window when we are on Facebook. It’s not the entire picture.

Let’s avoid Perfection Distortion.

Perfection Distortion

 

6.  If you really want to be nice and be real on Facebook…

Take a break.

Let it be.

Don’t check it for a day…or at least for several hours.

When you take a break from something, then go back again, you can see it with fresh eyes.  Look at what “image” you are presenting. Are you Perfect Patty? Are you Gloomy Glen? Are you Feel-Bad-For-Me Fran? Are you Superior Sarah? Are you reaching out and being a real friend?

Are you interested in others?

Take a break and then view yourself from the outside.  What are you presenting?

 

So, how do you feel about Facebook? Any tips to share?

Leave a comment below.

And, if you really liked this article, share it!! I always love it when you share!

Sharing

 Have a beautiful day! And, be sure to say hi to me on Facebook!

 

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Elizabeth

Wife, mother of twins, speaker, and creator of Balm to My Soul.I love to write, speak, sleep, snuggle and, if I really get lucky, inspire and help others. I am clearly imperfect but determined to be a little better every day. Some days are better than others! Thanks for stopping by!
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About Elizabeth

Wife, mother of twins, speaker, and creator of Balm to My Soul. I love to write, speak, sleep, snuggle and, if I really get lucky, inspire and help others. I am clearly imperfect but determined to be a little better every day. Some days are better than others! Thanks for stopping by!


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35 thoughts on “Six Tips to Prevent Facebook Burnout

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      Thanks Julie. I wholeheartedly agree. Thanks for stopping over. Off to visit your pregnancy post! 🙂

  • Reply
    Brittany Bullen

    Great reminders, Elizabeth. Facebook is weird, isn’t it? On the one hand it provides a needed connection between us and the friends we rarely see, but on the other hand, it drives us to make unrealistic comparisons of our worst to others’ best. That’s why conversations like the one you started here are so important– to help us remember that we’re not the only ones out there who feel that way.

    Hope you’re having a great day!

    Brittany

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      Yes, I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. It can be so great, but can also be a drama center. I love the needed connection, especially in this busy world. Thanks for always stopping over. I really do appreciate it!!

  • Reply
    Ana Lynn

    It’s so easy to get caught up in the whole keeping up with the Joneses on Facebook and on Pinterest as well. And I’ve seen a lot of drama on Facebook too and I have been tempted a number of times to send messages to those people and tell them to discuss things privately. I didn’t though. That’s one thing that annoys me more than anything on Facebook.
    I got over my comparing issues before I joined Facebook so I don’t fall into that trap. But I do know some who are still subject to it and I try to tell them every time that the grass is not always greener on the other side.

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      You always seem to be able to rise above Ana. I am certain that is because of certain lessons in life you have already lived through and learned from. You have a wise perspective, and I admire that. Thanks for always being so supportive. I have been off and on the grid lately and am trying to catch some time to get back on board! PS Loved your MadMimi review!

  • Reply
    Lauren Tamm

    This is such an awesome post, Elizabeth. Seriously, I love this. Facebook should be a positive place for all of us, and yes, it is so important to share and like others, rather than continually giving a play by play. I especially love supporting posts when I know someone is not looking for a cheap thrill or seeking attention. They are genuinely sharing. I also agree giving the benefit of the doubt is so important. The internet is FOREVER, right? So we all need to be mindful when making comments and participating in a downward spiral of negative conversation. Even sometimes, I when I read a blog article that I don’t really agree with, I try to give the benefit of the doubt. Getting into a heated debate online isn’t worth it. Geeze, can’t wait to share this! You are such an encouragement as always. Have a great day!

    Lauren

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      Thank you, Lauren. The internet is forever, but I think it is so easy to forget. I do try to give people the benefit of the doubt on SM and in blogging. I know that I have made my share of mistakes, and so I try to give others the same leeway. Thank you for sharing. You are always such a great support to me! Your words are really meaningful.

  • Reply
    L.

    Hey Elizabeth,

    Of course I was going to come and check out this post since you tantalizingly dangled it under my nose on my own post…Love it! It’s so straightforward especially the last part where it tells you to walk away for awhile and analyze the type of user you, yourself are.

    Great tips, thanks for marking my path to your door!
    L.

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      Yes, I did lure you here, didn’t I? Guess it worked. Thank you for coming over! Have a great day!

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      Thanks, Katie. I am really working on being more intentional with social media as well. Thank you for coming over and commenting!

  • Reply
    Tami

    I definitely need to do the final step. I also get discouraged by other’s seemingly-perfect lives. Thanks for the reminder that Facebook doesn’t reflect every aspect of one’s life.

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      Thank you Tami. I agree that we need to remember it isn’t all perfect. I have to constantly remind myself!

  • Reply
    Kim Hilbert

    This is a nice post with gentle reminders. I agree with the inappropriate (not family friendly) posts. If it has to be posted, it’s nice to do it with a little warning, and not after you might have clicked it.

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      Yes! I am glad I am not the only one to feel that way, Kim. Sometimes I feel that some people don’t even think about what they are sharing. A little warning only takes a second! Thanks for stopping over!

  • Reply
    Julie

    I’m loving fb more than ever at the moment as my 2nd child has now left for Uni. It is just a perfect way to stay connected with them without them feeling like they have to contact mum all the time. I see when they are tagged in other people’s pictures, I see them having fun (but not too much fun!) which makes me feel better. I have fb stalked some of their new friends just a teeny bit but I think that is perfectly normal and I don’t intend to make it a habit.
    I am lucky not to have many showing off fb friends, I have a couple of “I’ve just done 2 hours of ironing” type friends but I just keep scrolling!

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      You are lucky, Julie. I think Facebook has many wonderful purposes and I am glad when I see others using it that way as well. Thanks for stopping over. I really appreciate your comments.

  • Reply
    Julie V. (Somebody's Dinner)

    Elizabeth, I totally agree about Facebook burnout. I like where you suggested you keep it family friendly. I was on Facebook once and heard a voice behind me, “That boy’s name is Phillip!”
    It was my 6-year-old niece. The picture was harmless and I was super proud that she had read the name of my friend’s son (and that it contained a “Ph”) . . . but what would have happened if a friend had posted another kind of picture?
    I think the other thing to keep in mind is about private information and private conversations.
    I knew a boy from HS who had announced his engagement over FB. Weeks later apparently things didn’t work out because he changed his status to “single” again. Well then his dad commented on it, “I told you it wasn’t going to work.”
    Ouch!
    I think of public forums as the equivalent of yelling your comments into a crowded room. Be careful!

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      I so agree with you Julie. Those comments are not private, everyone can see them. I do think we can be a little more careful. Thank you for your sweet comments. I really appreciate it!

  • Reply
    Nicki Lewis

    Actually I have started to not like Facebook as much especially when it comes to my blog. Even personally I think I look at what others post more than I actually post. For blogging I think Google + is better than Facebook, and have been focusing more time on this. These are some helpful tips to keep in mind when using Facebooik

  • Reply
    Literate For Life (Pamela Hall)

    I love the quotes you add to your text. It is so true to be a friend first. I truly work at not comparing on Facebook. Our pastor told us that comparison is a snare. We can’t expect our behind the scenes life to look like someone’s on the stage life. I really like what you said about giving people the benefit of the doubt. I am new at this blogosphere. Fortunately, when I made a mistake, someone was kind enough to private message me. That spoke volumes to me. They cared enough to inform me privately. I didn’t know I made a mistake; thus, I corrected it. So, I love your point on this. (Give people your heart- not your mind.) Thank you. Have a wonderful day! 🙂

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      I love it when people are willing to correct me privately. I will sometimes get embarrassed or defensive when it is done publicly. Thanks for the thoughtful comment! You have a wonderful day as well!

  • Reply
    Mrs. C

    Last year I decided to leave face book. The daily drama in lives of some was just exhausting some days. I am not against fb, …..only for me! 🙂

  • Reply
    Ann

    Oh, boy! Thank you for such a well-thought-out piece. I was going to say I agree with one or two things; but really–these all apply!

    • Reply
      Elizabeth Post author

      Thank you, Ann! I was pleased to be featured on SITS! I have to constantly evaluate these. I have a tendency to get too caught up in Facebook sometimes!

  • Reply
    Andrea B.

    Popping over from SITS and love this post. Sometimes I just want a FB breather and this is a great reminder to take one!

    Love the Perfection Distortion mention. Well said.