Facebook as addictive as smoking?



Over the course of the next 5 years, your ordinary social networker will spend,, on average, at least 2 full working months, or 9 working weeks, updating their Facebook, and will probably lose a similar amount of time out of their working lives as they would if they started smoking.

This impact has been calculated by Damien Fournier, the French author of the hugely popular blog http://www.the1440minutes.com and the acclaimed ebook The 1440 Minutes.

Fournier says that an average Facebook user will spend 12 minutes a day updating their account, and 12 minutes seems like nothing out of the 1440 we have available to us each day.

He adds, however, that this daily addiction will cut the same time from your life as scientists reckon a smoking habit does, and can build up into a serious problem with weeks and months being eaten out of your life. Fournier publishes his bi-lingual blog on work/life balance and time productivity with the aim of helping us get the most out of our 1440 minutes every day.

“When you do the math it is shocking how much time you lose from your life by updating Facebook. And twelve minutes is a conservative estimate: other studies go as high as thirty-two minutes per day, per user, which can mean you are losing around 3%-4% of your waking life to this addiction – similar to the life-expectancy reduction connected with a pack of cigarettes,” continued Fournier.

“In the same amount of time you could do dozens of things that have a much greater, more positive impact on your life, such as cooking, reading, learning, brainstorming new ideas, creating adventure plans, drawing, building mind-maps, making career plans, get productive work done, do physical exercise, or even real physical networking.”

Fournier believes Facebook is very similar to other addictions like cigarettes, displaying similar characteristics:-

– you think you are doing something productive when clearly you are not;

– you think it is hard to quit or reduce when in fact it is not;

– you think your life will be less fun without it, when a different world will open to you;

– you think it is harmless when in fact it greatly impacts your productivity, concentration, self-esteem and well-being;

– you think it is cool when in fact it is not.

Fournier draws a comparison to real world friends, pointing out that purely Facebook friends are treated in a fake and superficially silly way.

“Would you ‘poke’ someone you hardly know in a bar? Do you actually ask people to become your friend in the real world? Would you broadcast your relationship status to complete strangers?” he asks. “Non!”

Fournier is campaigning against Facebook as part of his 1440 Minutes philosophy to regain control of work-life balance. He recommends a 5-step program to help kick a Facebook addiction:-

1. Tell friends you are reducing Facebook.

2. Start with a 24 hour blackout.

3. Encourage friends to join you.

4. Set the date and stick to it.

5. Measure the impact on your life.

“Once you have tried this simple program, it’s important to assess the impact on your life. What has changed? Did the sky come crashing down? What did you miss? Did you do something more useful or enjoyable?” asks Fournier.

Reducing Facebook is just one of the steps you can use to regain control of your daily 1440 minutes from the myriad time addictions faced every day: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, TV, SMS, breaking news, incessant emails, unprofessional meetings, smartphone games – all are ‘time-rabbit holes’ which we tumble into on a daily basis.”

Burning these seemingly-insignificant minutes every day adds up to an immense pile of minutes every week, every month, every quarter and every year. The 1440 Minutes philosophy, which is outlined at http://www.the1440minutes.com, helps beat these addictions and free your time to allow enjoyment of a better, more productive lifestyle.

“Let’s convert the minutes we spend on Facebook into thinking and acting to improve our lives, our health, the lives of our children, our companies, our local community,” said Fournier. ”It will be a very small step for each man, but a giant leap for mankind.”

Let me know your thoughts on this please.


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