Couple of years ago Facebook was just cresting as the cool new social media site that helped you keep in touch with the people you didn’t actually like in high school. We fed it our thoughts and feelings, shared our meals and locations and our top ten movie lists, kept it up-to-date on our relationship status, political views, favorite links, and personal information — all in the name of staying connected, and all without a thought to our security. But with a decade of questions regarding how Facebook makes money now answered, and a general understanding of how sharing information online can be dangerous (while the platform constantly updates its security protocol), we continue to use it anyway, even though many of us are just checking in as ritual and have threatened our exit from Facebook for years.
It’s estimated that the average casual user (17 minutes per day on Facebook) who has been active on the site for 10 years has wasted upwards of 40 entire days of their lives scrolling and liking and commenting on pictures and posts. And more engaged users, who spend at least an hour a day on the site, have clocked 150 days feeding the Facebook beast during the same time. Think about how long you spend on the site each day, and what else could be a more productive use of your time.
Facebook isn’t just a harmless website dedicated to cataloging your vacations, poor wardrobe choices, and myopic thoughts on sporting events (which can both define or destroy relationships), it can actually do you harm. Studies hint that it can impact your immune system and inhibit the release of growth hormones, impair digestion and vision, limit thinking and kill creativity, and affect sleep patterns and happiness.
Very few people care what you’re doing, whom you’re with, where you’re eating, or what you just bought, and the people who do were probably right next to you when you did it. We all saw that funny Ice Bucket Challenge video, and if we didn’t see it, it’s fine. We’re all fine. You’ll sleep well without knowing which childhood toys you owned are now worth a fortune, and you will absolutely “believe what happened next” on Upworthy, because someone took time to write about it. These articles only exist because you share them on Facebook, and you only share them because they exist. So, instead, just invite a friend over to talk about how much you both loved Save By the Bell. The internet can only take so much nostalgia.