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We all love Facebook – there’s no question about that. It’s great to have such a convenient resource to connect with friends and family, no matter how far away you may be.

To be honest, I don’t give Facebook much thought. Yes, I get on the website everyday for work purposes (have to maintain my company’s page), but I do not surf it for long periods of time like I used to when I was in high school.

I didn’t really give much thought to this radical change until  I came across this infographic on Mashable a couple days ago. After reading it, I discovered what made me alter my Facebook habits – it was hurting my self esteem. I was spending the majority of my time comparing myself to people and falling short every time.

I wasn’t even enjoying the website anymore. I spent most of my time thinking that this person was skinnier than me, that person was more successful than me, etc., and I realized it was time to cut back.

Social networking

Image: Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It is good to have a healthy acknowledgement of the website’s existence and to peruse your friends’ profiles when you feel the urge, but it becomes too much when: A) it makes you have lower self esteem or B) it starts to eat up too much of your time.

The Internet is a vibrant part of today’s society. There’s no getting around that any way you throw the dice. But you have to separate what happens on the website from your real life and not let it affect your opinion of yourself.

Consider this: Does it really matter how many friends you have on Facebook or how often people write on your wall? Will it really matter to you five years down the road that your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend didn’t write on your wall for your birthday?

It’s really hard to live in the present and actually enjoy your life when you’re spending so much time monitoring a screen.

If you are finding the website is causing legitimate concerns in your life – such as cutting into school time or affecting your self worth, it might be time to make some changes. Try to limit yourself to a certain amount of time on the website per day and eventually,  you will realize that you aren’t relying on it nearly as much.

Or, if you’re really having trouble, try to avoid the website altogether unless you have a purpose. For example, you found an adorable hipster puppy that looks exactly like your roommate’s dog, and you just have to post it on his/her wall to share the fun. Log on, post the link and log off.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I enjoy Facebook just as much as your average 20-something does. I appreciate it even more now that I’ve joined the “real world” and have had to move away from both my college friends and family, but I have found a healthy way to incorporate it into my life. I encourage you to do the same.

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