This Week's Dear Anna: How To Curb Your Social Media Habit

| Fri Feb. 25, 2011 3:00 AM PST

Help! I feel like all my social media-ing is cutting into my productivity and life. I'm on all these different sites now, and sometimes I feel like I come to work basically to read Twitter all day. How can I get my social media fix without feeling like an Internet loser and/or getting fired?

~Intertube-Tied

Is there a bigger timesuck in the history of ever than the Internet? One minute you're trying to do your taxes, and the next thing you know you're skimming Portuguese newspapers, watching Skins recaps, Googling "hilarious condoms," and learning that tutorials exist for people who want to have sex with dolphins.

Wading through the muck and white noise of the interwebs can certainly be a daunting task. Here are some tips to help you strike a balance between taking a few bites of Internet cake and sticking your whole head in there like a diabetic Ostrich and never coming out again.

Create boundaries

I know, self-control: zzzzzzzz. What are you gonna tell me next, to eat more kale, exercise, and wear taupe because it goes with everything? No, asshole, you don't look good in taupe! But the self-control part we can totally work on. Start small. Tell yourself, I will only log-in to Facebook three times a day. Or I will only check my email once an hour. Or Twitter is reserved for lunchtime. If you find you can't adhere to your own rules, then consider enlisting the help of addiction-curbing websites like LeechBlock, which is a Firefox extension that blocks up to six websites during times you specify. Of course, this can be easily sidestepped by using another Internet browser, like Safari or Internet Explorer, since most of us have more than one on our computers, but LeechBlock can at least slow you down and help you realize just how Facebook-crack-addled you really are. Another perk/judgment LeechBlock provides is the ability to track how much time you spend playing Farmville or watching Justin Bieber blowdry his hair on YouTube, thus effectively shaming you into recovering a little bit of your dignity.

Read the rest at SF Weekly

Get Mother Jones by Email - Free. Like what you're reading? Get the best of MoJo three times a week.