It’s Stacy Rocklein here and today I want to talk about Facebook and how to bring more HAPPY to your Facebook experience.  I’m a personal development trainer and coach and I hear things like this from my clients and people I know.

Facebook is such a time suck.

Every time I get on Facebook I just get irritated.

That just doesn’t make any sense to me, because we have total control over Facebook.  Facebook makes it very easy for us to tailor the experience to anything that we want.

But I know how that feels because not that long ago, I found myself getting on Facebook and having to scroll and scroll through stuff that made me feel irritated and upset.  And why?  Facebook should be something that adds value to my life.  It shouldn’t be wasting my time and it shouldn’t be affecting my energy.  At the minimum, I should come out feeling the same as I went in.  Even better, I’m happier after I’ve gone on Facebook.

So today I have 7 tips for you to bring more happy to YOUR Facebook experience.  Here we go.

TIP #1:  Get connected to your Facebook Why.

Why do you use Facebook?  People use it for all kinds of different reasons.  For example, I use Facebook to connect with people.  I use Facebook to motivate and inspire myself.  I use Facebook to laugh.  I use Facebook to build my business and to teach and inspire others (hopefully).  What I don’t use Facebook for are recipes, shopping, politics, news, and all kinds of things that other people do use it for.  Get connected to why you use it and make sure that why really enhances your life.  It doesn’t bring you down.  If you’re using Facebook to catch up on news but every time you do it you feel worse, then you might want to decide that’s not the “why” for you.  So, get connected to your why.

TIP #2:  Unfollow any organization or person that isn’t connected to your why.

Go in and unfollow any organization or person that isn’t connected to your why.  This is harder than it sounds, because we have this concept that we’re supposed or obligated to follow certain people.  But here’s the thing.  Life is too short for that nonsense.  If your brother is posting twenty times a day about his new business and you have no interest in it (and it’s wasting your time getting through it), unfollow him.  Or if your mom is posting fifty rants a day about politics and you don’t like the way it makes you feel, unfollow her.  If your best friend is posting spiritual stuff that isn’t bringing value to your life fifty times a day, then unfollow her.  You’re not obligated to follow people just because you love them.  So go in and clean up your feed.  I make sure when I go into Facebook that the people I’m following are inspiring me, they’re making me laugh, or they are people I want to stay connected to.

TIP #3:  Clean up/shut down your notifications.

Sometimes we go in and join a group and all of a sudden we’re getting notifications that are everywhere: in our notifications center, on our phone, and in our email box.  And we might not even be interested in it anymore.  If we have many of those, then we are filtering through all of this excess in our lives that we don’t need to be inundated by.  So turn off those alerts.  Turn off those notifications.  If you want to check in on that group, go check in on that group.  That’s fine.  But you don’t have to be bombarded with that information if it’s not bringing value to you.

TIP #4:  Follow people and organizations you are interested in.

I know that sounds like the opposite of not wasting your time, but what I mean is this.  If there is something you are interested in or something that you know inspires you or makes you laugh, go follow that organization or person.  Bring more of that into your newsfeed.  If you like videos of cats, go get more of those.  Whatever it is that tickles your Facebook experience.  Go bring more of that into your life.

TIP #5:  Add value.

One of the best ways for us to increase the happiness in our lives and make us feel good is by giving.  Giving back to others and adding value to other people’s lives.  So go in and add value on Facebook.  Go in and congratulate people when wonderful things have happened to them, support people who need help, give a tip, share something funny, say something inspirational.  Go in and interact in that space.  Add positive value to people’s lives and I promise that’s going to make you feel good, too.

TIP #6:  Avoid self-judgement.

This one is really tricky.  So how does that happen?  When we go in and we look at other people and their posts and we judge their lives and our lives in that process, that can be hard on us.  Even if we decide that we look pretty good next to them, that’s a little sketchy.  Any time that we engage our ego (even if it’s to say, “Good Job! You’re awesome!”), it’s dangerous because it’s just as easy to find evidence that we’re not awesome.  So be careful where you are judging yourself.  Places where that happens…Cruising around Facebook to see what people are doing and always measuring yourself up, that’s a place where you might be judging yourself and others.  If you are going in and obsessively checking whether your posts were liked or hearted or how many times your videos were viewed, that’s another place where you might be judging yourself.  If you are obsessing over what you shared and trying to decide whether it was funny enough or the grammar and spelling was exact or whatever, then you’re judging yourself.  Even if you’re feeling like it sounded pretty good and “They like me!”, it’s dangerous territory.  That means you are just as connected to “They don’t like me.”  We want to stay out of those types of areas, because our happiness has to come from within us (not other people’s judgment of us).

TIP #7:  Limit your usage.

If Facebook truly is a time suck and you get on there all the time, you just can’t stay off, it’s sucking away your life, then you need to put parameters on it.  Give it to yourself as a treat to go in and enjoy.  Set aside some time that is your Facebook time.  Whenever you’re drinking your coffee in the morning, or having lunch, or waiting at gymnastics, or whatever it is.  Give yourself Facebook time and limit it to that.  Put a boundary on it.  It’s very easy to think, “I’m just going to check…”  Then an hour and half later, here we are still on Facebook.  We’ve got to go live our lives out in the real world, so put some parameters on it so it adds value to your life but you still have time for other things that have value.

Those are my tips for today.  Happy Facebook!