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When Facebook Nearly Got the Best of Me

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I've been on Facebook since 2008, and while it started as a required membership by my former boss in the effort to form a network between our satellite offices around the world, I never thought I would be so hooked to it-to the point that I felt like my life has been sucked up by social media. Logging on-and staying online in Facebook 24/7 became my addiction, as there I kept in touch with many of my so-called friends and believed that we have formed a bond, even if in reality we barely know each other.

And yes at some point I also dabbled on using Facebook for business, thanks to this social media marketing job I landed on sometime in 2012. So yes, I could say I've been through the Facebook galaxy and back.

Wait, what's the point of this post? Oh yes, I want to lay down the highs and lows of being a hyperactive Facebook user, and how I went about them.

1. Staying online longer means you're wasting your social life.

When I log on to Facebook in the morning, chances are I will stay online until the evening, or even late at night, with scrolling up and down my newsfeed from time to time. Seriously, the trolling can get you stuck forever, and for a time it happened to me. It's not really a healthy pastime, so I had to find a way out, no matter how it may hurt.

I did it the hard way. I logged off and deactivated my account. For a week. I just tried to see how I'd cope with no Facebook as a daily staple. While I craved to log back on, I tried to divert my attention to other internet locations, and yes I did some chatting in mIRC. It was kind of fun to feel that you're back to being incognito, since you don't have Facebook, and even if it was just for a week I felt energized-and somewhat detached from my social media presence.

2. The unfriend-block combo can sometimes do you good-a lot of good.

On Facebook you become friends with a lot of people you don't know. Some strangers add you, and you sometimes add them. And there are also instances when you add former friends just so you stay connected. I used to believe in that, so when Facebook became a trend I added my high school classmates, only to realize that I made a huge mistake. I never wanted to reunite with them, both online and offline. It was like, the ridicule was back, online version.

So after a few months of contemplating, I took them out of my Facebook network. One by one, unfriended and blocked. And it felt good. I left just a few, my closest real life friends, and frankly I am in a happier state of mind without those I chose to remove.

3. When on Facebook ads, you need to find your audience. And go with the red borders.

As I've mentioned earlier, I did some Facebook marketing, and boy it was a lot of effort. But I learned a lot from the experience, since I handled both a successful and a failing account. So here's what happened.

The not-so-doing well account was looking towards a very very big audience with no clear restrictions. It was a bit annoying because the client's megalomania was just way beyond control, even if I told him many times that we have to be specific with our targets, but he didn't listen. In the end he wasted a few thousand dollars to market his brand on Facebook, with err, unsatisfactory results.

The successful account meanwhile targeted a smaller audience, albeit too specific. But it was great for me because I got to know more about our target customers, and I found ways to keep them within our reach. I learned a lot from their Facebook attitudes, from their likes and interests and even the groups they were in (yes, the stalker in me was unleashed), and I used all these to market the brand. That account has moved on to greater ventures now, while I reverted back to semi-retirement.

Did I mention red borders? Yes, when using images on Facebook ads, the red borders make them look bigger and attention-hungry. Red does a lot of wonders, right?

4. Do responsible ranting.

I rant on Facebook. That's my guilty pleasure. And of course, I know the risks of ranting online, not only in this platform I chose. I could be crucified on the spot, so when I rant, I do it responsibly. I lay down the situation, air my side, then wait for comments to flow. Well, of course I did some careless ranting too, and I was bashed repeatedly, but now I don't really care.

Anyway, I'm still on Facebook, but now I find time to log out-both on the web and on my phone. Keeps me sane, in a way. How about you?

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