French author calculates social networkers can lose more time to Facebook than to cigarettes.
June 26th 2012, Nantes, France
During the next 5 years, an average social networker will spend at least nine working weeks, or two full work-months, doing nothing but updating Facebook, and could lose the same amount of time from their working lives as from developing a regular cigarette habit.
That’s the impact that has been calculated by Frenchman Damien Fournier, author of the popular blog www.the1440minutes.com and critically-acclaimed The 1440 Minutes ebook.
“Facebook users spend an average of twelve minutes each day updating Facebook. Just twelve minutes a day seems like nothing out of the 1440 we have available each day. But that daily addiction will cut the same amount of time from your life that scientists say you would lose due to a smoking habit, and it builds up to do some serious long term damage, eating weeks and months out of your life,” said Fournier, who publishes a bi-lingual blog on time productivity and work-life balance that is designed to help people get more from the 1440 minutes everybody has available in each 24 hour period.
“When you do the math it is shocking how much time you lose from your life by updating Facebook. And twelve minutes is a conservative estimate: other studies go as high as thirty-two minutes per day, per user, which can mean you are losing around 3%-4% of your waking life to this addiction – similar to the life-expectancy reduction connected with a pack of cigarettes," continued Fournier. “In the same amount of time you could do dozens of things that have a much greater, more positive impact on your life, such as cooking, reading, learning, brainstorming new ideas, creating adventure plans, drawing, building mind-maps, making career plans, get productive work done, do physical exercise, or even real physical networking."
Fournier believes Facebook is very similar to other addictions like cigarettes, displaying similar characteristics:-
- you think you are doing something productive when clearly you are not;
- you think it is hard to quit or reduce when in fact it is not;
- you think your life will be less fun without it, when a different world will open to you;
- you think it is harmless when in fact it greatly impacts your productivity, concentration, self-esteem and well-being;
- you think it is cool when in fact it is not.
Fournier draws a comparison to real world friends, pointing out that purely Facebook friends are treated in a fake and superficially silly way.
“Would you ‘poke’ someone you hardly know in a bar? Do you actually ask people to become your friend in the real world? Would you broadcast your relationship status to complete strangers?” he asks. “Non!”
Fournier is campaigning against Facebook as part of his 1440 Minutes philosophy to regain control of work-life balance. He recommends a 5-step program to help kick a Facebook addiction:-
- Tell friends you are reducing Facebook.
- Start with a 24 hour blackout.
- Encourage friends to join you.
- Set the date and stick to it.
- Measure the impact on your life.
“Once you have tried this simple program, it’s important to assess the impact on your life. What has changed? Did the sky come crashing down? What did you miss? Did you do something more useful or enjoyable?” asks Fournier.
“Reducing Facebook is just one of the steps you can use to regain control of your daily 1440 minutes from the myriad time addictions faced every day: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, TV, SMS, breaking news, incessant emails, unprofessional meetings, smartphone games - all are ‘time-rabbit holes’ which we tumble into on a daily basis.”
Burning these seemingly-insignificant minutes every day adds up to an immense pile of minutes every week, every month, every quarter and every year. The 1440 Minutes philosophy, which is outlined at www.the1440minutes.com, helps beat these addictions and free your time to allow enjoyment of a better, more productive lifestyle.
"Let's convert the minutes we spend on Facebook into thinking and acting to improve our lives, our health, the lives of our children, our companies, our local community,” said Fournier. ”It will be a very small step for each man, but a giant leap for mankind.”
The author will not be posting this article on Facebook.
About Damien Fournier:
Following a twenty year career in information technology in Europe and the US, Damien Fournier has written a self-help book about changing the 1440 minutes we all have every day. For more details, please visit www.the1440minutes.com.
About 1440 Minutes.com:
The 1440 Minutes blog is a bi-lingual web resource for those looking to escape from the time wasting interruptions, distractions and annoyances, offering free help and advice to increase your daily free time and overall happiness. Please visit http://www.the1440minutes.com/.
The 1440 Minutes ebook:
Available from Amazon.com, ASIN: B0086PHZK4, price just €2.68.
Damien Fournier, firstname.lastname@example.org.