This is the tough love you were looking for.
You have a gambling addiction. A pretty serious one, actually.
You rise each day and take a trip to Mark Zuckerberg's bustling casino. You arrive, hoping you might see familiar faces, but all the other gamblers are people you don't give a crap about. You shrug and head to a slot machine. You crank the lever for the thousandth time, cross your fingers and hope for a win.
Surprise: You're still a loser. But you'll be back in an hour -- maybe your luck will change.
Whether you realized it on your own or watched a TED talk, Facebook could be taking a toll on your mind, career and friendships. Depending on your age, you're likely spending 6-7 hours per week swiping through news (fake and real) and baby photos. And last weekend's news that data analyst firm Cambridge Analytica received misappropriated Facebook data from 50 million profiles might leave you wondering how much you should be sharing.
Here are some other things you could do for an hour per day:
If you're thinking, "I want that! Help!" you've come to the right place.
Worried about losing touch with old friends? Don't. If you were actually friends -- not mutual stalkers -- you would be chatting over a cup of coffee right now.
What about networking? I get it, you don't want to talk to someone you met at a work function over the phone. Here are some other modern options for you: texting and email. (Whew, that was a close one.)
And all those groups you're in? Well, there are simply some things you're going to have to give up. Think about the trade-off -- you're getting an hour per day (on average) back. That's 365 hours per year. That's a lot of hours over the course of a lot of years. You're welcome.
But I use messenger! Not sure if you've heard but most people have a phone number that you can send text messages to. There's also WhatsApp. (Also, you can deactivate your account and still use Messenger. More on that later.)
You've probably used Facebook to log into other apps and services dozens of times. And why not? It makes signing up for new things super fast.
Problem is, those logins inadvertently burrowed you deeper into Facebook's grasp. It's reversible, but it'll require some time to undo. Here's how:
It was once nearly impossible to disconnect Facebook from Spotify, but the company recently made it much easier. In Spotify, go to Settings and choose the option to disconnect from Facebook. Now log off. In the login window, hit "Reset Password." Follow the instructions, and you're golden.
You probably want to keep all your photos, posts, friends and all the other data you accumulated on Facebook. Luckily, saving all that data is really easy.
Go to Facebook (desktop) and head to Settings. In that first window, hit "Download a copy of your Facebook data." Follow the instructions and wait while Facebook emails you a downloadable file.
This is the part where boys become men. Girls become women. Caterpillars become... you get the idea.
You have three options when it comes to quitting Facebook:
To permanently delete your account, go to this page. To deactivate your account, go here. Just be warned, Facebook uses a weird combination of psychology and desperation to try and prevent you from quitting.
If you plan to detach yourself and use self-control to "quit" Facebook, here are some tips:
First published Jan. 17, 2017, at 3:20 p.m. PT.
Update March 19, 2018, 11:53 a.m. PT: Adds context from the Cambridge Analytica-related news.