Do you spend a lot of time on Facebook?
Based on some conversations with a few folks, as well as some web searching for data, it appears that there are some wide ranges in terms of how much time people spend on Facebook. Some spend 10 minutes a week, others spend more like 10 hours a week. However, it doesn’t seem to be uncommon for people to fall somewhere in between and spend a few hours a week on it.
Personally, I don’t spend an inordinate amount time on Facebook. Clearly, I spend enough time blogging to keep me busy online! However, realizing that many people are simply addicted to Facebook and spend a ton of time on it, I ask this question: Why?
Don’t get me wrong, I realize that Facebook has quickly become an established part of the landscape. Most people I know are at least on Facebook even if they’re more or less inactive. It’s become an established way to keep in touch with people, to be entertained, and for companies to find a way to market to you. Yes, it’s a part of business. So overall, it’s a good idea to be at least minimally Facebook literate and have an account as a baseline.
However, when people spend large amounts of time on it – as in, 10 hours per week – I wonder how it could possibly be worth the time? Unless it’s a part of your business, why spend that much time on it? Couldn’t Facebook activities be fully done in, let’s say, 1 hour per week? It seems like an addiction.
Here’s the main point: there is an opportunity cost to our time on Facebook, or other social media for that matter.
Back to the person spending 10 hours per week on Facebook. I wonder, why all that time? Sure, we all have our own hobbies and who am I to judge, right? True. However, I still have to ask if there are better uses of that time. If the person cuts time from 10 hours to 1 hour, that’s 9 extra hours that could be used for other things, such as:
- Cooking healthy, nutritious homemade meals.
- Spending time with family
- Meeting friends, face-to-face
- Building a side business with extra income
- Showing persistency at work, to go the extra mile and overdeliver
- Reading, to gain additional knowledge
- Finding a new, fun hobby
I like to look at things in terms of the concept of time is money. Let’s say that based on your salary, your effective hourly pay is $30 per hour. Thus, your time has value. Given that extra 9 hours, is that Facebook life of yours worth an extra $270 per week of your time?
One might say: Hey Ray, don’t you spend time blogging? Yes, that’s true. It can be looked at as fun just like Facebook. However, it’s different in that it can bring in money and also provide a way to refine knowledge of personal finance. In short, there are tangible benefits and the ROI is certainly higher than zero!
Overall, in no way do I begrudge Facebook. As I mentioned, I think it’s good to at least have a basic presence and baseline knowledge at the minimum. I just wonder that with lives being busy and life short, if the value of our time and opportunity cost of it is considered when getting hooked on something like Facebook.
What Do You Think?
How much time do you spend per week on Facebook?
How important is spending time on Facebook to you compared to other activities?
Do you ever think in terms of the concept of “time is money”, and that there is an opportunity cost to how we spend our time?