Facebook Reels make it hard not to waste time

By John Toth

The Bulletin


While I work on my computer, I keep Facebook open because that’s one of the ways I quickly communicate with The Bulletin team members.


It has become a convenient tool. Email is more cumbersome, so we just jump on Messenger.


There is a big pitfall to this, though - Facebook. It’s right here in front of me, and what’s the harm of browsing through it for a few minutes?


To make things more difficult, Facebook started something called Reels and short videos. This is also on Instagram, but that is not running on my computer all the time. I can click it on, but why do that when Facebook already has a non-ending collection of Reels?


The good thing is that these clips are short. The bad thing is that it is hard to stop watching them.


Look, there is a bear chasing a woman jogger and her dog into a house. Then there is a pickup truck racing on a riverbed trying to outrun the river. It makes it. Look, there is a pitch way outside the strike zone called a strike.


It never ends, clip, after clip, after clip. The seconds become minutes and then more minutes. It is as if they were trying to addict Facebook users so that they stay longer, interact more and see more ads.


I see those ads, plenty of them. But I don’t buy off Facebook. There are too many scammers.


Once I bought a Christmas gift that arrived a month after Christmas.


I’m sure they still make plenty of money without me.


My children are saying that Facebook is old school now. Young people use other social media sites like Tik Tok. They may be right, but there are still millions of Facebook users who are probably asking after watching dozens of short videos: Am I addicted?


I turned to the Internet for help. According to healthline.com, you may be a Facebook addict if you “check Facebook as soon as you wake up, then check it again multiple times throughout the day.”


O.K., guilty, but I’m not on it for long.


“It might seem like you’re not on for long. But a few minutes of posting, commenting, and scrolling, multiple times a day, can quickly add up to hours.”


That shot down my rebuttal.


“One generally agreed on symptom of Facebook addiction is the use of Facebook to improve a negative mood.”


I’m safe on this one. I’m already in a good mood. I just like to watch those few seconds of Reels videos.


“Compulsive Facebook use often causes sleep disruptions. You might go to bed later and get up later, or fail to get enough sleep as a result of staying up late. All of this can result in a range of health issues.”


Safe again. I usually stay up late at night to work, and my cats wake me up before 7 in the morning.


“Despite trying to limit your use, you end up right back on Facebook, almost without realizing it, whenever you have a free moment.”


I’m good on this one also. I have not really tried to limit my use. I could if I wanted to. It just hasn’t occurred to me.


So, those people who are addicted to Facebook, what’s their solution? Asking for a friend.


“If you find it difficult to stay off Facebook, try occupying your time with new hobbies or activities.”


Now, the friend will have to look for a hobby.