For the past 2 months, I have been basically ignoring my personal Facebook account. It’s a major time-suck, and even though I occasionally miss hearing from my friends on a daily basis, I am surviving just fine without regular check-ins. In fact, it’s rather liberating.
Some people, unfortunately, can’t stay away from Facebook, YouTube, online games, and e-commerce sites, no matter how much they try. Enter the Mentalspace Manager, a free plug-in for your web browser that allows you to set a timer prior to surfing on the web (it is currently in private beta). When the timer goes off, your browsing is interrupted. You can also block web sites for specific amounts of times, and you can even customize blocking pages to include images, quotes and videos that provoke positive mood and behavior-changing outcomes.
It is important to point out that mymentalspace is not “anti-Internet.” Rather, it was founded to help people better manage the negative effects the Internet can have on our emotional health. For example, have you ever repeatedly looked at the Facebook profile of an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend? Not a healthy activity!
They are demoing at Funded by Night in Detroit this week, so if you aren’t there, check them out and sign up for the private beta to start better managing your time online.