Integrating social networking into our lives is a positive advancement to how we interact in this day and age. However there is always the danger of it becoming controlling. we hear a lot about people needing to be connected 24/7 and that they can go through a lot of withdrawal if they don’t have it.

I saw some stats recently that suggest Australia is pretty close to saturation of FB membership. Saturation for any platform is considered to be when around 50% of the population is there. So at last look Australia was sitting at around 49.1%. This makes for a very inclusive platform and a great way to get your message out there and interact with people.

The danger comes when you can’t switch it off. Look for signs such as not being able to not look at it when you are at home, the feeling that you need to look at it, anticipation and waiting for your wall to refresh and give you more feed.

I recently saw information on American users where a study showed that FB users spend over 53billion minutes a month on the site. When broken down it may not seem like a lot. Per user it is averaged at over 6 hours a month. When you also take into account that the next closest site only averaged 5minutes per month it shows the level of use. These are only averages but they are interesting.

I have observed more and more people taking brakes from FB. Where they switch off their account for a week or longer. This shows that more and more people are identifying when it starts to have an impact on their lives and know to take a break. This is important. If you really want to know whether it is a problem for you, maybe do this and temporarily shut down your FB for a week and see how it makes you feel. Any anxiety may show you there is a problem.

The key in managing your online usage is to know when you need a break. Don’t make excuses and say, it doesn’t affect me. Put yourself to the test.

Online usage is an awesome part of our lives now and for the most it’s a positive thing. It is just important to know when it’s too much and having an impact on your real life. You want to be able to enjoy your online life without the anxiety if you don’t have it. So keep an eye on it and remember you should be in control of the online experience not it be in control of you.