Facebook addiction – How to overcome it


Facebook addiction means spending an excessive amount of time on Facebook. Typically, it involves a person’s usage of the network interfering with important activities in life, such as work, school or maintaining relationships with family and “real” friends.

Addiction is a strong word, and someone can have a problem with this social media network without having a full-blown addiction. Some call this emerging type of addictive behavior “Facebook addiction disorder” or FAD, but the syndrome is not widely acknowledged as a psychological disorder, though it is being studied by psychologists.

Facebook Addiction is also referred to as Addicted to Facebook, Internet addiction,  addiction disorder,  addiction syndrome, addict, Facebook OCD, fanatic, lost on Facebook.

Signs of Addiction
A small number of studies associate social network site addiction with health-related, academic, and interpersonal problems. Those who use social networks excessively may have a decrease in real-life social community participation, a decrease in academic achievement, and relationship problems.

Signs and symptoms of Facebook addiction vary, The Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale was developed by Norwegian researchers and published in the journal Psychological Reports in April 2012.

It includes six questions and you answer each on a scale of one to five: very rarely, rarely, sometimes, often, and very often. Scoring often or very often on four of the six items suggests you have a FAD.

You spend a lot of time thinking about Facebook or planning how to use it.
You feel an urge to use it more and more.
You use it in order to forget about personal problems.
You have tried to cut down on the use of it without success.
You become restless or troubled if you are prohibited from using it.
You use it so much that it has had a negative impact on your job/studies.

Controlling Excessive Use
Strategies for getting addiction under control vary. Psychological studies for social network site addiction are ongoing and now well-documented treatment was first found in reviews in 2014.

One of the first steps is to measure the amount of time you spend. Keep a journal of your time so you know the extent of your problem. You may then decide to set a time limit for yourself and continue to keep records to see if you are able to reduce your Facebook time.

Going cold turkey is a strategy used for many other addictions, such as tobacco or alcohol use. Is deleting or deactivating your account the right tactic if you are spending too much time on Facebook? There are differences between the two. Deactivating takes a temporary break, hiding most of your data from other Facebook users, but you are able to reactivate at any time. If you choose to delete your account, your data other than messages you sent to others will not be retrievable.

How to deactivate your account: You can take a temporary break without completely deleting your account.
How to delete your account: If you are ready for the permanent solution, here are the steps to do it and what it means for your Facebook data.

This article is not meant to diagnose anyone with anything. Please see a qualified professional if you believe you or someone you know is potentially suffering from any addiction.

Andreassen C, Pallesen S. Social network site addiction – an overview. Current pharmaceutical design. 2013;20(25):4053–61.

Andreassen C, Torsheim T, Brunborg G, Pallesen S. Development of a Facebook addiction scale. Psychological reports. 2012;110(2):501–17.

Kuss DJ, Griffiths MD. Online social networking and Addiction—A review of the psychological literature. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2011;8(12):3528–3552. doi:10.3390/ijerph8093528.

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