Let’s start this off by asking yourself a questions, be honest no one will know the answer except for you. Do you spend an hour or more on Facebook a day? Well if you do use it this much I hate to say it but you might be addicted. Not to worry though, I have done some research for you and found out what you can do to beat this addiction. I have also found a number of signs that tell if you are addicted or not, and what makes it so addicting. Believe it or not there is actually a name for it, FAD, or Facebook Addiction Disorder, and ironically there is a Facebook page on Facebook addiction, so don’t worry you aren’t alone.
Why is Facebook so addicting? Well Facebook is designed for people to let everyone know about their interests, current activities, thoughts, and any other information or events they would like to share. This pretty much lets a user be completely self-obsessed if they want without others thinking less of them. The site also provides the user with a self-esteem boost, whenever someone comments on your posts it makes you feel important because other people are taking the time to look at your profile. Basically it is making you think that people are really taking an interest in your life, whether they actually are or not isn’t important.
Another reason why it is addicting is that it helps with loneliness; however this may not be the case for a lot of people. But if someone doesn’t have an active social life outside of technology or is just feeling lonely at that particular point in time, simply logging on to Facebook and seeing what all your online friends are doing satisfies that loneliness. You can also chat with any of your friends who are online, so really what need is there to meet up with them in person right? I mean besides having human contact of course.
Facebook also has the options to create an event listing and show all the people that have confirmed if they are coming. Why is this addicting? Well if you constantly need to know what everyone else is doing, then you will probably constantly check to see what new events are there and who all is attending your event or other events.
Facebook is also addictive in creepy kind of way, I’m referring to Facebook stalking or creeping. For those of you who don’t know, this is where you constantly look at other people’s pages or sometimes one other person’s page in particular. You can find out everything they are doing or thinking depending on how much they post. You can look at their pictures to see previous activities they’ve done and who with, or you can eavesdrop so to speak on their conversations. Some people like doing these things because you can do it without the other people even knowing and it gives them a little bit of a thrill. The problem is that some people take it too far and turn online stalking into real stalking by finding out where other people are or where they are going to be and “randomly” showing up.
Some other reasons that make Facebook so addicting is that it has fun games that you can play, although they are simple it gives the user some satisfaction knowing what your porn star name would be or when you are going to die, or when other people accept your invite to be part of your game. Finally the simplest reason for the addictiveness of Facebook is that you just get bored and the site just happens to be so easily on hand to occupy your time. These are just some of the reasons for addiction, there are probably tons of others but I think I covered the main points.
So now you know why Facebook is addictive and you’re probably wondering or worrying if you are addicted to it. There are many signs that you can look for in your behaviour to see if you have this addiction or not, I will tell you about the common ones. First sign would be, as I stated above, is that you use it around an hour a day or even just every day. This is pretty self-explanatory so I won’t go into further detail. The second sign is that you continue to put off doing work or studying to go on Facebook, once again pretty self-explanatory.
Third sign is that you feel the need to check it before you go to bed and when you wake up. You probably do this because you don’t want to miss out on anything and although you decided sleep was important enough to add to your schedule, you still want to make sure that you get updated on the events that happened overnight.
Fourth sign is that you actually lose sleep or choose Facebook over sleep. This means that you have trouble sleeping at night because you think that there are people posting things online that you are missing out on and have the need to know what they are. Or that you cut down on how much sleep you get because you want to stay up as late as possible or wake up early as possible so that you don’t miss out as much.
Fifth sign being that you update your status at least three times a day, because you want everyone to know what you are thinking at that moment or what you are doing at all times.
The sixth sign, which is a bit extreme, is that the thought of logging off Facebook gives you anxiety or going an extended period of time without it makes you go through withdrawal. You crave being logged in and seeing what everyone is doing and don’t want to log off for fear of missing out on something.
Seventh sign of addiction is that you have the Facebook app on your phone and receive automatic updates whenever something new is posted or someone comments on your postings. With all the new technology out there it makes it very easy to stay connected, and when you are addicted, like I said before being away from the site is a problem, so you use your phone whenever you aren’t near a computer to see what’s new.
Finally the eighth sign is that you become obsessed with old loves, you add an ex as a friend because you want to see what they’ve been up to. This can lead to problems if you are in a relationship because your partner might not appreciate you talking with past boyfriends or girlfriends. And if after you add them as friends, start talking to them more and more this will probably lead to an end in your current relationship. One site I found said that someone who started talking with their old boyfriend got out of hand. They spent hours talking to each other and she made some inappropriate comments on how she was unhappy with her marriage. A relative happened to see these comments and told the girl’s parents who then told her husband.
Those of you who think that they are addicted should listen up, although it is a problem there are things you can do to help or cure your addiction. A good thing to do although it might not be too successful is to set a time and limit for your Facebook usage. Schedule in a time period that is less than an hour a day and that doesn’t interfere with more important things like work or studying. However you may need help from someone to make sure that you actually stick to this schedule.
Cut down the amount of people you have added as friends to those that are the most important, or even better the ones that you can’t just go and talk to in person. If you cut out the people that are close by, then you will not be able to get constant online updates on their life and this will force you to get out of the house and actually interact with them in person.
You could quit cold turkey, this is a pretty hard task to accomplish for many people but if you do succeed then you will have a lot more time for other things in life, and can even reward yourself for fighting the urges. Best way to do this would be to just delete your account.
Another thing you can do would be to make an incredibly obscure password that you won’t be able to remember. Write it down and get someone to hide it or just put it away somewhere yourself so it becomes more of a hassle to log on. And you would obviously have to make sure you de-select the password remember tool for the site.
A good way to beat this addiction would be to take up a hobby or other activity that you enjoy that takes you away from any opportunities to log on to the site. Be creative and do some research, you will find hundreds of other ways to help with your cure, if all else fails you could always join a support group. There might be a Facebook support group out there or you could just sit in on other addiction related support groups, might help.
You’ve heard what makes it so addictive, the signs of addiction and what to do about it. I just want to state that I don’t have anything against Facebook, I myself use it however after doing all this research have determined that I am nowhere near being addicted but do know some people who are. The first step is to recognize and admit that you have a problem then you can take action to solve it. I hope that this helped make some of you aware of this growing problem.
P.S. I apologize for the grammar and punctuation of this article, it was written as a speech I did originally.