Facebook addiction is possible. As with any type of technology, compulsive use of social networks can affect your offline social life and have serious social, physical and psychological consequences. Following, we outline signs of Facebook addiction so that you might seek help, if needed.
Top 10 signs of Facebook addiction
1. Initial feelings of satisfaction or pleasure after a Facebook login session.
2. Staying logged into a Facebook session longer than planned (frequently associated with a loss of sense of time or a neglect of basic needs).
3. Giving up important social or occupational activities in order to spend time on Facebook.
4. Continued use of Facebook despite negative consequences related to Facebook use, including physical symptoms of fatigue, marital or social problems, and/or problems at work.
5. When Facebook is inaccessible, feelings of anger, tension, and/or depression are present.
6. An increasing need to spend more time on Facebook to achieve the same initial effect of self-satisfcation (tolerance).
7. Spending a great deal of time on other Facebook-related activities, such as creating new ideas for updating your profile, reading or talking about Facebook and trying new software related to Facebook?
8. Attempts to cut down or stop engaging on Facebook tend to fail.
9. Steady or sharp increase in Facebook use. Usually noticeable by excessive login times on Facebook, including profile updates, commenting, uploading/downloading files, and browsing profiles.
10. A friend, family member or loved one comments on your Facebook use as “too much.”
What to do for compulsive Facebook use
If you think that you may have a problem with Facebook, there is no need to be ashamed. Technology addictions and IT related compulsive use is an emerging field in addiction research and treatment. At the moment, few experts agree on the diagnositc criteria for technology addictions, but we here at Addiction Blog believe that the nature of addiction is basically the same for everyone.
If you can’t stop looking online or checking and updating your Facebook page, ask for help first from your primary doctor. S/he may refer you to a known local specialist in behavioral addictions such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. Or, consider seeking help from someone like Dr. Beverly Young from netaddiction[dot]com, who researches and treats internet related use disorders. You might be able to arrange for videoconferencing help from your home as part of psychotherapy treatment.
In sum, although social network addiction treatment is in its infancy, the basic addiction cycle of pain —> Facebook —> withdrawal —-> pain drive compuslive use. Please leave your questions or comments below. We’ll be happy to answer and help!