Facebook Addiction Disorder – Signs and How To Deal With It
Facebook Addiction Disorder is no joke, it’s an actual disorder currently affecting thousands of people. Know the symptoms and treat it before it spreads!
Facebook Addiction Disorder (yes it’s officially a disorder now) is taking the lead in addictive disorders.
The social media craze looks like it’s not going anywhere soon. For that reason it is imperative that one balances their online and offline life.
Read on about the symptoms of a Facebook addict and the ways you can deal with your FAD.
Signs of Facebook Addiction
- If you find that you catch yourself looking at your Facebook page constantly, with constantly meaning more than 4-5 times per hour
- Feeling anxious and stressed when you cannot access Facebook (during work, holiday, while taking a shower!)
- You’ve tried deleting your profile. Only to get a new one. Three times so far.
- Being on Facebook for hours on end doesn’t actually bore you. On the contrary!
- Feeling pressure to keep up a respectable profile, with regular, witty status updates, fantastic image uploads and new friends added.
- Your friends actually said you’re addicted to it. They even hold an intervention
- Making up scenarios and panicking with the sheer thought of Facebook being vanished someday. Oh the horror!
- Feeling fulfilled and calm after spending hours on Facebook. Feeling irritated and anxious if not able to do so.
- Talking about it constantly, you keep you wondering what someone commented on your status, or if anyone liked your latest bikini picture.
- Withdrawing from social activities. Preferring to spend a night in with your virtual friends, rather than with your actual friends. Or even setting up virtual dates for hanging out online (because you’re too busy hanging out on Facebook).
- Often feeling that your life as you represent it to others through Facebook is more glamorous and successful than your actual one is. Trying hard to show off a perfect lifestyle.
- People close to you worry about you. They even threatened to leave you, if you don’t get it together.
- Arguing passionately that Facebook is a business tool for you, rather than a free-time killer and self-esteem destroyer.
To make matters worse, this so called addiction doesn’t refer to Facebook exclusively. It has spread to other social media, with Twitter and Pinterest competing for the first place prize.
It seems that the Facebook Addiction Disorder is evolving into a social media addiction pandemic. How can you stop yourself from falling into this virtual black hole?
Dealing With a Facebook Addiction Disorder
As with any addictive behavior, the person having it is the last to admit they have a problem. There are certain FAD tests you could take online and determine whether you’re suffering from it.
To spare you the hassle, if you answered affirmatively in more than 5 of the symptoms mentioned above, there is a big chance you already have a FAD.
Now, assuming your relation to Facebook is somewhat unusual, what can you do fix it? (Other than posting about it, of course)
Talk With Someone You Can Trust and Think They Can Help You
The older a person is, the less they seem to be allured by social media. So discussing it with a parent, or older friend will be a lot more constructive, than talking about it with your 14-year-old niece (who’s obsessed with it just as you are).
There’s no need for you to find a solution right away. Just talking it out and admitting to it, might suffice for you to realize how bad it is for your health, social life and future aspirations, to cling on social media.
Bad habits need to be abruptly broken, others yet believe in taking the longer road of patience, choosing to deal with a problem gradually and very, very slowly. There’s no right or wrong. If you’re more of a patient person you could perhaps consider taking these steps:
- Downsize Facebook Time, cut down your online time on Facebook initially by 15 minutes and increase that time gradually. Your goal is to get down to 15 to 20 minutes online per day. If you can do less, kudos to you!
- Monitor your online behavior and habits, what you spend your time on while you are on Facebook.
- Try keeping it to a healthy level; check any birthdays, important events, perhaps like a post something or two. Keep it simple. Think of it more of a calendar rather than a time-sucking black hole. Spending 2 hours seeing every single picture of an old schoolmate crush, is not cool. Or sane, or healthy for that matter. Just. Don’t. Do. It.
- Time your Facebook time. Don’t permit yourself to exceed that limit. Oh, and when you log off. You log off, end of story. Don’t make excuses to get back on, just sign off and say goodbye.
- Minimize distractions. You don’t really need email notifications each time someone likes a picture of yours. Do you? If you do, that’s another problem in itself.
- Re-introduce in your life the activities and hobbies that once had your full attention, before the Facebook Age. Find two or three and gradually bring them back. As you cut back on your Facebook time, you’ll get ample time to engage with real life hobbies.
- When socializing avoid bringing the Facebook issue up. If others do, make sure you express your thoughts and struggle to give it up. Who knows, you might help another addict. (There are so many of us!)
If you find it extremely hard to get off Facebook with the above steps, then you’re more likely a now-or-never type of guy. Here’s a suggestion on what you can do:
Take Drastic Measures
There’s no gray zone here. Facebook is there all the time, it takes a lot of determination to actually resist the temptation of logging in. It’s at home on your PC, it’s at work, it’s on your tablet too. And I didn’t even mention Smartphones yet.
Permanently delete it and get to experience the dread-turned-freedom feeling, of being able to live a life where you are not dependent on Facebook. It has been long overdue, don’t you think?
Of course you will feel lost, desperate, even excessively irritated and angry for doing so. You might even experience withdrawal symptoms:
- An urge to get a new Facebook account
- Logging in secret through a friend’s profile
- Convincing yourself it will be different this time, you’ll be careful once you activate it back.
- Obsessively thinking about all the things you’re missing.
Try fighting back the urge to yield, distract yourself with a joyful activity, seek communication through phone, or better in person.
Reward yourself and Keep Going
Although it’s no heroin, cutting back from Facebook is extremely difficult. You need to meaningfully fill up those hours spend online with activities that are (preferably) exclusively offline.
This means it’s time to re-visit your old hobbies. Whether its skydiving, or crocheting, as long as it is something that releases the tension and gives you pleasure, it will work.
It’s an extreme life makeover to entirely end your Facebook ties. That’s why you ought to reward yourself for the strength and willpower that you show.
While the reward could be anything, it is wiser if the reward prize consists of people and socializing.
- Book a flight and give a surprise visit to your sister studying in another state.
- Tell your parents you miss them, asking them to come visit.
- Alternatively, ask your best friend how much you’d like for you two to start a new hobby together.
Whomever you choose to meet up with, or visit, it should be a person that matters to you unlike the 1372 supposed friends you have on Facebook. After all that’s something Facebook can never provide you, the warmth and affection of a person that is close to you.
You should never worry about the approval of people that don’t even matter to you. Trust me you don’t need it – you rely on your family and (actual) friends to provide you with the support you need.
Facebook Addiction Disorder should be taken seriously; it’s a cheeky, yet all too real addiction that seems like the norm when it is not. Just because everyone is doing it, doesn’t mean it is necessarily right.
If you believe you might be addicted, do something before it completely takes over your life, you will be glad you did.
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