Addiction is the over-dependence on something, which gives the addict a sense of comfort while having it and deprivation when staying away from it. In the same respect, Facebook addiction is no different from any other type of addiction. It literally means being on the platform for long hours and feeling anxious when not being able to view its content. This addiction is so grave that it has turned into a pandemic, which has inflected millions, if not billions, of people worldwide, driving them to opt-out of the real world into the virtual space the platform creates and to sever ties with their close ones. This article discusses Facebook addiction, its causes, symptoms, and treatment.
Some scholars classify it under an independent category, stating it is like drug addiction. However, others argue that Facebook users’ content should be studied to classify the addiction accordingly, like porn addiction, gaming addiction, etc. On the other hand, while some consider the amount of time spent on Facebook a criterion that defines whether someone is addicted, others beg to differ, highlighting that you might spend long hours on Facebook doing work such as meetings or online lessons, so you are not an addict. The latter stipulates that the behavior should be compulsive and considered an addiction.
Many factors turn yo Facebook user into a Facebook addict:
You feel that you are weird and a sort of an outcast in your community. You are desperately looking for approval, and Facebook offers you this opportunity on a silver platter because some of the things you do on the platform are well-liked by many, which appeases your hunger for being included.
You are housebound due to a disability you have. Facebook offers you something you have always longed for: human connection. You can now talk and interact with others without going through the troublesome process of getting out of the house. This prompts you to stay there 24/7 hanging around with friends.
You can speak for hours on Facebook but are too shy to even say hello in person. You always feel clumsy and lost for words when you meet others. So the screen is a good curtain to hide behind and skip the awkward situation.
You always sense the compulsive need to view your account or check the updates. You keep your phone aside for a few minutes to rush back to it with the first notification alarm you hear.
You are going through a rough patch in your life, but instead of confronting your issues and reflecting on them just so you can figure out a way to solve them, you spend the whole day on your screen, scrolling up and down your feeds and chatting aimlessly for hours.
You are skipping rehearsals, baseball practice, or yoga sessions because you have lost track of time while being on the app and forget about those things. To make the matter even worse, you are not getting enough sleep because you are using the app past bedtime.
You always say things like, “but I have just signed in,” “I have been online because I need to ask my friend something,” and many other excuses and justifications for being there for too long. Deep down, you know it is not true, but you can’t stop it
You are hyperactive on Facebook. You can’t let a post go without commenting on or sharing it. Moreover, you are also obsessed with refreshing your accounts by pouring new posts on your timeline using multiple apps, such as a meme editor that help you create appealing content.
This addiction has catastrophic effects on both our psyche and body.
You should be honest with yourself first and with your dear ones second and say upfront that you have an addiction without putting it mildly.
You need to keep Facebook out of your reach for a while to grow out of addiction, so setting some rules is necessary. No mobile at work, before bed, or while being with friends.
You need a distraction, in other words, something that keeps your mind off Facebook. Doing sport, or going to some health or drama club or any other activity might help. Try to go out with your friend more and keep Facebook out of the conversation.
Sometimes, addiction is too strong to be fought alone, requiring some qualified support. You can consult a psychiatrist on the measures that should be taken to be “Facebook clean.”
In short, addictive behavior on Facebook is a problematic issue, with many dire impacts on our mental and physical health, which, when detected by the addict early, can easily be avoided. However, professional help is sometimes needed to help us safely out of that dark tunnel.