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Facebook addiction: Symptoms and Treatment

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Facebook Addiction: Symptoms and Treatment
MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and Facebook are some social-networking sites which are visited by thousands of people every day. Those websites can show people information related to important personalities, such as celebrities, politicians, and businesses.Also, information can be found about online friends, classmates and old friends. Nevertheless, according to Marketing Charts, one of those social-networking sites is considered the most visited by Internet users in the US;and it is also considered by Business Growthe most dangerouscompany nowadays, because ofthe strategies it has to get personal information about its users that can be used against them. Facebook is a great tool for businesses to advertise, for finding lost friends, for playing games and communicating with friends and family.

Yet, any excessive use of it can make people become addicted, affecting their mental health and relationships.Facebook addiction, sometimes referred to as Facebook addiction disorder or FAD, is a condition that many people are not even aware exists, but this addiction is becoming a real problem. Facebook Addiction Disorder has not been formally recognized as a psychiatric disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association. However, Facebook addicts must meet certain criteria in order to be diagnosed as having an addiction to this social-networking site. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, a journal of psychosocial research on cyberspace, published an evaluative study that helped to examine the emotional and physical changes noted in those who use Facebook regularly. The results supported their hypothesis, that Facebook can cause psycho-physiological changes, including a heightened state of arousal and increased activity in the brain’s pleasure centers. The symptoms of Facebook addiction vary, but the common signs are: •You feel elated when using Facebook.

•You feel anger and disappointment when logging off of Facebook. •You lose sleep because of checking your profile to know if someone has left you a message, comment or written on your wall. •You cancel appointments with your friends.

•You neglect bathing, eating and other necessary activities to view
Facebook. •You check Facebook multiple times a day.
•You prefer to converse with people online rather than in person. According to Healthism, an online health guide, many researches in the US think that young people and teens have the highest risk for Facebook addiction and make up the largest group of users. This may be due to social pressure or being born at a time when social media is exploding in popularity. Unfortunately, this may make teens and young adults less aware of the dangers of Facebook and Internet addiction, because social-technology devices are so commonplace in society today. Middle-aged people can also spend lots of time on social-networking sites.

But, anyone could develop an addiction to Facebook. There are several things Facebook addicts can do to help themselves if they think they spend too much time on Facebook. The first step is to admit you are a Facebook addict. The site Addiction Info suggests keeping a log of your Facebook usage. When you notice that you spend too much time on the site, give yourself a time limit. Set a timer to remember to get off of the site. It also suggests changing your password to something that is unfamiliar to you. Write your new password on a piece of paper and put it somewhere out of reach. This makes checking the site a hassle rather than something you can do easily. Do not check the “Remember me on this computer” box, so you have to enter the password every time you go to the site. As a last step, you could seek professional help in dealing with addictions. Many psychiatrists in the US have considered using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)with Facebook addicts, which is focused on changing your thoughts and behaviors.

Even though this is a technique that has been used on people who have drug addiction, addiction to social sites is considered a very serious problem as well. However, if you are thinking of going straight to this treatment, make sure you find a licensed therapist and do not going on websites to find this help because, ironically, there is a Facebook page for individuals suffering from Facebook addiction disorder. Facebook Addiction is a very alarming phenomenon. Using Facebook in replacement of real life makes people develop more psychopathological problems as depression, social phobia and some other impulsive-compulsive problems. It also causes that people lose their ability to relate to people in real life and facilitates the construction of fictitious social relationships. No matter how many treatments there are for helping people to reduce Facebook addiction, it is ultimately up to the individual, because it will all depend on our capacity of learning to control our impulses.

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