How to Tame Your Facebook Addiction

2 years ago
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Do you feel like a slave to your Facebook addiction? Save your productivity (and sanity) from this online obsession with these tips!

Checking Facebook or posting updates every now and then is completely fine. But when regularly monitoring your Facebook account becomes too frequent that it affects the way you carry out tasks, distracts you from important matters, or negatively affects the way you view yourself and the world, then it becomes a problem.

Image: Sodanie Chea via Flickr via Creative Commons license

A 2015 Reuters article talked about how Facebook addiction can lead to depression. It cited a study published in the journal European Psychiatry which found out that, "the amount of time spent online was positively associated with levels of Facebook intrusion, and that Facebook intrusion was linked with higher depression scores."

The article also quoted psychiatrist Dr. Robert Cloninger of the Washington University School of Medicine, saying: "people likely to become addicted to Facebook are those who are low in self-directedness and high at novelty seeking."

If you're bothered with the way you use the social media platform, and you feel that it's slowly becoming an addiction, you might want to apply some of these practices to your life.

1. Track your social media time

Look into how much time you spend on Facebook. If you see that the social media giant becomes a hefty time sinkhole so that you miss activities, chores, and even scheduled appointments, then you might want to actively trim down your Facebook visits to a few minutes at a time.

2. Substitute Facebook time with physical activity

Replace your lengthy Facebook time with a physical activity – one that you will enjoy and will get your attention for hours. For instance, you can take up a sport, read a book, or enjoy the outdoors with your friends.

Resist the urge to reach for your mobile phone and check on your contacts' posts. Refrain from posting an update about where you are or whom you're with. Instead, savor the moment of chatting with your friends and sharing a hearty laugh.

3. Adjust your Facebook settings

For most of us, seeing or hearing Facebook notifications has become a cue to reach for our phones. Next thing you know, you've spent hours scrolling through your friends' posts and have clicked on one too many clickbait links.

Perhaps it's time to adjust the way notifications pop up on your timeline. Don't hesitate to hide notifications that piss you off or you think are "eye sores" for you.

4. Purge your friends list

Clean your list of contacts. Keep your real friends on that roster, and remove those you don't share a real connection with. In this way, you save yourself from stress that comes from browsing updates from people you barely know.

It's not wrong to check Facebook, but if it's taking over your life or sanity, then you may need to look into ways to treat the situation. Go back to that time when social media wasn't a trend yet, and remember how you used to have fun with simple things or with your friends.

To detox from all the frenzy of Facebook updates, you may even deactivate your account for a time. When you think you’re doing fine despite the disconnection with your online friends, activate your account again and notice the big difference (in your lifestyle and behavior) between living with and without the social media platform.

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