Beating a Facebook Addiction

How to recognize and deal with being hooked on Facebook

What to Know

Facebook addiction is not an actual medical diagnosis, but when a habit starts to disrupt your life, it's a problem worth addressing. If you want to give more attention to your face-to-face interactions, work, hobbies, and rest, there are a few things you can do to control your Facebook addiction.

Keep a Facebook Time Journal

Set an alarm on your smartphone or computer before you start browsing Facebook. When you're done browsing, write down the amount of time you spent on Facebook. Set a weekly limit (six hours would be plenty), and reward yourself when you spend less than six hours a week on Facebook. Just don't reward yourself with additional Facebook time.

Download Facebook-Blocking Apps and Software

To control your addiction to Facebook, you can install one of the many software programs that limit or block access to Facebook and other internet time-wasters.

Serene, for example, is an application for Mac computers that prevents access to particular websites for a specific amount of time. Other Facebook blocking apps include ColdTurkey, Freedom, Zero Willpower, and more. Most of these programs make it easy to unblock Facebook when you're ready.

Get Help From Your Friends

Ask someone you trust to set a new password for your Facebook account and hide it from you for a week or two. This method might be low-tech, but it's cheap, easy, and effective if you have good friends.

Deactivate Facebook

If none of the above tips are work, you can temporarily deactivate your Facebook account. Before deactivating, you will be prompted to enter your password for security reasons.

Deactivation gives you a much-needed break from Facebook and helps you kick the habit without completely deleting it from your life. When you're ready to reactivate your Facebook account, log back into Facebook. Yes, that's the only requirement for reactivation.

Delete Your Facebook Account

If all else fails, go for the nuclear option and permanently delete your Facebook account. Nobody will be notified that you've deleted your account, and nobody will see your information after deletion. For some users, deleting their Facebook account removes an enormous weight and source of anxiety while breathing new life into their non-virtual life.

Save Your Posts and Pictures Before Deleting

Before deleting your Facebook account, you may want to save your profile information, posts, photos, and other items you've posted. Facebook gives you the option to download an archive of your account.

Once you delete your Facebook account, you won't be able to retrieve it or the information it contained. However, you will be free of your Facebook addiction!

It may take Facebook up to 90 days to remove all of your info, even after your account has been deleted.

Father holding child while looking at tablet
Jose Luis Pelaez Inc / Getty Images 

Disable Likes and Views

If you're obsessed with seeing the number of likes and views you're getting on a post, or if you watch other people's posts in your newsfeed and wonder why they're getting more likes than you, it may be time to disable likes and views.

In May 2021, Facebook added the option of turning off like and view counts. You can turn off likes and view counts on all the posts you see on your newsfeed or just your own posts. If you don't want to make such a big move, turn off like and view counts on posts on a case-by-case basis.

To hide like and view counts for your own posts using the Facebook mobile app, tap Menu (three lines) > Settings & Privacy > Settings > News Feed Settings. Tap Reaction Counts, and then opt to toggle off like and view counts for your posts or other people's posts. To disable like and view counts on a single post, tap the three-dot icon at the top of the post, then opt to hide the like and view counts for that post.

Without worrying about how many likes and views your posts are getting, you may be able to relax and enjoy sharing photos and seeing updates from family and friends.

Are You Addicted to Facebook?

Tackling any undesirable habit requires self-awareness. To assess whether you have a Facebook addiction, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I use Facebook even when I know it's not allowed, for example, at the office? 
  • Do I feel driven to post what I'm doing or where I am more than once a day?
  • Does my Facebook activity take away too much time from my real-life social interactions? For example, do I post photos from a party—while at the party—instead of enjoying the party?
  • Do I frequently spend more time on Facebook than I'd planned?
  • Do I stay up late or wake up early to read or post on Facebook?
  • Do I obsess over reactions to my posts and frequently check for feedback?
  • How often do I experience life through my phone's camera, taking and posting photos instead of experiencing what's going on around me?
  • Do I often become embroiled in disputes on Facebook?
  • Am I able to ignore Facebook notifications when I am engaged in other activities?
  • Do I spend more than two hours on Facebook every day (excluding work-related social media actions such as posting on behalf of my company)?

There are many ways to approach this problem. What works for others might not work for you. Give these ideas a shot to help you limit your time on the world's largest social media network.

Was this page helpful?