5 Ways to Beat Facebook Addiction

What to Do If You're Really Hooked

Beating your Facebook addiction will help you give time back to your family.

Facebook addiction isn't an actual medical diagnosis, of course—but when a habit disrupts your ability to function normally, it's at the very least a problem. Spending too much time on Facebook consumes time that might be spent more healthfully and productively on actual, face-to-face interaction, work, hobbies, play, and rest.

So, 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 often use Facebook even when I know it's not allowed—for example, at the office? 
  • Do I feel driven to post where I am or what I'm doing more than once a day?
  • Does my attention to Facebook take away time from real-life social interaction (for example, posting photos from a party while at the party)?
  • Do I frequently wind up spending more time on Facebook than I'd originally planned?
  • Do I stay up late or get up early to read or post?
  • Do I obsess over reactions to my posts, checking frequently for feedback?
  • Do I sometimes live events 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 notifications when I need to be doing something else?
  • Do I spend more than two hours on Facebook a day (excluding social media work—for example, posting on behalf of your company)?

Tackle Your Facebook Addiction

To paraphrase an old song, there must be 50 ways to beat this problem—and what works for others might not work for you. Give these five ideas a shot to find what helps you stop frittering away your life on the world's largest social network.

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Keep a Facebook Time Journal

Set a virtual alarm clock on your smartphone or computer every time you click over to look at Facebook. When you stop, check the alarm clock and write down the amount of time you've spent on Facebook. Set a weekly limit (six hours would be plenty) and mete out self-punishment whenever you go over. 

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Try Facebook-Blocking Software

Download and install one of the many software programs that block access to Facebook and other Internet time-wasters on your computer.

Self Control, for example, is an application for Apple computers that prevents access to email or particular websites for any amount of time you choose.

Other apps to try include ColdTurkey and Facebook Limiter. Most of these programs make it easy to unblock Facebook, too.

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Get Help From Your Friends

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

If none of the above helps, then sign into Facebook and temporarily suspend or deactivate your Facebook account. To do so, go to your ​General Account Settings page and click Manage Account. Then, click Deactivate Account to suspend it until you're ready to rejoin. This requires enormous self-control, because all you have to do to reactivate your Facebook is sign back in. More »

If all else fails, go for the nuclear option and delete your account. Nobody will be notified, and no one will be able to see your info anymore, even though it may take Facebook up to 90 days to completely delete all your info.

Before you do that, though, decide whether you'd like to save your profile info, posts, photos and other items you've posted. Facebook gives you the option to download an archive. Just go to the General Account Settings page and click on Download a copy of your Facebook data.

Some may see deleting your Facebook account as the equivalent of social suicide, but that's a little melodramatic. For some, deleting a Facebook account actually may be a way to breathe new life into "real" life. More »