7 Signs of Facebook Addiction

How to tell when your Facebook fascination turns to full-blown obsession

Man staring at his phone as he eats cereal, depicting Facebook addiction

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Facebook is known as the king of social media, reaching more than 60 percent of internet users. It has more than 2.45 billion active monthly users and more than 1.62 billion users visiting daily. Clearly, many of us are fixated on our News Feeds, posts, and updates, but at some point, a Facebook fascination may actually turn into a Facebook obsession.

If you're wondering if you've crossed over to the dark side, here are seven signs that you may be addicted to Facebook.

Recognize the Symptoms of Facebook Addiction

While experts haven't recognized Facebook addiction as a true medical ailment, it's important to be aware of some warning signs that you're spending a little too much time and energy interacting on the social media platform, and not enough time interacting within your real life.

Spending Excessive Time on Facebook

Spending excessive time on Facebook is a clear red flag, but how much time is excessive? Do you wake up in the morning and check Facebook immediately? Is visiting Facebook the last thing you do at night? If you spend more than two hours in a row or three hours daily with your nose buried in the Facebook app or website, you're probably addicted. 

Person laying in bed in the dark looking at Facebook under the covers, depicting Facebook addiction
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Compulsive Profile Dressing

You should be doing your homework or working on that document your boss wants tomorrow, or even playing with your children, but instead, you decide to stage a photoshoot so you can upload your third new profile picture this week. This is a clear sign you're much too fixated on your online persona.

Status Update Anxiety

You feel anxious, nervous, or guilty if you don't update your Facebook status at least three or four times a day. Did you know that some people go days without updating their status?

Bathroom Updates

You take your phone into the bathroom so you can update your status or scroll through your newsfeed, commenting on the life events of others. This is a clear sign that things have gotten out of hand.

Man in the restroom using Facebook on his phone, depicting Facebook addiction
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Your Pets Joined Facebook

You created Facebook accounts for your dog or your cat, or both. They've even friended each other. You update your pet's status daily and even compose thought-provoking posts on their behalf. This clearly exceeds the boundaries of normalcy.

Facebook Tardy

Have you ever missed a work deadline, been late picking up your kids, or missed a business meeting because you got lost in the rabbit hole of Facebook video shares? Recognize that it's time to snap out of it and get back to your real life.

Friend Obsession

You have more than 600 Facebook friends, but you fret over whether you have enough. By the way, you've never actually met even half of those "friends." You eagerly add more friends as soon as you see some kind of connection, and you diligently respond to everyone's posts in the hopes that it will help you garner more comments. This anxious friend tallying is unhealthy, and it's time to dial it back.

Closeup of hand holding phone with numerous picture of Facebook friends, depicting Facebook addiction
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What to Do if You Are Addicted

If two or more of these addiction signs accurately reflect your relationship with Facebook, recognize that you might be frittering away too much of your real life by focusing on your virtual one. 

If you decide you want to address your Facebook addiction, try taking a break for a day or two and see how you fare. When you go back to Facebook, decide what's really of value and what you enjoy, and stop keeping up with aspects that feel obligatory, such as frequent status updates. Keep a log of the time you spend on the site, and adhere to self-imposed time limits.

If you're the cold-turkey-solution type, you can always deactivate or delete your Facebook account, but be prepared for a lot of extra free time and energy.

Hand chained while holding phone, depicting Facebook addiction
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