Facebook (FB) was established in February 2004 and today, it is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. According to a reliable market survey – FB is available in 101 languages with more than 300,000 users using translations. As of March 2019, the monthly and daily active users in numbers were 2.38 Billion and 1.56 Billion respectively, with users from the US, India, and Europe topping the list.

  • FB stories are viewed by about 0.6 Billion viewers on a daily basis.
  • On a monthly collective basis, more than 5 Billion messages are posted on Facebook pages.
  • Facebook users on an average have more than 150 people added to their friend-lists.
  • As per records to March 2019, every 60 seconds spent on internet witnessed 1 million users log-in on this social media platform.

Basically, the daily consumption of Facebook by its users is huge. The FB platform definitely helps users in many ways, but Facebook addiction has become a major problem, seen mostly among teenagers and those within the age bracket of 18-30 years.

In this post, we will tell you about the possible signs of Facebook addiction, so that if you identify with any, you also find ways to overcome these addictions.

1. Urge to Comment on Almost Everything

Do you like commenting on FB memes and videos? The comment could be as short as ‘Wow’, ‘Cool’, etc. or a debate over something that is followed up for days together. A person starts a conversation or simply comments on a post, and you engage in it either by reacting or replying and once you do so, FB notifies you on every comment in the thread. And then the never-ending tirade of replies encroaches on your sleep time – a sign of social media abuse.

Ways to Combat:

  • Avoid commenting on each and everything you find on Facebook.
  • If caught in the snare of a continuous discussion in the comment thread, avoid replying after a point of time.
  • Live and let live – adopt this mantra for FB commenting as well, especially if contradicting views are shared by several on a topic. You do not have to necessarily convince someone to change their outlooks or views by engaging in nonstop commenting.

2. Follow People Who Are Least Bothered About You

You may have several people added on your friend-list, some whom you never met in life or ever conversed with apart from a ‘Hi’ at a restaurant. If you have an addiction of Facebook, you probably want to be updated with everything about people you know or err apparently don’t know. So you hit the ‘follow’ button on profiles of people.

The next what follows is – FB notifies you every time a person you followed, posts on his/her wall. These notifications encourage you to react and engage in the post, which forces you to open Facebook and scroll forever.

Ways to Combat:

  • Start with un-following people whom you do not even speak with, for updates. This will reduce the number of notifications you receive.
  • Take a few hours off Facebook so that you are able to better control the urge to open the FB app on your smartphone only to check what others are posting about.
  • Ignore heated discussions and controversial posts by others that would otherwise only make you spend more time on FB.

3. Checking Out Meaningless Apps and Quizzes

There was a time when people used to read the daily horoscope in newspapers and take IQ tests to understand what career choice they should make, or rather understand their distinct personality traits. Today, these have been replaced by Personality Test Apps and Quizzes, Horoscope Predictions on FB, which many believe in – crucially signs of Facebook overuse.

Users of this social media platform try out apps and quizzes that tell them about their favorite breakfast, the color that matches their personality, not to mention which superhero character of a movie they resemble. It is all an imaginary and programmed world that users are becoming increasingly hooked on and somehow finding comfort in.

Ways to Combat:

  • Simply stop taking on FB quizzes and believing online predictions about yourself, because you know yourself better than a bot or virtual system and app.
  • If you are unsure about your likes and dislikes, ask your close ones about what they think about it and try to understand more about yourself than depending on an FB quiz for the same.
  • Use the time you spend on online quizzes to expand your knowledge by reading books or building on your hobbies such as singing, dancing, painting, etc.

4. Shop on the Social Media Platform

Remember the thrill of shopping with friends and family members on a weekend? But since you discovered Facebook, have you stopped doing so? Have you built a habit of endlessly checking out FB pages and groups by your favorite brands and outlets, without even intending to purchase any goodies or buying the ones you do not even require? If so, then it surely indicates that the time you spend on FB is too much for your own good.

Ways to Combat:

  • Make a list of things you need to purchase for the week. This will help curtail unnecessary purchases via FB and get over your addiction of Facebook platform.
  • Take some time off and go shopping with dear ones and socialize with them than shopping on FB.
  • Unlike and unfollow FB pages and groups that tend to motivate you to shop for things.

5. Not Able to Socialize Offline With Loved Ones

If you are much more comfortable discussing and talking things out with dear ones over FB than face-to-face, then it is clearly a scenario of Facebook addiction. Probably you get panicky when speaking to others in public or in private and prefer chatting online? Or, you think talking with strangers on FB than your real friends is much better?

But when offline, even a simple phone call from the same people is what you tend to avoid, lest meeting them in person. However, things were not that difficult before you got hooked on to FB? These are some of the signs of Facebook dependency.

Ways to Combat:

  • Cut down on online conversations and focus on actual phone calls and social gatherings. It will surely help reduce your social anxiety.
  • If you think social anxiety is too much to handle, speak about it with the ones who care about you and seek the help of a counselor.
  • Do not get into a debate or conversation with strangers. Restrict discussions within your friend circle.

6. Your Mood is Influenced By What People Think of You on FB

The biggest addiction of Facebook is when your mood gets easily influenced by what people think of you on this social media platform. Do you get upset on not receiving enough number of likes on your profile picture? Someone you expected to comment on a post, did not do so?

Someone you contacted on FB messenger has not replied yet? Do all these things affect you emotionally and psychologically? If so, you must definitely keep a check on your FB usage.

Ways to Combat:

  • If you feel mentally and emotionally disturbed by FB activities, then take a break from the platform and introspect – do you really have to get upset because someone is not replying or appreciating your profile picture?
  • If getting a reaction from someone is really important to you then do not wait for things to take a shape on FB, but call up or meet the person and seek a solution.
  • Practice yoga and meditation every day. It will help calm your mind and ease off stress.

7. A desire for Facebook Fame

Do you need validation from virtual friends for your opinions and lifestyle you follow? Do you tend to rant on FB often in the hope that people will praise you for your views? Do you project a different image of yourself online than what you are in reality, in the hope to gain popularity among Facebook friends? If all these are true, then you are giving FB more importance than you should.

Ways to Combat:

  • Believe in yourself and do not depend on virtual friends to validate your lifestyle and viewpoints.
  • If you need feedback on something then consult the ones who you think can actually provide a practical opinion than looking for opinions of everyone on FB.
  • Do not pretend about yourself to anyone, be it online or offline. Be yourself, be real, no matter whatever hurdles you face. You can always overcome those eventually.

8. Spend More Time Planning About How to Use Facebook

Usually, people chalk out their daily schedule in advance so as to make the most of their time – like get done with pending tasks, give more time to the dear ones, run errands for someone, etc. But a Facebook addict spends more time thinking about how to use FB for the day and what all he/she should do on the platform.

Some of the signs of Facebook addiction are updating FB status to a ‘good morning’ the very moment you wake up but failing to greet those at home, sharing a picture online of what you cook for lunch, visiting a place only to boast about it on FB by sharing a live video about checking-in at that venue but having no personal interest to actually enjoy an outing there.

Ways to Combat:

  • Consciously avoid sharing tidbits about your daily activities on FB.
  • Rather spend more time with those around you and get to know them better. These people are the ones who may actually make a difference in your life.
  • Get done with crucial tasks than procrastinating and spending time online. Facebooking can wait for a while.

Final Thoughts

Facebook indeed is a great platform to socialize with people. It helps to bridge the gap between loved ones by making it easier to stay in touch with each other. Here, you can do almost everything you want online – chat, video call, shop, check out current updates and news, share opinions, gather followers, introduce and expand a business, and a lot more.

However, it is equally important to not overuse this social media platform to a level that you develop an addiction of Facebook, which in turn can be detrimental to health, your real-life relationships, and mental state. The above-given scenarios tell you about the possible signs to FB addiction and how you can get around the same.

Do let us know if you have noticed any other symptoms of Facebook addiction and how you think one can overcome those.

Author Bio:

Satchit Hasabnis is a Chartered Financial Analyst with more than 10 years of experience in the financial services industry. He also has an in-depth understanding of digital marketing and social media platforms. Satchit is a co-founder of loanbaba.com which provides hassle-free loans online like Personal loans, Business Loans, Gold Loans, Small Cash Loans, Education Loans, Loans against Property, etc.