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Facebook Is Addictive By Design (But Here’s How to Stop)

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Facebook Is Addictive By Design (But Here's How to Stop)

It doesn't matter when or where. You could be sitting in a meeting at work, or listening to a lecture at school. You could be at the movies with friends, or at the dinner table with family.

It doesn't matter what you're doing (as long as you're not driving). Your fingers are twitching. You find yourself reaching for your pocket again.

You've just got to know: did your favorite page post a new update? Did anyone comment on your new profile pic yet? Have you gotten any likes on your clever status update?

Everyone makes fun of you for always staring at your smartphone. Maybe your parents or spouse or kids yell at you to put it away and pay attention. You're mastering the art of stealing subtle glances at the screen before anyone notices that you're checking your Facebook feed for the tenth time in an hour.

It's not that big a deal, right? Pretty much everyone's on Facebook now. Social media is an integral part of modern society in the internet age.

The statistics seem to back you up: since Facebook's founding, the amount of time the average person spends on social media has more than doubled, and Facebook itelf says that the average American spends about 40 minutes checking their Facebook feed every day.

But maybe all the jokes and pleas for your attention are starting to get to you. If everyone you know is telling you that you spend too much time on Facebook, it might be time to start listening.

When it comes to any addiction, it's not all about the quantity. It's about how it affects you and your loved ones, and whether it interferes with how you live your life.

If you think your Facebook addiction might be causing problems in your life, or you just want to cut back a bit so you can focus your attention and energy on more important things, here's how you can start to take control.


How to Beat Facebook Addiction

“Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.” – Carl Jung

With 1.32 billion monthly users, Facebook is one of the most heavily used websites in the world. So what’s the problem?

What is Addiction?

A strong and harmful need to regularly have something or do something.

Impacts of Addiction include…

  • Inability to abstain
  • Impairment in behavioral control
  • Cravings for rewarding experiences (checking Facebook updates)
  • Inability to recognize significant problems
  • Dysfunctional emotional responses

Are You a Facebook Addict?

Combined with definition above, can you identify with these behavioral statistics?

Of US Facebook users:

  • 63% visit the site at least once a day
  • 40% visit the site multiple times throughout the day
  • 48% of people check or update Facebook after they go to bed

40 minutes per day &ndash the average time someone from the US spends on Facebook

17% of total time spent on iOS and Android connected devices is spent on Facebook

15% of employees check Facebook during work hours

1 out of 4 people feel ill at ease if they can’t log in to Facebook on a regular basis

Researchers in Norway have developed a way to measure Facebook addiction, as published in the journal Psychological Reports.

The Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale:

  1. You Spend a lot of time thinking about using Facebook
  2. You Feel the need to use Facebook more and more
  3. You Use Facebook to escape dealing with your personal problems
  4. You Have tried but failed to cut down on using Facebook
  5. You Become anxious if you’re prohibited from using Facebook
  6. You Have suffered productivity losses in your job/studies because of your Facebook usage

According to researchers, scoring “often” or “always” on at least 4 of the above may suggest you’re addicted to Facebook.

How to Kick the Habit

Hooked? Spend less time on Facebook by following these steps:

  1. Delete tempting Facebook games

    Are you a social Facebooker? If you consider gifting imaginary farm equipment or playing with jewels as a way to hang out with friends, you might want to reconsider your social life.

    1. Click on the arrow in the upper right-hand corner
    2. Select ‘Settings’
    3. Choose ‘Apps’ on the left side of the page
    4. Click the ‘x’ next to each app or game you’d like to remove from Facebook

  2. Remove fake friends

    Do you really need to keep in touch with classmate acquaintances from years ago?

    1. Go to your fake friend’s profile
    2. Hover over the ‘Friends’ button
    3. Select ‘Unfriend’

  3. Unsubscribe from notifications

    Notifications can get distracting, especially if you check Facebook every time you get one.

    1. Click on the arrow in the upper right-hand corner
    2. Select ‘Settings’
    3. Choose ‘Notifications’ on the left side
    4. Modify how you receive notifications from Facebook on this page

  4. Turn push notifications off on your mobile device

    Without push enabled on your phone, you won’t feel the strong need to check each and every notification as it comes in.

    1. Select the highlighted button and scroll to the bottom
    2. Click Account Settings > Notifications > Mobile Push
    3. Un-check things you don’t want to be notified about

  5. Uninstall Facebook Messenger feature

    Sometimes we can’t say no to chatting with friends online. Prevent the temptation by getting rid of Facebook Messenger.

    For Android:

    1. Go to Settings
    2. Open Applications Manager
    3. Select Messenger
    4. Click Uninstall

    For iPhone:

    1. Hold down the Messenger icon until the icons begin to shake and an “x” appears in the upper left hand corner
    2. Click on the “x” and select “yes” to delete Messenger

  6. Uninstall the Facebook app on your mobile device

    Facebook at your fingertips is a big waste of time. Just check notifications later on your computer. They’ll still be there.

    For Android:

    1. Tap ‘Apps’ icon
    2. Select ‘Settings’
    3. Go to ‘Application Manager’
    4. Swipe left until you get to ‘All’ tab
    5. Scroll through until you find Facebook
    6. Choose to disable the Facebook app

    For iOS:

    1. Hold on to app icon until all apps begin to shake and display an ‘X’
    2. Click ‘X’ to remove Facebook from iPhone

  7. Take a break by deactivating your account

    Still feel the constant urge to check Facebook? Perhaps a vacation from social media is in order. Remember, your data is still saved so you can always reactivate in the future.

    1. Click on the arrow in the upper right-hand corner
    2. Select ‘Settings’
    3. Click on ‘Security’ on the left side
    4. Chose ‘Deactivate your account’ at the bottom of the page

  8. Delete Facebook

    For extreme cases of Facebook addiction. Warning: this option will permanently delete your profile.

    1. Click on the arrow in the upper right-hand corner
    2. Go to ‘General Settings’ menu
    3. At the bottom of the page, click on ‘Download a copy of your Facebook data’ – this saves your data in the event you need it in the future
    4. Access the ‘Delete My Account’ page, only accessible at https://www.facebook.com/help/delete_account
    5. Select ‘Delete My Account’

Facebook can get in the way of real life. Rather than ‘like’ an event in someone’s life, BE a part of their life.


  • How to Delete/Uninstall an iPhone App - alvinalexander.com
  • Americans Now Spend More Time on Facebook than They Do on Their Pets - businessweek.com
  • How Do I Remove an App or Game That I&Rsquo;ve Downloaded? - facebook.com
  • How Do I Adjust What I Get Notifications About? - facebook.com
  • How Do I Unfriend or Remove a Friend? - facebook.com
  • How to Remove Built-in (Bloatware) Apps on Your Android Devices? - facebook.com
  • How Do I Deactivate My Account - facebook.com
  • How Do I Permanently Delete My Account - facebook.com
  • Apps Solidify Leadership Six Years into the Mobile Revolution - flurry.com
  • the True Costs of Facebook Addiction: Low Self-Esteem and Poor Body Image - forbes.com
  • Our Mission - newsroom.fb.com
  • Social Media Update 2013 - pewinternet.org
  • 2013 Wasting Time at Work Survey - salary.com
  • Social Media Survey Finds Use in Bed, on Waking - sfgate.com
  • New Research about Facebook Addiction - uib.no
  • Hartman E C (2006), the Population Fix, Nature.
  • Addiction - Definition - Merram-webster.com
  • Definition of Addiction - asam.org
  • How Do I Turn Push Notifications on or off from Mobile? - facebook.com
  • How Do I Uninstall the Messenger App from My Android? - facebook.com
KeriLynn Engel

About KeriLynn Engel

KeriLynn has worked as a freelance writer for various websites. She is an advocate for domestic abuse victims and has way too many hobbies.


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Randy McClendon

July 24, 2019

I have a Facebook addiction and I’ve made several pages I tried deleting my profile but I wind up right on there again if I’m not on there I feel weak or I feel anaxiety I wish they never came out with it,but they did it can be used for good or bad but if your trying to do something with your life Facebook is a distraction


Coby Bottoms

October 9, 2019

I just recently stopped using facebook all together. It was an annoying few days but I feel much better for it. In the interest of this topic and this article, I will admit openly that I am a person who once used hardcore drugs for many years, including meth. My point is that I really agree with the fact that facebook and other programs like it are indeed addictive. Thank you.