Confessions of a Facebook Addict

cell phone pink nails

Hello, my name is Aimee, and I am a Facebook addict. Over the past six months, in an attempt to get my addiction under control, I have taken two, month-long hiatuses from Facebook (by deactivating my account). In doing so, I made some startling discoveries.

  1. How often I was formulating Facebook posts in my head for the everyday happenings in my life.  I caught myself in the kitchen that first day, conjuring up a pithy post about the meal I was preparing.  Later, I had a conflict with one of my children and was working on a Facebook vent.  When I finally realized what I was doing, I found it both amusing and disturbing.  Was this really how I thought about my life- like a series of Facebook posts?  Pretty pathetic . . .and telling.
  2. How often I picked up my phone to scroll through Facebook. This alarmed me.  I literally couldn’t cross the room without checking  my phone. When I did, I found myself perplexed, because there was nothing to look at.  The reality that I was checking Facebook that often throughout my day was a real eye-opener.  It took two weeks for me to stop randomly picking up my phone every two minutes.  Even then, I had to tell myself to just “walk on by.” The truth was, I had no reason to look at my phone more than a few times per day.
  3. They say it takes 28 days to form a habit, so I was dismayed to discover how quickly I resorted to my old, addictive ways within just one day of returning to Facebook, even after a month’s absence.  That is why I call myself an addict.  For the alcoholic, there is no going back.  He can’t just have one drink socially because his body and mind are wired for addiction to alcohol.  Twice now, I have deactivated my Facebook account and both times, upon reactivating, I have returned to my scrolling habits in full force.  I’m still trying to figure out how I can manage my addiction so that I don’t have to give it up altogether.
  4. How much I missed the “friendship” Facebook offers. I don’t have a lot of recreational time available as the mother of five, but I am an outgoing person, so Facebook is how I stay social: it’s where I can hang out with my friends any time, and keep encouraged and accountable through the great writer’s group I belong to. When I was not on Facebook, I admit I felt lonely.  I missed those daily interactions. However, I did make time to see a couple of friends in person, which is much more valuable than exchanging comments on a post.  This was made possible because of . . .
  5. How much more time I had when I was not constantly reading articles and scrolling through the same news feed items multiple times per day. All of a sudden, I wasn’t “too busy” to play a game with my kids or read to them, to get the housework and office work done, to write or read a book. Just those “few” minutes of diversion, several times each day, were robbing me of the joy of living my life.

Currently, I am back on Facebook, and I’m still struggling to find balance and self-control. If it weren’t for this blog (Facebook is crucial to promoting posts and staying connected to my readers) and the loneliness I experienced when I wasn’t on Facebook, I might just give it up for good.

What about you? Have you ever done a Facebook fast?  What discoveries did you make?  Are you a Facebook addict, too?

10 thoughts on “Confessions of a Facebook Addict

  1. I admit, I am addicted. If I’m not looking on my phone, I’m on my desktop. I was FB msging my dream coach and she was encouraging me to go write and I said, “I am and if you quit interrupting me, I could finish.” She said, log out of FB. So I did, and when I was done, I logged back in.
    When I’m traveling and I can’t get a signal, I get frustrated that I can’t post about it. Lol.
    And as much as I used to complain about the kids bringing the phone to the supper table, I do that now (though I live alone, I don’t want to eat alone). My list of excuses goes on.
    I guess it’s comforting to know we are not alone in our struggles.

    1. None of my kids have a phone yet, and they often complain about me being on my phone too much. What kind of role model am I, and how addicted will they become, having lived with me and my bad habits? I shudder to think of it.

  2. Very interesting insight. I think, unfortunately, we can’t do without it anymore. Similar to email. The mindless scrolling is what gets me, and it almost feels mindfully painful versus reading a book, which instills calmness. I think the challenge is, how to integrate Fb into our lives so it ads to it and doesn’t subtract…

    1. I agree with you on all points, Anna. It does feel like a necessity of sorts. When I hear of people who aren’t on FB at all, I think, how do you survive? LOL. But, yes, the mindless scrolling is the worst part. If you figure out a solution, be sure to let us know:)

  3. Yes, I have begun to admit that I may be an addict. Most of the time I can discipline myself to stay away until a certain task is done but my resolve has slipped a bit. But I’m still wanting to go the moderation route if possible – partly because much of my “ministry” happens on Facebook. Fortunately I am still having some success with that moderation thing. I like myself better when I am unplugged more of the time.

    1. Me too! I definitely felt more connected to my loved ones and my other interests when I was on hiatus, which made me a more joyful and peaceful person. As they say, “All things in moderation.”

  4. Oh wow! It is as if you are reading my mind. I too struggle with this especially lately. I find myself logging on when I have big decisions to make and want to avoid them, when I am overwhelmed, when I am bored, when I am lonely, when I am not lonely or to reward myself. I am sitting with my kids and before I know it an hour has gone by where we haven’t spoken. My husband told my son the other day that I couldn’t hear him because I had “phone face” *blush*. I am absolutely convicted about it. But I log off and within a short while I have logged on again because I have a number of charities contacting me via facebook and off course as you mentioned, the blog side of it.

    What is the answer? Well we would laugh in the face of a drug or alcohol addict who tells us they are just going to “have one drink” or “take one line”. We would advise them to stay as far away from it as possible. But then in rehab we would deal with the root of that addiction. Why did they turn to substances etc.

    So I think I need to take time away from Facebook indefinitely until I have dealt with those root issues. Am I afraid of missing out? Am I just lazy, wanting to avoid housework? Am I procrastinating?

    Good luck dear one. I read of a friend on facebook recently who asked her husband to change her password on facebook and not give it to her for 2 months. That would take admitting that you are addicted lol

    God bless

  5. Amen to this! I too struggle with this and am contemplating giving it up for some REAL friendship and family time. Write REAL letters, pick up the phone or make time to meet a friend for coffee. We can scroll through pictures on our phone together and show each other what is actually happening in our lives. The good, bad and ugly…well, maybe only the good:)

    1. Yes, as I said, I was surprised at how much free time I had available to enjoy life with my family especially, instead of neglecting them for my “relationship” with FB. Let me know how it goes!

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