dale

Just when you thought the country was going to hades in a handbasket because of drug and alcohol addiction, up crops another malady — Facebook Addiction Disorder.

Just goes to show you. We used to worry about our children getting addicted to television. In retrospect, that seems like a wimpy concern.

When we talk about social networking, Facebook — with a subscriber base of approximately 500 million users, is the top social networking site in the world. It is believed that half of its users (which amounts to around 250 million people) log on to their Facebook account every single day without failing.

I log onto Facebook to check up on my friends and family, that’s about the extent of my surveilance.

Some indications that you have a problem:

• You wake up in the morning, and first thing you do is log onto your Facebook account.

You spend more than an hour on Facebook — at a stretch or in short episodes over regular intervals.

• You and your siblings converse through Facebook wall and messages, even though you stay in same house.

• You can’t seem to stop thinking about Facebook updates and comments when you are offline.

• You check Facebook for updates and comments after every hour at your workstation or on your cell phone.

• You look forward to get home in the evening so that you can see what is happening in cyberspace (on Facebook to be precise).

• Your Facebook wall is full of status updates, comments, and applications that you just used.

• You can’t go for a day without using Facebook, and even this thought makes you go into sort of depression.

• You give priority to Facebook over your commitments in professional and personal life.

• And lastly, your day ends with you checking Facebook for that one last time and bidding people ‘good nite’ through your Facebook status update. (You may even get an urge to wake up at middle of the night to see whether anyone has commented on your ‘gud nite’ status.)

Can you imagine this therapy scene: “Hello, my name is Brad and I’m a Facebook-feind. I’m an e-mail-aholic. I’m a Twittering twit. I’m a U-Tube boob. It’s been three days since I logged on and I’m in a really bad place today.”

So how do you get rid of your Facebook addiction? The foremost thing to do is to admit that you are suffering from it and understand that it can affect your life. Only when you are convinced of these two facts, you will be able to make any headway towards your Facebook de-addiction resolve. The next step will be to decide how much time you would want to spend on Facebook everyday — the lesser time you spend better it is for you. At the same time you should try giving up Facebook for other events and activities. Spending more time with your family and friends, instead of being glued to your personal computer in your room, will be of great help in your de-addiction drive. Depending on since how long you have been using Facebook, you will have this urge to check it every once in a while - when you are in the office, before you go to sleep, early in the morning etc. You will have to make sure that you don’t fall prey to any such urges. Simply put, you need to treat Facebook-ing as a pastime activity rather than a necessity, and you will be able to get rid of this addiction within a few days.

DALE LILLY  is Lifestyles Editor and may be contacted at 662-429-6359 ext. 248 of lifestyles@desototimes.com.

‘While you are destroying your mind watching the worthless, brain-rotting drivel on TV, we on the Internet are exchanging, freely and openly, the most uninhibited, intimate and, yes, shocking details about our config.sys settings.’

Dave Berry

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