Facebook addiction with causes symptoms and treatment

Facebook addiction is gone – confidence when using this social network to the point of neglecting aspects of daily life such as work or face-to-face social relationships. The obsession with this online platform is one of the latest addictive behavior-associated disorders.

Research related to internet addiction and new digital media has demonstrated the existence of a possible Facebook addiction, although it is such a current disorder, there are many resources to be defined, to give it the scientific validity it deserves.

There are many experts who still do not consider Facebook addiction an addiction that may need psychiatric help like other behavioral disorders, until now considered more serious, as is the case with gaming addiction.

There are also critical voices like Griffiths, who claim that Facebook addiction should be studied based on the activities or apps used on this portal, rather than analyzing the site in general.

However, there are common symptoms that show that this social network can become an obsession for Internet users who spend a lot of time on it.


Facebook addiction is a behavioral disorder as it involves repeating some behaviors even though they may affect daily routines and mental health.

In this case, the compulsive attitudes are continuous access to that network or staying for an excessive amount of time using it. Due to their similarities, Facebook can be considered a subtype of Internet addiction.

Facebook has become a global phenomenon that, in addition to revolutionizing the world of communication, has changed social relationships, affecting very intimately at the individual level. This phenomenon has increased with the arrival of mobile devices, which allow you to access your profile at any time and from anywhere.

More and more people are using Facebook, not just to share content with their friends, but for other activities that used to be handled by other media or places. This can be as basic as being informed about current affairs, looking for work or simply investing time in leisure.

Facebook addiction causes

The causes of Facebook addiction are not entirely clear. There are studies that link them to the same circumstances that produce addiction to the Internet, although there are other investigations that point to some personal characteristics that suggest that some individuals are more predisposed to suffer an addiction to this online portal.

A study carried out with Taiwanese students in 2014 indicated that an inferiority complex or a depressive character can influence the use of Facebook, resulting in many cases of dependence on this social network.

Another sample indicates that shyness is closely related to Facebook use, although it does not have a positive impact on the number of friends added to this online portal. This study does not necessarily indicate that shy people need to be addicted to Facebook, but they tend to fulfill their social needs through this digital platform.

Narcissistic people, or people with low self-esteem, are also Facebook users, as they use this medium to gain the favorable opinion of others and reassert themselves. This is stated in an article by psychologist Soraya Mehdizadeh on social networks and behavior.


Facebook addiction is closely related to internet addiction. It can be classified as a type of cyberdry, so its symptoms are similar.

Kimberly Young, a psychologist by training and an expert on Internet addiction, argues that there are several subtypes of addiction, depending on the addicted Internet user’s use of the Web.

According to these uses, there are several types of Internet addiction, including addiction to social networks, digital platforms or digital communities in which users are the ones who produce the content.

Dr. Kimberly Young is also the founder of the Center for Internet Addiction, which has been treating this type of web-related disorder since 1995. Young lays out five signs that can help you know if you have a Facebook addiction disorder:

You share a lot of content

This sign indicates that you plan too much or think too much about the activities we will do and how we will do them on Facebook.

Do you feel the need to use Facebook more and more?

That is, you log in to constantly check for updates, even when you know you don’t have news on your profile.

You use Facebook to get rid of your personal problems

When this happens, you waste time that was previously used on basic daily routine tasks and can cause problems with those around you due to lack of attention.

You feel uneasy or worried when you cannot or are prohibited from using Facebook

Social media addicts can experience a type of withdrawal syndrome.

You make excessive use of Facebook that negatively affects your friends or social relationships

There has come a point where you’d rather meet your social needs through the screen than face-to-face.

How to know if you are addicted to Facebook?

Research at the University of Bergen, Norway, led by Cecilie Schou, developed in 2012 a Facebook addiction scale, the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale (BFAS).

This scale has 18 items, among which the 6 core elements of addiction are reflected (highlight, mood swings, tolerance, withdrawal, conflict and relapse).

Here is an example of some of these top scoring questions, so you can check whether or not you are addicted to Facebook. All questions are scored on the following scale: 1: Very Rarely, 2: Rarely, 3: Sometimes, 4: often, 5: very often.

During the past year…

  1. How often have you wasted time thinking about Facebook or planning to use it?
  2. How many times have you felt the need to use Facebook, more and more?
  3. Do you often use Facebook to avoid your personal problems?
  4. How many times have you tried to stop using Facebook without success?
  5. Have you ever felt anxious or worried when you got banned from Facebook?
  6. Have you used Facebook to such an extent that it has had a negative impact on your work or studies?

These questions referring to the Facebook addiction scale, created by researchers at the University of Bergen, were related to other questions related to other addictions and even sleeping habits.

Finally, after checking the reliability of the test, it was shown that many of the symptoms coincided with those of other addictions, and even that addiction to Facebook can have sleep-delaying effects.


The Center for Internet Addiction and Recovery states on its website that addicts to Facebook and social media in general should take a number of steps:

  1. Admit that there is a problem. It is the necessary first step to start taking action.
  2. Disable all notifications. This avoids the temptation to check the social network for something new.
  3. Change and limit Facebook access hours, for example, reducing social network usage to twice a day.

According to the center of Dr. Young, since the time dedicated to the application is reduced, the next step is to provide psychological help to the addict so that he can find alternatives to socialize and communicate outside the screens.

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