The Facebook Epidemic

April 3, 2012
By Carter Chapman GOLD, Cannon Falls, Minnesota
Carter Chapman GOLD, Cannon Falls, Minnesota
13 articles 0 photos 0 comments

In January of 2010, a Florida woman became so frustrated over her 3-month old son for crying while she was playing Farmville, that she shook him so hard she killed him. The woman (Alexandra V. Tobias) pleaded guilty to second – degree murder that October.

Now, social media may seem like a harmless way just to broadcast pictures of your child, or establishing to everyone on your friends list what you are eating for lunch. While it has its many ups, it also has some negative side effects. Whether it’s posting insulting comments about someone to the News Feed, or posting a picture of a marijuana leaf saying how stoned you are in the description, it can get you into trouble.

According to, “Facebook Addiction Disorder (FAD) is a term introduced by US phychologists for those who are addicted to Facebook and their life is really affected by their uncontrolled activities on Facebook.” Approxomitley 350 million people are suffering from Facebook addiction, worldwide.

One day, Cynthia Newton’s 12 year old daughter asked her to help her with her homework, but Cynthia chose not to help her, because she was too busy on Facebook. This got her daughter thinking, so she went to her room and emailed her mother, thinking she would certainly read it than. However, Cynthia didn’t read the email because she was still so drawn in onto Facebook. “I’m an addict. I just get lost in Facebook,” Cynthia said. “My daughter gets so PO’d at me, and really it is kind of pathetic. It’s not something I’m particularly proud of. I just get so sucked in.” And that’s not all, Cynthia is also a single mother, she says she “Facebook Flirts” with old classmates of hers who are also single on there.
According to an article done by CNN Health, you know you are addicted to Facebook when:
You lose /sleep over it
You spend more than an hour a day on it
You become obsessed with old loved ones
You ignore work in favor of Facebook
The thought of getting off Facebook leaves you in a cold sweat

Quitting Facebook may seem far out of reach, and you don’t have to do that. Sometime a break is good as well. “I've been Facebook-free for about six weeks, and I don't miss it at all.” said Michael W. Austin, an associate professor of philosophy at Eastern Kentucky University. “I stay in touch with my friends in other ways, and am out of touch with my acquaintances and "Facebook friends," which in all honesty is fine with me.”

An article done by The Telegraph, a British newspaper, states that ‘resisting the urge to check social networking sites for updates is more difficult than turning down a drink.’ They surveyed 250 people, and discovered that sleep and sex were the two things people waited for during the day; however the urges to keep up to date on social networks and work were the hardest to hold back.

If you believe that you are addicted to Facebook, do not worry. There are a vast number of solutions. As hard as it may be to believe, there are actually treatment facilities that are dedicated to treating Internet addiction. For example, reSTART in Redmond, Washington. ReSTART charges $14,500 for a 45 day intensive care program that is modeled off of other 12-step addiction programs. If you believe that this is for more severely addicted people, do not worry, there are other alternatives. According to, there are 8 simple ways to beat not just a
Facebook addiction, but an internet addiction as a whole.
Admit that you have a problem.
Write down exactly how much time you spend on each site.
Give yourself a set time of the day to visit.
Turn off email notifications.
Meditate as soon as the thought arises.
Get off the computer.
Write down what you used to do before Facebook.
Whenever you are feeling like going onto Facebook to talk to friends, try texting them instead. Or if you are going on to post something on the wall, try writing in a journal or talking to one of your friends instead. This may be old fashioned, but it can work! There are many options out there, and remember, you are not alone. Most of us that are addicted to Facebook don’t even realize it. Some people may just continue to post to the News Feed 20 times a day, with likes on their posts or not. Our parents survived without Facebook, and I don’t think they turned out SO bad, so why can’t we?

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