Are you Addicted To the Internet? Social Media? Apps?

What is an Internet Addition?

Addictions can manifest differently in different people, but there are some common symptoms. Do you recognize yourself in any of the following scenarios?

  • You feel anxiety when you don’t go online for long periods of time
  • You compulsively check certain websites, like Instagram, Tik Tok, Reddit or the news, looking for new posts or ads
  • You are typically online for longer than you had intended because you lose track of time
  • You feel irritated or restless when you try to cut back on time spent online
  • You need to use the internet for longer periods of time to achieve the same satisfaction you once got from just a quick email session
  • Your job, marriage, or personal commitments are suffering because of the time you spend on the internet

Getting Help

If you are worried about being an internet addict, getting professional help is crucial. Like any other addition, it will be difficult to stop the behavior cold turkey. Talking to a therapist will address the root cause of why you turn to the internet to meet your needs. Chances are you need to use the internet for work or other legitimate reasons, so it can be tricky to figure out how to use online tools and apps without sliding into your previous bad habits of being addicted to the internet. Don’t go at it alone!

Do you have the facebook addiction?

I searched through a few of my own Facebook posts in regards to the “addicting” feeling and found myself posting: “Why is it that when I have a thousand things on the ‘to-do’ list, I find myself lost on Facebook?!?!” or my humorous (yet also somewhat serious): “I think I might start a new therapy group called “Facebook-aholics Anonymous.”

My posts on Facebook had a bit of humor, yet it also spoke the truth. I can feel and see how easy it could be to get lost for hours and become out of control. I am able to moderate my usage of social networking, but what about those who can’t redirect or limit themselves, or for those who have more addictive tendencies?

I have heard over and over with my clients saying that they struggle with the online social networking. It either gets in the way of the relationship (which you can read about in this article) or it completely gets out of control.

Questions to ask yourself to see if you have a Facebook Addiction

  • Do you spend a minimum of 2 hours a day on Facebook?
  • Do you find that you get behind on work or personal responsibilities because you continuously get side tracked on Facebook?
  • Do you start your day with with Facebook?
  • Do you end your day with Facebook?
  • Do you check Facebook on your cell phone on a regular basis?
  • Have you and your partner got into various fights because of Facebook?
  • Do you say “just one more peak” and next thing you know your back in your same routine?
  • Do you tell yourself you won’t look on Facebook, but then find yourself back on it?
  • Have friends or family shown concern about your Facebook activity?

If you answered yes more than no, you could benefit from taking a deeper look at your Facebook activity and take step to gain control on your social networking.

Here are a few tips on taking back control on your life and creating a healthy balance:


Set a FB Time Frame

Moderation is key!! Instead of cutting yourself off completely, allow yourself a limited time during the day. Facebook is a great way to connect with others and build relationships…but needs to be in moderation. Schedule time for social networking after work and personal obligation and limit the amount. Set a timer (I am not joking about this) and only allow yourself 30 minutes to network with your friends, family, and colleagues. Sometimes we need external accountability… and a timer works great!

Put your settings to “Off Line”

People can see if you are available online to have an instant message chat. Your childhood friend that you haven’t seen for 10 years may want to say hello and have a long, drawn out conversation about the years you have been apart. Put your settings to “Off line” so you aren’t easy to access for a conversation and you won’t be tempted to converse with others.

Email Folder Redirect

I get easily distracted, so I can relate with others who get distracted with emails from Facebook. Created a Facebook folder and have your emails automatically put into the FB folder. The emails won’t sit staring at you in your inbox. You can then click on the FB folder when it is time and you are done with your personal obligations. Try it out; see how this keeps you on track with business and accomplishing tasks.

Change Cell Phone Settings

I just got a new iPhone and somehow FB sends me text messages every time I get a message. This temptation of a text message for some people is like an alcoholic having a bottle of alcohol put in their hands randomly throughout the day…and expected to say “No.” Put up a detour and change your settings. Remove the application from your phone, and make sure that your cell phone doesn’t send you text message updates.

Relationship Time

If Facebook has been a problem in your relationship, start rebuilding your FB time and get your partner involved in your facebooking. Sit together and check out your friends and family as a team. Instead of having it drive you two apart, find a way to have Facebook bring you together.


The bottom line: social media can be addicting. It can get in the way of your everyday activities and it can be a roadblock for your relationships. Stop the browsing spiral by setting a time limit and sticking to it. To keep your relationships healthy, take the focus away from what your friends are doing online, and put it on what your partner (or friend) is doing with you in the moment.



Facebook Snooping: My Boyfriend Writes to Other Girls on Facebook

facebook relationship status

Question:Advice for Facebook Stalking

I admit it!  I am Facebook snooping!

I discovered that my boyfriend is writing to other girls on Facebook and it really bothers me. He usually just asks how they’re doing and they never respond (probably because they can see he’s in a relationship). I knew he was doing this in the past, and then I discovered his Facebook password and I logged into his account even though I know I shouldn’t snoop. I found more emails to other girls! What should I do now?


Since he has a track record of writing to other girls on Facebook in the past, you obviously don’t trust your boyfriend completely. Facebook snooping, even though it is violating, it is something that partners do to figure out whether or not they can trust each other in the relationship. If you trusted him, you would not have been so tempted to secretly check his Facebook account. When you find more emails being sent out, it only leaves you feeling more unsettled and insecure in the relationship, confirming why you mistrusted him in the first place. This might turn into a cycle if you don’t address the problem.

As for what to do next, don’t hide the fact that you read the emails. The bad feelings you have about the emails will only grow, fester, and come out in a bad way later on down the road. Deal with the issue straight on — you need to fess up and let your boyfriend know what’s going on. You did cross the line and violate his privacy by snooping, so be prepared to take responsibility for playing a part in hurting the relationship.

While you were crossing a line to log into your boyfriend’s Facebook account, the secretive emails to other women can also be seen as a betrayal. Your boyfriend needs to be held accountable for his part too. It sounds like trust is now declining on a fast pace in your relationship, so you need to establish some ground rules to live by. The secretive emails must stop and you will need to see evidence that your boyfriend is being honest with you.

Caution!  You may be so hurt and angry that you just want to lecture your boyfriend and flood him with a lot of emotion at once. Don’t do that! Instead, turn to your partner in a non-attacking way and share with him how hurt you feel as calmly as you can. Also acknowledge how you did invade his privacy and own up to your part.  Come up with a plan of attack together for how you can start fighting to rebuild the trust in your relationship and make it stronger.

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It’s been nearly 20 years since I first became interested in studying psychotherapy. I began practicing the scientific approaches to psychotherapy in 1997 and I was hooked from then on.

I earned my Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family psychotherapy in 2004 and I am currently licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist MFT (LMFT#47653) with the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS).

I focus my practice upon the empirically-based and proven research methods of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

I’ve seen these techniques consistently get results and I truly believe they are the most effective at creating positive, long-term change.

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