Are you addicted to Facebook?
Have you fallen under the spell of sites like Facebook or Twitter? Social networking addiction is a problem for a growing number of people in Galway, says Clinical Hypnotherapist Michael Mullen
Picture the scene - you have to study for exams or get that work project finished on time but it’s boring so your mind wanders and you keeping wondering whether anyone posted any new comments on your Facebook page after you posted those new photos online.
You log on and before you know it another hour or two has quietly slipped away and the studying or work project goes uncompleted. Does this sound familiar?
Even though social networking has revolutionised how we communicate with family, friends and businesses throughout the world, there is a darker side to it that comes in the form of social network addiction.
This is a problem for a growing number of people in Galway, according to Michael Mullen, a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Master Practitioner with over ten years’ experience.
“One of the tell tales signs to look out for if you think you are hooked on Facebook, Twitter or any of the other social networking sites is the need you have for constantly checking for updates throughout the day coupled with the feeling of your life being incomplete or even empty without your online community of friends.
“Ironically, social networking, with its false sense of connection to your online friends and sense of escapism, can increase feelings of loneliness when you have logged off. Perhaps even those same feelings that you wanted to escape from by going online in the first place.
“The biggest casualities of excessive social networking use are personal relationships. This comes in the form of distancing yourself and not being present for your partner, family, siblings or friends because there is always something interesting happening online, even though you may be in the same room as them.
“This can damage relationships and lead to friends dropping you because of what they perceive to be your anti-social or rude behaviour,” says Michael.
For some people who are poor sleepers Facebook may be a refuge for them to while away the small hours of the night being online with family members and friends who work and live in different time zones. The cumilative affect of this can be poor performance and concentration levels at work or college in the coming days and weeks ahead.
Another sign to look out for is the piling up of those household chores and jobs that never seem to get done because you are always busy online.
Checking your social network account many times during the day or constantly logging onto other social networking sights maybe a sign of a growing compulsive behaviour that needs to be kept in check.
One of the key things to remember is that with any habitual behaviour you need a certain amount of dissociation from what you are doing and its effects in order to sustain the behaviour. Being consciously aware of how long you spend online is the first step to gaining control of your habit.
This can be done by keeping a diary or journal and recording your usage and then cutting down daily. Some people ration their time online by setting an alarm clock on their mobile phone and when the alarm goes off that is a signal for them to stop and log off.
For other people the only solution is total abstinence, which means closing down their social networking account for good and channeling their energy into other things.
Hypnotherapy and NLP can be beneficial for uncovering the reasons and motivations for going online in the first place and can help and empower the user to generate other alternatives to spending endless amounts of time online.
“Social networking can be a valuable education tool and fun and a useful way of staying in touch with family and friends. The key to its use, like many things in life, is moderation”.
To book an appointment with Michael Mullen call 087-7928558 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.