FaceAnonymous Purports To Rehab Facebook Habits

We advocate using Facebook in moderation. But if your usage of the site is causing you grief or conflict, Dan Perguine and Siavosh Arasteh might have a solution for you -- as soon as they can get it to work on themselves!

We advocate using Facebook in moderation. But if your usage of the site is causing you grief or conflict, Dan Peguine and Siavosh Arasteh might have a solution for you — as soon as they can get it to work on themselves, that is.

The duo boast an online rehabilitation program that aims to help people reduce their Facebook usage within two weeks. In case you’re confused about the definition of rehab like these founders seem to be,v here’s a link to it.

Yes, the founders Peguine and Arasteh are still trying to reduce their own use of Facebook. They only just started on July 25 — is that why they still have profiles on the site?

Like they told Megan O’Neill of SocialTimes:

We decided it was time to become healthier in our Facebook consumption and do more interesting things with our time. For the next two weeks we have decided to log on to Facebook no more than twice a day (whether mobile or desktop). We started a public spreadsheet to record our logins and invite our friends to join.

Good luck with that, guys. Actually, they’ve gotten a lot of response from their so-called Facebook Rehab project and moved it to the domain name FaceAnonymous.com. The homepage there declares that it is prelaunch. Of course it is.

Now even the founders of the original 12-step group racked up a lot more than a week of abstinence before proceeding to publish anything, although said organization predated the Internet by a good seven decades. (Have you noticed I didn’t spell out the name of the organization the duo’s URL invokes? That’s very deliberate. See items 10 through 12 in this embedded link.)

And there’s one of the ironies inherent in these two using the word “Anonymous” in their URL: they are not abstaining from using Facebook, nor practicing anything even remotely resembling the oldest and most effective system for overcoming addiction. They can’t even refrain from using Facebook’s Connect application programming interface to power the site.

Of course, you might say that the very nature of a blog like AllFacebook.com might make it inherently biased against anything that purports to “rehabilitate” a Facebook addiction. Fair enough, but we’ve documented this phenomenon before, and more importantly, have enough experience with real rehabilitative phenomena to call something phony when we see it.

When people have asked me whether any particular mutual friend has an addiction, I respond with the questions: Has that person lost a job, relationship or friends because of using the substance in question? Is he or she feeling pain or conflict because of their use?

Yes, those questions are shorthand for the 12 that are formally used to diagnose an addiction. Neither set appears on any of the materials advanced by FaceAnonymous, nor in what the two founders told O’Neill of SocialTimes.

For what it’s worth, there are already many pages and groups on Facebook proclaiming themselves to be resources for people who feel that they’re addicted to the social network. We tip our virtual hats to all of you and offer this bit of advice: Perhaps you want to use the word “overuse” instead of addiction, because the successful treatment for the latter is complete abstention.

Readers, what do you think about the notion of so-called Facebook Addiction Disorder.