Might as Well Face It…You’re Addicted to Facebook

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Facebook may have recently topped 350 million global members, but some of them are taking various steps to wean themselves off their addictions to the social-networking site, many of them high school students, according to The New York Times.

Among the teens who told their stories to the Times:

Neeka Salmasi, 15, a sophomore in Ann Arbor, Mich., told the newspaper she got better grades after having her sister change her Facebook password on Sunday nights and reveal it to her on Friday nights.

Halley Lamberson, 17, and Monica Reed, 16, juniors at San Francisco University High School, only allow themselves to log on to Facebook on the first Saturday of every month.

Gaby Lee, 17, a senior at Head-Royce School in Oakland, Calif., deactivated her Facebook account because she only had two weeks to complete her early decision application to Pomona College.

Kimberly Young, a psychologist and director of the Center for Internet Addiction Recovery in Bradford, Pa., told the Times:

It’s like any other addiction. It’s hard to wean yourself. A lot of them are finding their own balance. It’s like an eating disorder. You can’t eliminate food. You just have to make better choices about what you eat, and what you do online.

And Sherry Turkle, a psychologist and director of the Initiative on Technology and Self at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, speaking about one 18-year-old boy, told the Times: “Facebook wasn’t merely a distraction, but it was really confusing him about who he was,” adding that he avoided the site during his senior year because he was burned out from trying to live up to his own descriptions of himself.