Are you a part of this social-networking phenomenon? It has been described as addictive and “like crack.” I, myself, have joined Facebook in the last year. I got tired of “why aren’t you on Facebook?” Please don’t get me wrong, I love staying connected with family and friends through the network, however, I have several clients that have ruined the intimacy in their relationship by allowing Facebook to consume their time and energy more than their spouse. According to a recent University of California, Los Angeles, report “the cost of Facebook could be the devaluing of real friendships and the reduction of face to face interactions.”

Let’s define Addiction in its simplest term: Anything that we use or turn to over and over to meet a legitimate need in an unhealthy way.

If you relate with the below, you could be a Facebook Addict!

1.You use Facebook as a distraction and it takes you into a fantasy world on some level. Facebook can give you the illusion that you have many friends and yet does not require personal contact face to face.

2.You are constantly thinking of what you could share with your online Facebook friends. Individuals now have the ability to update their status right from the phone. Anywhere and anytime! Do people really want to know what you just had for dinner?

3.You have no boundaries online that you would normally have if it were face to face interactions.
Online boundaries should be treated just like regular boundaries — even if those people are only a click away.

Consider the recent news headline in Flowery Branch, Georgia: Ojinnaka Accused of Fighting With Wife. Ok…What’s the big deal?  We all fight with our spouses!  The first line of the article posted on ESPN’s website’s news section: “Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman Quinn Ojinnaka is free on bond after being accused of fighting with his wife over his Facebook activity, police said Friday.”  The article later describes, “Police said Ojinnaka’s wife confronted him about contact with a female friend on Facebook. Police said he tossed her down some stairs and threw her out of their house…”

Have a balance in your relationships. Make sure you are putting more time and effort into the relationships around you then your online relationships.

THREE ONLINE BOUNDARIES YOU NEED FOR YOUR RELATIONSHIP

1 – Discuss with your spouse what friends are acceptable or not acceptable? What kind of personal information will you post?

2 – Choose your friends wisely.  It can be exciting re-connecting with friends from the past.  One question you want to ask yourself before hitting the accept button: “would my spouse be comfortable with me being ‘friends’ with this person?”

3 – Do Not Post negative things about your spouse. I have several couples mention this to me, that after they had a fight, one of them let their Facebook friends know about it. In the heat of the moment, avoid the temptation to blast your spouse or say something embarrassing about them through your status or wall postings.

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About the Author: Relationship Expert, Janie Lacy, LMHC, NCC offers expert advice to Local and National TV News & Relationship Websites and provides phone or face-to-face counseling in the Orlando area. Janie has a relational approach and a unique ability to connect with individuals. Drawing upon her broad range of experience in private practice, not-for-profit organizations, hospitality and the medical industry, she has helped countless people in many arenas of life. She offers keen insight on all aspects of relationships – family, marriage, parenting, dating, and personal growth. Connect with Janie on Facebook or Twitter.

About the Author:

Janie is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, National Certified Counselor and Certified Sex Addiction Therapist in Orlando, Florida. Janie believes that everyone has a story. These stories give meaning and purpose to the chaos of everyday life. Janie believes that people can get stuck in their life with unhealthy coping mechanisms, unhealed past traumas or wounds deep inside themselves. Janie invites people to take a journey with her to discover their own life story by helping them make connections with their behavior and needs, recognize the patterns, as well as why they have developed those patterns. Janie's passion is to walk alongside individuals as they face past wounds to create healing in their lives.

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