One day recently, Cynthia Newton's 12-year-old daughter asked her for help with homework, but Newton didn't want to help her, because she was too busy on Facebook. So her daughter went upstairs to her room and sent an e-mail asking her for help, but Newton didn't see the e-mail, because, well, she was too busy on Facebook. "I'm an addict. I just get lost in Facebook," Newton said. "My daughter gets so PO'd at me, and really it is kind of pathetic. It's not something I'm particularly proud of. I just get so sucked in." Newton (that's not her real name; she's embarrassed by her Facebook use and requested anonymity) says she spends about 20 hours a week on the social networking site, half the time for work -- she runs an online business -- and half just for fun. She's tried to cut down on her Facebook use but failed. "I can go a whole day without Facebook," she said. "But I've never made it through an entire weekend." Although there are no statistics on "Facebook addiction" -- it isn't an actual medical diagnosis -- therapists say they're seeing more and more people like Newton who've crossed the line from social networking to social dysfunction. "Last Friday, I had three clients in my office with Facebook problems," said Paula Pile, a marriage and family therapist in Greensboro, North Carolina. "It's turned into a compulsion -- a compulsion to dissociate from your real world and go live in the Facebook world." So how do you know when your Facebook use has turned into a compulsion? You can take Pile's "Facebook Compulsion Inventory" to find out. Pile and the other therapists interviewed for this article were quick to say that Facebook itself isn't the problem and that the vast majority of its 200 million users probably function just fine. "I'm on it myself," Pile said. "My daughter just got married, and I got great happiness posting her wedding pictures for all my friends to see." She says problems arise when users ignore family and work obligations because they find the Facebook world a more enjoyable place to spend time than the real world. Newton says she checks Facebook first thing when she wakes up, and then she checks her Facebook page as many as seven times while at work, and then she'll check Facebook again when she gets home and one more time before she goes to sleep. If you've been keeping count, that's about 10 times a day. A single parent, Newton includes "Facebook flirting" with men and meeting up with old schoolmates among her favorite activities. How to defeat addiction : #1: Quit Playing Games One of Facebook's most popular features is the interactive games option. From Bejeweled Blitz to Mafia Wars, you could end up spending hours and hours just playing games to earn credits and points. For many people, playing games on Facebook is a necessary part of the experience. So much so, that 19% of gamers say they're addicted to the social games, and 69% of these gamers are women. If you want to beat your Facebook addiction, begin by closing your gamer accounts. #2: Start Tracking Your Time Being more conscientious about how much time you're spending on Facebook can also help you beat the addiction. Set a timer or watch the clock when you log in and out of Facebook and keep track of your time for a week. If you have gotten into the habit of keeping Facebook running while doing other work online, stop! Only open up Facebook when you are actually on Facebook, and keep a record of time spent on the site. #3: Just Say No to Email Notifications One of the most addictive parts of Facebook lies in the notification system. Whenever someone responds to a comment or posts something in a Group thread you're subscribed to, the notification lands in your inbox. If you are using your email for work or other purposes throughout the day, getting these notifications could lead you right back to Facebook. Turn off the email notification feature during your Facebook rehab days so that you can have more control over your addiction. #4: Make a List of Alternative Activities What was your life like before you were so active on Facebook? What types of activities did you enjoy? Are you still participating in those activities, or is Facebook time consuming other parts of your life? Try and reconnect with the person you were before you were on Facebook. Throw yourself into a new activity or an old hobby to keep your mind busy on something else for a change. Making a list of alternative activities that you can do when the "Facebook urge" strikes could help you beat your Facebook addiction. #5: Enjoy Structured Facebook Time Schedule Facebook time into your day, instead of checking it on a whim. This will reduce the compulsive nature of the activity and make you less likely to get stuck on Facebook for hours on end. For example, you could give yourself 20 or 30 minutes of total Facebook time each day. Maybe you like to begin your morning with a Facebook fix, or end your day with some online social networking. Whatever the case may be, select a time slot just for Facebook and stick with the plan day in, day out. #6: Clean Up Your News Feed If you've been busy "Liking" lots of pages and have hundreds of Facebook Friends, your News Feed could be difficult to digest in one sitting. Monitoring that constantly-running News Feed can be addictive in itself. Use the settings to tweak your News Feed so that you are only getting updates from people and companies that you truly care about and could respond to. Leaving the stream "as is" could make it harder to actually keep up with anything that is relevant to you, and will also eat into your designated Facebook time. Be picky about what gets pushed out to your News Feed so that you can enjoy Facebook without it turning into an addiction. [Broken External Image]:http://ankurchauhan.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/logout.jpg Source 1 Five clues that you are addicted to Facebook - CNN Source 2 Six Ways To Beat A Facebook Addiction - Your Wisdom from Yahoo!