Are you online at all hours, compulsively checking every few minutes to see if you have any new messages? Does your family resort to sending you online messages to get your attention? Do you get very stressed when you are unable to login for a few hours or days? If you answered yes to any of the above, you just might be addicted and you might need to seek help. It is now increasingly being recognized that Social Networking can take over lives and verily turn into an addiction.

The typical reaction is to overreact and decry social media, blaming it for all societal ills. However, for most people social networking is just a handy tool to further one’s business or social goals. Only certain vulnerable people fall prey to social network addiction and for those few that are in the grip of this addiction there are ways to address the affliction.

As with most malaise, recognizing that it exists is the most important aspect of managing it. With children it is easy. All you need to do is to restrict their access. For grownups the strength and resolve to do this has to come from within. The first step is to monitor your time and set a limit. When the time is up, log out immediately with no excuses. Often we go online to avoid work that we just don’t feel like taking up. Being online gives us a feeling of doing something productive when we are in fact wasting time. Make going online a reward for finishing all your work. Don’t forget your friends and family. When you spend too much time online your family and friends get forsaken in favor of your online comrades. Online interactions usually are sanitized, free of the messy emotions that characterize real life and are very easy to get lost in but in the end it is the offline real world bonds that truly enrich your life friends.