Facebook Obsessive Compulsive Disorder


Facebook Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (FOCD) is not an official medical diagnosis but a colloquial term describing the excessive and compulsive use of Facebook. It refers to individuals who are preoccupied with constantly checking and updating their Facebook profiles, browsing friends’ updates, and scrolling through their news feed. This obsessive behavior towards Facebook can interfere with a person’s daily life, responsibilities, and personal relationships.


The phonetics of the keyword “Facebook Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” can be represented as follows in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA):/ˈfeɪs.bʊk əbˈsɛs.ɪv kəmˈpʌl.sɪv dɪsˈɔːr.dər/

Key Takeaways

  1. Facebook Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (FOCD) is a behavioral condition characterized by an overwhelming urge to constantly check and engage with social media, particularly on Facebook, which can lead to negative impacts on an individual’s mental health and daily life.
  2. Some common symptoms of FOCD include a preoccupation with Facebook, the need to spend increasing amounts of time on the platform, withdrawal symptoms when unable to access Facebook, and prioritizing Facebook use over other responsibilities or activities.
  3. Treatment options for FOCD consist of behavioral therapy, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help individuals identify and change negative thought patterns, as well as developing healthier coping mechanisms and lifestyle changes to better manage daily stress and emotional triggers.


Facebook Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is important to understand because it highlights the potential negative implications of excessive use of social media platforms, specifically Facebook, on an individual’s mental health and daily functioning.

Such a disorder may manifest in an individual feeling compelled to constantly check their Facebook account, seeking validation through likes, comments, or online interactions, eventually leading to increased anxiety, disrupted routines, and negative outcomes in both personal and professional relationships.

By acknowledging this phenomenon, users can actively monitor their social media usage, strike a healthy balance, and minimize its potential negative effects.

Additionally, raising awareness about this term can lead to increased support and resources for affected individuals and helps society understand the importance of responsible social media consumption.


Facebook Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, often abbreviated as FB-OCD, is a term that refers to the excessive and compulsive use of the social media platform, Facebook. While not an officially recognized medical disorder, FB-OCD indicates an obsessive behavior in which individuals spend an inordinate amount of their daily lives checking and updating their Facebook profiles. The primary purpose of Facebook is to connect with friends, family, and acquaintances, allowing users to share updates, photos, and engage in group conversations.

However, for individuals exhibiting FB-OCD tendencies, their fixation on the platform extends beyond these benign purposes, as they become increasingly reliant on Facebook for social validation, communication, and the fulfillment of their emotional needs. An individual exhibiting Facebook Obsessive Compulsive Disorder may display various behaviors, such as frequently refreshing their feed, posting multiple updates in a short period of time, and engaging in excessive communication with friends or groups through Facebook messages. They may prioritize checking their Facebook profiles over other activities, including work, family commitments, and social events.

While Facebook’s original intent is to serve as a tool for social connection, individuals with FB-OCD are likely using the platform in less healthy, more self-destructive ways. This level of dependency may lead to negative consequences, such as social isolation, decreased productivity, and addictive behaviors. It is essential for individuals experiencing FB-OCD to recognize their problematic behavior and take steps towards regaining control over their social media usage, ensuring the platform serves its intended purpose—to strengthen connections and enhance communication—rather than consuming an excessive amount of their daily lives.

Examples of Facebook Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Facebook Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (FOCD) is not recognized as an official medical diagnosis. However, people may use the term informally to express excessive and compulsive usage of Facebook that interferes with their daily life. Here are three hypothetical real-world examples:

John, a 35-year-old accountant, has developed a habit of compulsively checking his Facebook feed every few minutes throughout the day. This behavior interferes with his productivity at work, causes him to lose sleep, and negatively affects his relationships with family and friends, as he is constantly distracted by the need to check for updates or reply to messages.

Sarah, a college student, spends hours scrolling through her Facebook feed and comparing her life to the curated lives of her friends. She develops an excessive preoccupation with posting the “perfect” photo or status update to garner likes and comments, causing her anxiety and resulting in a negative impact on her self-esteem and mental well-being.

Michael, a 28-year-old marketing professional, exhibits signs of FOCD by obsessively monitoring the number of “friends” he has on Facebook and the interactions they have with his posts. This obsession fosters a constant fear of missing out (FOMO) and a need to be constantly connected and engaged with the platform, affecting his work-life balance and causing other aspects of his life, such as hobbies and personal relationships, to suffer.

Facebook Obsessive Compulsive Disorder FAQs

What is Facebook Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Facebook Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (FOCD) is a term used to describe excessive and compulsive use of Facebook, often leading to negative consequences in a person’s social, emotional, and mental well-being. This behavior typically involves a strong urge or need to constantly check Facebook, update one’s profile, or engage with others via the platform, even when it interferes with daily life.

What are the symptoms of Facebook Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Some common symptoms of FOCD include an intense preoccupation with Facebook, an increasing amount of time spent on the platform, anxiety when unable to access Facebook, neglecting personal relationships or responsibilities due to Facebook use, and experiencing withdrawal symptoms (e.g. irritability, restlessness) when unable to use Facebook.

What causes Facebook Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

There is no specific cause for FOCD, as it is a complex and multifaceted issue. Factors that contribute to its development may include the need for social validation, the fear of missing out (FOMO), the addictive nature of social media platforms, and individual personality traits that may make a person more susceptible to compulsive behavior.

How is Facebook Obsessive Compulsive Disorder diagnosed?

There is no official diagnostic criteria for FOCD, as it is not currently recognized as a formal mental health disorder. However, a mental health professional may diagnose FOCD based on an individual’s symptoms, behavior, and the negative impact the behavior has on their daily life. A thorough assessment, including a detailed history of the individual’s Facebook use, would typically be conducted to make this determination.

What are the treatment options for Facebook Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Treatment for FOCD may involve individual therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), to identify and modify unhealthy thought patterns and behaviors related to Facebook use. Additionally, group therapy, support groups, or family therapy may be helpful in addressing the issue. In some cases, medications for anxiety or depression may be prescribed to alleviate symptoms related to FOCD. Ultimately, treatment is tailored to the individual’s specific needs and circumstances.

Related Technology Terms

  • Social Media Addiction
  • Compulsive Facebook Checking
  • Online Social Validation
  • Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
  • Digital Detox

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