‘Facebook scares me’: One man explains how his use of a social-networking website spun out of control

I woke up one morning with fear in my bones, because the first thing I wanted to do wasn’t to have a cup of tea – but check my Facebook,” recalls one recovering social-networking enthusiast, Sam Devito-French.Rather like heroin use, the first heady days of Facebook membership can be lost in a hazy love affair with inboxes full of “friend” requests and flirtatious messages (“pokes”). But like many addictions, it can leave you slumped on a mattress with nothing but your laptop, a few mouldy coffee cups and a sense of exhaustion, fear, and self-loathing. “I gave up when I realised that I didn’t need a social network to have a fulfilling life – I’d much rather meet up with someone over a pint,” says 27-year-old Sam.

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