Next to heroin and cigarettes, Facebook is probably one of the most addictive things on earth. And now it finally has it’s own rehab support group. Ironically, it’s on the Internet — FaceAnonymous.com — and many of its features are almost identical to the social networking site they’re purportedly helping you avoid. “We could not resist the temptation to add a ‘like’ button on a website calling on people to reduce their Facebook consumption,” says FaceAnonymous co-founder Dan Peguine. And, he points out, since launching in late July, they’ve received 3000 “likes” and 13,000 visitors. If you’d rather not do Facebook rehab on a Facebook clone — which is a bit like attending an AA meeting in a pub — there aren’t many other options. Dr. Hilarie Cash of reSTART, an Internet addiction recovery program in Fall City, Washington, says that until a true 12-step Facebook rehab becomes a reality, you might want to try Sexaholics Anonymous. “After all, many of the people who become addicted to Facebook are just using it as a way to pursue romance,” says Dr. Cash. Think about that the next time you get a friend request from an ex.
(This story originally appeared, in a slightly different form, in the December 30th, 2011 issue of the New York Times Magazine.)