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Dublin: 10 °C Sunday 17 February, 2019
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Spend too much time poking people? Dublin now has its own Facebook addiction service

It was only a matter of time…

A NEW FACEBOOK addiction service has been launched in Dublin.

Psychologist Jason O’Callaghan is behind the initiative, which is being offered at the D4 Clinic.

O’Callaghan said that the service is necessary as “people are literally online constantly”.

“People are becoming increasingly addicted to social media because it is so freely available, even smokers or alcoholics can’t do it all the time but those addicted to social media live on their phones.”

O’Callaghan told TheJournal.ie that he decided to set up the service as he became aware that his clients were increasingly dependent on social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter.

FOMO is real

He noted that people “worry they’re going to miss something if they don’t check in [online]” and get stressed when they can’t access social media.

O’Callaghan said that the issue had reached “epidemic proportions” and was leading to several other issues such as an increase in cyber bullying and weight gain.

People don’t do anything any more, they don’t walk – they spend all their time sitting at their computer or on their phone.

Speaking at the launch of the service, O’Callaghan said that people’s mental health is “being damaged due to the barrage of images and false reality that they are seeing online”.

Most have more virtual friends than real friends and cyber bulling is becoming more frequent on social media, especially amount young people.

Treatment

The clinic hopes to help people with social media addictions through counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy and clinical hypnotherapy.

Before becoming a psychologist, O’Callaghan was a showbiz diarist and singer in a Rat Pack tribute band.

In May he unsuccessfully ran in the local elections as a Fine Gael candidate in the Crumlin/Kimmage constituency in Dublin.

Read: Death in the digital age: How does social media affect children’s grief?

Opinion: Life is for living, not browsing, so switch off that smartphone

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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