OPINION: Our Facebook addiction is preventing us from living

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

OPINION: Our Facebook addiction is preventing us from living

Facebook currently has over 650 million active users
Facebook currently has over 650 million active users

By Leanne Mitchell 

In modern day society we are all obsessed with capturing the moment, but are we really living it?

How many of you can honestly say that you never take a ‘selfie’, or spend endless hours playing Temple Run? We are obsessed with posting pictures on Facebook, showing people our lives moment-by-moment, but is that really living?

Facebook currently has over 650 million active users
Facebook currently has over 650 million active users

Have we all become a cluster of robots living in the 21st century? Yes, I admit I have become one of those robots! I started to contemplate this after hearing the amazing Rabbi Farhi give a talk entitled ‘Facebook’s Dirty Little Secrets’.

How many times have you felt the sudden urge to answer as soon as your phone buzzes? I certainly have. It is like we have been programmed to be on constant alert, in fear that if we miss something, we will no longer be a ‘part of’ our community. Did you know that there are currently more than 250 million active users accessing Facebook through their mobile devices?

We are transfixed with the idea of having ‘friends’ online, but in some cases this can mean people are engaging far less in actual communication. Yes, don’t get me wrong, Facebook is an amazing way to share photographs and videos to keep in contact with people from all across the globe, but it is a huge distraction.

I admit, I do all my coursework with my Facebook page wide open and if a notification comes up, my mind becomes so obsessed and engrossed with checking this notification that it distracts me from my work, only to find out it was unimportant, only a request for a ‘game’ or a Facebook ‘poke’.

Facebook to many people is near enough an addiction. If you do not check it, you get FOMO (‘Fear Of Missing Out’) and feel as though you are cutting yourself off from society.

How many of you, can honestly say that you don’t sometimes sit in lectures at university and scroll down your news feed? This affects our grades. Do we really want to fail over a piece of technology? We are spending £9,000 a year!

I am preoccupied as to why our brain is so transfixed and addicted to this piece of technology. Why do we spend so many hours starring at a blank computer screen, counting down the hours until the end of the day? Even though I do extracurricular activities, I still find the time to bombard my Facebook page with multiple statuses every day.

It is frightening that one in every 13 people on Earth is on Facebook. Furthermore, every hour, there are about 30.6 million new comments on Facebook. I have heard so many people say, “I don’t know what I would do if Facebook didn’t exist!”.

Well obviously they would still survive because generations before us did. This makes me contemplate what society has come to. What did people do before Facebook? Oh yes, they phoned each other!

How many of you have over 500 friends on Facebook ? I admit I have over 400 but how many of these are actually our friends – maybe 30? How many of them do you socialise with outside of Facebook?

There are of course many pros to Facebook too. Facebook is an amazing way to raise money and awareness for charities. It enables you to post and share links raising awareness about important and sometimes otherwise quite obscure causes.

There are  more than 650 million of us who are active Facebook users. Even my Grandma is on Facebook! It is an astronomical amount of people using one social media site.  I cannot begin to even contemplate how many people own at least a Twitter, Facebook, Hotmail or Linked In account.

Just ask yourself one question. Are YOU really living the life you want to lead?

God has put us on this earth to do something productive. I am therefore going to take the challenge of not using Facebook for a whole week and see what affect it has on me.

Will you join me with this challenge?

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: