Facebook Addiction The newest social networking site, Facebook has opened up an exciting online world that has enabled millions of people around the world to connect with each other. Facebook provides its members a way to make new friends, keep in touch with current friends, and find old friends and family anywhere in the world without ever having to leave their home. Since its introduction to the public in 2005 Facebook has experienced phenomenal growth and has become the world’s most popular social networking site, far surpassing that of the previous favorites MySpace and Twitter.
Facebook is an amazing site that provides an exciting and stimulating entertainment for its members 24 hours a day. People find themselves spending anywhere from a few minutes a day to several hours a day on Facebook discovering what others have posted, taking part in conversations and posting on interesting subjects. They become so involved in sending and answering messages to their growing number of friends, making new friends and keeping everyone updated on their activities several times a day about what they are doing that they do not notice the amount of time that has gone by.
Some joke about calling themselves or their friends “Facebook addicts” because of the amount of time they spend each day on Facebook. Some people also find the time to enjoy some of the other fun entertainment offered on Facebook. Playing online games with other members is one of the popular sources of entertainment that Facebook offers. Two of the most popular online games are Farmville and Vampire Wars. Both games require people to check in several times a day. Members can spend hours each day tending their farms or chasing others for their blood points.
Some players have commented that they have lost total track of time when playing these games and are amazed when they realize that several hours have gone by since they had started the game (Hinz). Quizzes are another form of entertainment that appear to be addictive to people. There are thousands of these quizzes that will let you know everything you wanted know, and in some cases did not want to know, about your friends. Members send these to each other constantly. A few of the quizzes on Facebook this week were; Are you a limousine or a SUV?
Are you more feminine or masculine? The useless, pointless, senseless test, the naughty or not test, and have you gone bonkers? People can spend hours taking these quizzes. They can spend even longer reading the results of other people’s quizzes. This has opened up a question regarding the amount of time that people are spending on Facebook. Is there such a thing as too much Facebook? Many experts are saying yes, too many people are spending an extreme amount of time on the site.
Psychologists are now exploring the ramifications Facebook has on the lives of people. The amount of time some people are spending on Facebook is starting to be considered an addiction. Doctors have named the social networking obsession Facebook Addiction Disorder or FAD. Psychologist Dr. Michael Fence described the condition as a situation in which a person’s Facebook usage “overtakes” and interferes with daily activities like sleeping , waking up, getting dressed, is overly harmful to social activities, and work (Lipari).
Dr. Elias Aboujaoude, director of Stanford’s Impulse Control Disorders Clinic, did a study and he noted that a person’s drive to compulsively use the internet for social networking is similar to that of other impulse-control disorders. It was characterized by the repetitive and irresistible urge to perform a pleasurable act that will lead to personal and professional problems and become otherwise intrusive in one’s life (Silk).
While Facebook Addiction Disorder is not yet an actual medical diagnosis, there are many studies taking place and many therapists are noting a rise in their clients who are hooked on social networking to the point of social dysfunction. While not everyone on Facebook is addicted to spending hours messaging others, playing games, or checking out the newest photos posted by your friends, there are many who fit the profile of having Facebook Addiction Disorder. Studies done by UCLA, Stanford University School of Medicine, University of California, and the Betty Ford Clinic agree on the most common igns that indicate you might be spending too much time networking on Facebook (Devine). If you stay up all night on Facebook several times a week posting to friends, seeking out new friends or playing online games, you may have Facebook Addiction Disorder. If you spend long periods more than once a day on Facebook checking to see what has changed since you last checked just an hour ago, you may have Facebook Addiction Disorder. If you have become obsessed with keeping track of people that you have reconnected with or have just connected with you may have Facebook Addiction Disorder as well as a bit of a stalker personality.
After you arrive at work, you do not have time to work because you are busy checking out your Facebook page for new postings. The thought of going a day without being on Facebook causes you stress and anxiety because you just know that you will miss something important if you do not check in. If you post constantly while you are home, driving, at work, or during any other activities about what you are doing at that particular moment, you might have Facebook Addiction Disorder (Cohen) An example of being addicted to Facebook is in an interview given to a reporter for the Sunday Herald Sun.
Carla’s expressed how she felt and acted when she was on Facebook. How caught up she was in the Facebook community, logging on as many as twenty times a day to keep current with everyone. She stated that it made her feel life was a non-stop party – the cryptic messages, wacky photos, and the salacious gossip were so seductive to her. When she was away from this giddy world, even for a brief time, she felt unhappy and stressed. While she was at work and unable to access Facebook, she was anxious and preoccupied and found it difficult to concentrate. Bryan) Others have expressed similar emotions when they are not able to access Facebook. They feel totally disconnected from their friends and worry about what is happening that they do not know about. The addiction of posting constantly can be a good thing in certain circumstances. Law enforcement agencies around the world have started to reap the benefits of people’s unthinking addiction to posting their every thought and movement on Facebook. Craig “Lazier” Lynch has proven himself a dedicated, addicted Facebook member.
He faithfully updates several times a day with pictures of himself and chats with his growing number of friends about what he is doing at that particular moment. London police find this of great interest since he escaped from prison and they are currently looking for him. They assure everyone that, along with everyone else on Facebook, that they are keeping a close watch on his postings. Maxi Sop, wanted for murder in the United States, may have wished that he had followed Craig’s lead and not disclosed quite so much information.
His constant updating resulted in his arrest after he posted his exact location in Mexico to his friends on Facebook, one of which was an FBI agent (Satter). Facebook can show two faces to its community. The first is a fun, happy, pleasant, beautiful world that millions of people around the world love to visit. It is especially appealing to be in this type of fun, loving atmosphere when their real day-to-day lives are not going well. People posting on Facebook present only the best of their lives and some have take liberties with describing how wonderful their lives are.
The second face is compulsive and voyeuristic in nature. Everyone wants to be your friend and join your group. Everyone wants to talk with you and send you gifts on Facebook. Facebook makes you feel very popular having hundreds of “friends” listed on your page. Everyone is interested and has a comment to make re garding what you are doing and saying. However, it still doesn’t change the fact that when you are typing “LOL” to a chat room to describe to people how happy you are, you are still sitting at home, usually by yourself in front of your computer.
Facebook is far removed from what most of us call the real world. In the real world, not everyone is happy all the time. Most people do not have hundreds or thousands of friends. We talk face to face with our real friends. We know them when we meet them at work or other places. Unlike the ones on Facebook, that we could pass a dozen times a week walking down the sidewalk and have no idea that we had just passed a “friend. ” Most people are not addicted to Facebook to the extent of the circumstances given.
People who are on Facebook excessively each day may want to stop and think about the amount of time that they are spending with “friends” that they will probably never meet in person. They should consider how that time could be better spent doing activities with their families and friends in person rather than in front of a computer. Facebook, if used in moderation, is a wonderful, exciting site to visit to keep in contact with old friends, family and to make new friends from all over the world. Works Cited Bryan, Patterson. “Facing up to the future; How cyber social networking site Facebook has taken the world by storm. Sunday Herald Sun (2010): 6. Cohen, Elizabeth. “Five clues that you are addicted to Facebook. ” CNNhealth (2009): 3. Devine, Karen. “Facebook Addiction: Is It Happening To You? ” (2009): 2. Hinz, Tina. “Growing Addiction: Everyone’s a farmer with popular Facebook application. ” Falls Courier (2009): 2. Lipari, Joanna. “Process Addictions. ” Addiction Intervention (2009): 2. Satter, Raphael. “Facebook fugitive taunts Bristish police. ” The Associated Press, msnbc (2009): 2. Silk, Amanda. “Think that Facebook addiction is harmless? ” (January 2010): 2.