- Internet & the Web
The real dangers of Facebook – Facebook Addiction
The real dangers of Facebook - Facebook Addiction
Facebook is definitely the world's largest social network with more than 500 million users. We all know that Facebook was started to assist us in keeping contact with friends; help us make new friends; keep an online diary; even enabling us to own virtual pets and start a quaint little farm on Farmville - that's only naming a few online activities that Facebook has given us!
The sad thing is that there is also a darker side to what is arguably the most popular social network. Meet Facebook addiction. There are some people who can no longer function "normally" without Facebook. For them life is complex and stressful when cut-off from their virtual life. Are you a Facebook addict? Do you know somebody addicted to Facebook? Or are you simply curious, and cautious, about the dangers of Facebook? Allow us then to welcome you to the dark side of social networks. Today you will learn about Facebook and the addiction that it has become.
Facebook is addictive!
Meeting the Facebook Addict
All around us we see them.
They walk with their "smart" phones in the hand and at the slightest sound from the phone they bow their heads eagerly in reverence to see what is happening - the rest of the world around them, forgotten. They are also to be found in the office, in front of their computers, countless windows and tabs open in the background while they are busy "doing work". Every now and then a little message pops up and everything gets dropped (that important assignment, closing that deal, or - writing this article), because now they will need to think of a clever, witty or cute answer and it must be typed out quickly!
Others don't even try to hide it anymore. Their computers are focused on Facebook the whole day, that magnificent virtual world where you have hundreds of virtual friends. That little online community where you get an immediate reaction to every modest, yet clever thing you spray-paint, write or post on your wall.
Facebook, most definitely the biggest online social network, boasting with more than 500 million users, was started to assist us in keeping contact with friends; help us find new friends; keep an online diary; even enabling us to own virtual pets and start a quaint little farm on Farmville - that's only naming a few online activities that Facebook has given us.
All very noble indeed...
But, if you are so busy in your virtual life that you forget about your real life, if you spend even more and more time online, and start to neglect yourself and the people around you - then, it is time that you started seriously thinking twice about Facebook.
Even though it is not yet a recognizable medical term, psychologists worldwide agrees that there is definitely something like internet addiction and that it is an ever increasing problem because the eventual outcome can lead to withdrawal symptoms and the destruction of any and all relationships with the real people around you. Of all the possible internet addictions, Facebook addiction is probably the worst.
But what causes this Facebook addiction?
A few reasons why Facebook is so popular.
Nearly all of the clever people would agree that the most important thing about Facebook is its seemingly effortless ability to make us feel important and connected. It does add to our self-worth, doesn't it?
The Facebook profile has become the perfect way to inform the world about who you are, your interests and thoughts. The user is allowed, in fact - encouraged, to constantly talk about him- or her, without being branded as narcissistic. Every single message, post or reaction that you receive makes you feel important, valued and a little famous.
There is also the need to know what is going on in your world. Facebook even makes it possible to know a little too much, without making you feel like you are being nosey.
The idea that you can look at other people's photos, and eventually spy on them without them ever knowing it is really exciting! This has become so common that there's even a term for it: "Facebook stalker"
Facebook has also made it possible to make contact with, and keep in contact with people. For those who are simply too busy, or too shy, to keep contact with old friends can do it easily now on Facebook. Or, you can even meet new people on Facebook, something which takes a lot of time and effort to do outside the virtual world.
The most important reason why Facebook is so addictive: The illusion that Facebook destroys loneliness with the click of a button. This is especially true now with Facebook available on every mobile device. You can take your "friends" with you, anywhere you go, and they will always be a push of the button away.
The Facebook addiction hype?
Do you remember this?
There are a third group of people that believes Facebook addiction, and internet addiction for that matter, is nothing more than a little social hype that we should ignore. They fondly remind us of other similar addiction-scares we had in the past. Remember how scared we all were of the dreaded TV addiction? What about the cellphone addiction? All is well and fine to think that we are doomed to repeat history, but a quick glance at the statistics reveals an entirely different story.
Facebook addiction statistics - A recent study by Oxygen Media and Lightspeed Research found the following:
- About a third of women between the ages of 18 and 34 go online to check their Facebook messages and updates before brushing their teeth.
- About 21% people from a group of 1605 that were questioned for the research admitted that they woke up in the middle of the night to see if something new had happened on Facebook.
- A large part of the Facebook-generation is older than 35, and it would seem that they prefer instant messages and posts above real conversations.
- More than 100 million people have Facebook on their cellphones, and they are twice as active as those that use computers to visit Facebook.
Do you think that you are addicted to Facebook? - The signs of Facebook addiction:
If you can see yourself having been in a few of the following situations during the previous six to eight months, then you might as well know now: You are addicted to Facebook.
- The very first thing that you do in the morning is to check what happened on Facebook.
- You spend more than an hour every day on Facebook, and often you stretch out this online time.
- You and your family chat on Facebook, even if you still live in the same house.
- At work you check about every hour for new messages, posts and comments.
- Your time on Facebook is more important than time at work or time spent with your family and friends.
- You get anxious when you are not online, and then you start thinking about what your friends might be doing on Facebook until you can't wait any longer and must go online to find out.
- Your entire social life revolves around Facebook. Instead of phoning friends you leave messages on Facebook, and you insist that your aging grandmother keeps in contact with you via Facebook.
- There are about eight to ten people in your Friend List on Facebook that you have never met and don't know at all.
- Everybody that you do meet in real life must add you on Facebook. This achievement makes you feel important and connected.
- Before going to bed you quickly go online to change your Facebook status: "Good night!". Sometimes you even wake up in the middle of the night and go online to check if anybody commented on your "Good night!"-status.
I am a Facebook addict.
If you are starting to feel those icy shivers, and those nagging thoughts keep circling round and round that just perhaps your are one of the Facebook addicts, relax, because there are also help. Remember that a big part of internet addiction also includes websites like Twitter, My-Space, YouTube and lots more.
If you admit that you have a problem, and understand the consequences of it, then you have already taken the first few steps.
Now you have to decide how much time you want to spend on Facebook each day – the less the better! Having said that, you will have to find something to fill the time you normally spent on Facebook. For instance, go jogging, start that gym routine that you promised you were going to do. Or maybe spend more time with your family, children and friends – instead of sitting in front of your computer.
There will definitely be times when you have to face up against the urge to go online and see what is happening on Facebook. Make an agreement with yourself and keep to it. You deserve your victory.
Internet addiction - Is there a real danger to Facebook and social networks? - The facts, the debate - your choice!
Internet addiction has been recognized since the late 1990s as a new serious social problem. It is by no means different from any other type of addiction, remaining harmful to all forms of relationships (work relationships, personal relationships and other family dynamics.) Unlike addiction to alcohol and drugs, Facebook addiction is socially accepted. This said, Facebook addiction should still be handled with the same care and commitment that we use to battle any other type of addiction.
However, Facebook is not entirely a bad thing! Facebook is in fact a wonderful medium that gives us the opportunity to fulfill our need for social connection and communication, without the commitment that goes with such much-needed personal relationships. We all know that such personal relationships in real life often carry with it the risk of rejection, heartache and pain. Something we'd all like to avoid. Facebook enables us to avoid this pain.
Where do you stand?
A last note on Facebook addiction
Important to remember this!
Remember: There is nothing wrong with being part of the virtual world, the virtual community. It is the level of commitment that is important. It is the one that makes or breaks you. Don’t get so committed and involved that your personal and work commitments suffer. You have only this one life, and it is simply too precious to squander away in front of a digital screen.
A little more about Facebook and its creator
In February 2004, Mark Zuckerberg, as a 19 year old student at Havard, started a web-service called TheFaceBook.com which was a social network keeping students connected. Today there are more than 550 million users. In less than seven years Mark managed to connect a 12th of the human population in a single network! If Facebook was a country its population would have been twice as large as America, and it would have had the second largest population in the world, just behind China. In 2010 Mark was announced as Time magazine's person of the year.
Facebook Facts: - Did you know?
- There are about 550 million Facebook users. Half of them log on every day.
- Taken together, all over the world, people spend about 700 million minutes per month on Facebook.
- There are more than 900 million pages, groups and communities on Facebook through which people can interact.
- The average user is connected to 80 communities (or groups) and events.
- The average user also creates about 90 pages of information every month.
- More than 30 million parts of blogs, links and photo albums are being shared every month.
Article proudly sponsored by
The Minion Factory