Whilst many of us joke about getting our Facebook “fix”, it must be considered that as with any addiction, it can ruin lives. Facebook provides us with a resource to keep in contact with people we know regardless of where they are in the world and to share in their daily lives. However, when we choose Facebook over face-to-face interactions and cut ourselves off from the real world, it is clear there is a problem.
For many, the draw of Facebook is the fact it provides the opportunity to act in a way that perhaps the person would not dream of doing face-to-face; it allows the person to act in a more confident, outgoing manner. In small doses this can be healthy, however when addiction sets in the person will start to isolate themselves from real life communication, which is not healthy.
Researchers in Norway (Andraessen et al) have developed 6 signs that may indicate a Facebook internet addiction:
1) The person spends a lot of time thinking about Facebook or how to use it.
2) The person feels the urge to use Facebook more and more.
3) The person uses Facebook in order to forget about personal problems.
4) The person has tried to cut down on the use of Facebook without success.
5) The person becomes restless or troubled if they are prohibited from using Facebook.
6) The person uses Facebook so much that it has a negative impact on employment/studies.
The suggestion is that scoring “often” or ”very often” on at least four of the above indicates a Facebook addiction. The first step in overcoming any addiction is recognising it as a problem. If you have identified with anything in this article, give us a call and we can support you in getting some help.