It is no secret that Facebook has taken over some part of our lives and now we are an inevitable part of it. And with great confidence I can say that the first thing that almost everyone of this ‘Internet generation’ does after waking up is to check their Facebook accounts. One would prefer being active on Facebook as more worthy of their time rather than other important obligations and work. Facebook addiction has now become a serious issue with Facebook standing at a whooping 1.1 Billion users worldwide. But are you a Facebook addict?
Facebook addiction according to therapists, is a fine line between social networking and social dysfunction. Here’s what Paula Pile, a marriage and family therapist in Greensboro, North Carolina had to say about the current conditions of Facebook addiction:
”Last Friday, I had three clients in my office with Facebook problems, it’s turned into a compulsion — a compulsion to dissociate from your real world and go live in the Facebook world.”
Pile and the other therapists were interviewed by CNN and were quick to say that Facebook itself isn’t the problem and that the vast majority of its 200 million users probably function just fine. She says problems arise when users ignore family and work obligations because they find the Facebook world a more enjoyable place to spend time than the real world.
With the advent of technologies it has now become accessible more than ever. This simply supplements your addiction to Facebook and brings everything to your fingertips. Use of Facebook as a means of communication and connectivity with the ones you care about is good. But it shouldn’t lead to the point where your offline social life gets replaced by social life on Facebook.
Are you not sure about how much of a Facebook addict you are? No need to worry. Below are 5 of the surefire signs that you are turning out to be a Facebook addict. You can also take a ‘How addicted to Facebook are you?‘ quiz at Oatmeal.
You are obsessed with your ‘Facebook Fame’
Do you get anxious for the next 15 minutes after you just update your Facebook status over what’s the outcome would be? You are a Facebook addict obsessed about your Facebook image. If the status update your profile picture you just updated makes you more anxious over how the response would be you are obsessed with your Facebook Fame/Image.
Many of the Facebook users want reward for their activity on Facebook with likes and positive comments. Facebook brings about a sense of reward among its users and you are an addict if you are obsessed with it. According to Dr. Dar Meshi, of Germany’s Freie University, looked at the activity in this part of the brain in 31 people and compared the results to the people’s Facebook usage.
‘As human beings, we evolved to care about our reputation. In today’s world, one way we’re able to manage our reputation is by using social media websites like Facebook.’
Everyone loves getting a like or a positive comment for the update they’ve just made. But make sure you don’t get obsessed with it. According to the above mentioned research, Facebook users respond more to feedback and positive response is reward to the brain. If you are thinking a lot over your next funny, humorous, and entertaining update that will make you feel like a cool guy/girl is a sign of being an addict.
You prefer Facebook over your physical life
People are now so busy with Facebook messaging, sharing photos, updating statuses, commenting and liking other posts that they simply forget they have a physical life too! If you are compromising your physical life for a better appeal on Facebook, you are a Facebook addict.
All you do on Facebook is to pretend as someone you are not in the real life. You assume all this for being appealing to others. If you are compromising a good night’s sleep, a walk in the park, a cup of coffee with a close friend, real world get-together with friends, for Facebook, you are a Facebook addict.
At the end of the day your deeds, responsibilities and obligations count rather than the number of likes you get on Facebook. You have a life to live and don’t compromise your precious time for pity updates on Facebook.
You are obsessed about reporting everything
In the times when a lot of the people are concerned about their online privacy, some of them just cross the extent and post about their sensitive and intimate lives on Facebook. If you explicitly reveal your anger, excitement, feelings and thoughts about others on Facebook, you are an addict.
It is good to share your thoughts on Facebook, but do too much of it and you end up regretting later for your actions on Facebook. Over sharing is a lot common among Facebook addicts, you share too much and later end up regretting what you have posted on it.
Everyone of us has a Facebook friend that somehow always manages to get into our Facebook newsfeed with a status update, or a like, a share or a check-in. These people are too busy on Facebook sharing every mundane task they are going through. This is a sign of an addict. These people need to remind everyone that they exist and show how much fun they are having, when in fact all they do is just pretend.
You go crazy to make more friends
The number of Facebook friends you have has somehow now become more of a symbol for a ‘higher’ social life. If you take a look at the number of friends your friend has managed to gather and you simply keep on adding more people to your friends just to show off your social life, you are an addict.
One must realize that the number of Facebook friends is just a ‘Number without any meaning’. Relationships are made with meaning and not by numbers. According to a study, Facebook users with higher number of Friends tend to be more stressed out due to the fact that they have to handle a lot many of people according to the way they are connected in real life. You have different etiquette’s for your parents, your siblings, you college friends, you school friends, your workplace colleagues, your employee, and handling many of them at a time causes to rise in stress.
Worry about meaningful relationship instead of just increasing the number of your Facebook friend count.
You spend more than hour on it everyday
It is very difficult to pin-point the exact amount of time spent on Facebook is too much. The time factor in turn depends on a various aspects like your current duties and obligations and the amount of free time you get not the time you make up.
But according to many therapists, anything above over an hour of daily Facebook use should indicate you are stepping over the line. Paula Pile, a marriage and family therapist had to say this about time spent on Facebook:
“I can’t imagine that anyone would need more than an hour a day on Facebook, and probably no one needs more than 30 minutes.”
Conclusion – Stay Addict or use it for your Advantage
Too much of anything is bad and so it goes with Facebook. Facebook is just another service and don’t let it become your daily habit.
Below are 6 things you should do become less of a Facebook addict:
- Stop venting your anger and sensitive comments on Facebook
- Prefer real life one-on-one or group meetups over Facebook socializing.
- Cut down your time spent on Facebook and spread out checking Facebook over three or four times a day for a time span of no more than 10 minutes.
- Make sure Facebook isn’t the first thing or the last thing of your day.
- Work first, Facebook later.
- Care less about your Facebook Fame and instead worry of your real life character.
So are you a Facebook addict? What makes you think so? Share your views and opinions below.