13/03/2016

Facebook Addiction

New research says people are actually becoming addicted to Facebook. When they have to spend time away from it they get withdrawal symptoms. I'm surprised I've not heard any of my friends saying they have this. I suppose they would've posted on Facebook about it but they can’t get online when they have the symptoms.

Do you think that we throw around the word “addiction” too much these days? We’re addicted to calling things an addiction.

I'm not saying Facebook doesn't draw you in. The buzz of the instant reply makes you feel good. When they invented the letter no one got addicted to it. You never heard stories of people starting with a few letters but then they were hooked, selling their bodies to fund their stamp costs.

It’s the instant gratification. If you tweet something within seconds you can get a “like”, and if you post something on Facebook within a minute you could have one of the reactions, like a “wow” or whatever they offer these days. I preferred it when you didn't have to work out how you feel about something before responding to it on social media. I'm a man from the north, I've spent most of my life trying to bury how I feel about things.

If you didn’t get the instant buzz from social media I bet you wouldn't get so addicted. It’s hard to stop. Maybe move from Facebook to Google Plus and that’ll wean you off.

If you become addicted to Facebook I think you have to take some responsibility. It’s not like it’s a hard drug that causes a chemical dependency, you have to be the kind of person who is prone to forming addictions. There’s probably an online test you can do to see if you have that personality type. There are tests to see which member of the Friends cast you would be, so I'm sure they have addictive personality tests. Of course, the place you’d find these tests would be on social media and by then you’re probably hooked and living out of a cardboard box because you spent all your money on Candy Crush.

The water gets muddier when there’s a real addiction that’s possible and a smaller minor habit. Like online gaming and gambling addiction. Responsible sites like this one checks if the people have gambling addictions, ban the people from spending too much and also gives you the chance to play for fun, no money involve. Maybe Facebook could take a lesson from that and give users a little test. Make them go without postings pictures of their dinner for a day and see if they cope.
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