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November 23, 2012

Facebook Addiction

Facebook has emerged as a clear market leader in the social media networking sites. With an eye popping member list of over 1.1 billion people, it is said that more than 550 million people get on line at least once a day to check their profile pages. 

But along with the popularity has come a problem. Facebook is fast becoming an addiction. Psychologists have even coined a word - Facebook Addiction Disorder. So what are the reasons that make Facebook so addictive? Given below are some of the reasons.

Taken from the website Tech addiction ( The original article was very long. I have edited it.

Other articles include 
1.      Is Facebook an Addiction?
2.      The Facebook addiction test
3.      Facebook addiction statistics
4.      Facebook addiction disorder Help, advice and tips

20 reasons for Facebook addiction
1) Minimal Effort Catch-Up: Facebook allows users to catch up with friends and family with minimal effort. Posts are usually quite short (both to make and to read). One quick status update that goes out to the friends, a short comment on a picture, or a quick "like" and that is that.

2) Share Information with Many People Simultaneously: Facebook allows users to share personal information with others more efficiently and with potentially better "net etiquette". Matter sent by E-mail to friends may lie idle. The same matter posted on Facebook can be viewed by friends if they want.

3) Appeals To The Information Peeping TOMS: Humans, have an inborn and insatiable desire for knowledge and information - an infinite curiosity about the world around us. Facebook panders to this by presenting personally relevant information in an easy to access central portal (Facebook homepage).

4) Feeds Natural Voyeuristic Natures: An even stronger human desire is the need for information about other people. Humans are undeniably social animals and are natural voyeurs but in that we are extremely curious about what others are doing and saying. Facebook has made information about others public that would typically be kept private. This allows friends to "spy" on friends and to gain information that they would otherwise not be privy to. Many people spy on a friend's page to see what they were doing on a particular day, who they were with, who said what about him or her, or who they are friends with?

5) A Forum for Egos: I me, myself. We all love ourselves. There is a clear human need for self-expression - and especially self-expression followed by feedback from others. Facebook provides this forum for our egos and the small effort of posting a picture can provide a large investment return in the form of comments, or even better, compliments.

6) Meeting up with old friends: With Facebook is the possibility of reconnecting with old friends - perhaps even dating back to high school.

7) Makes us Feel Understood: One of the consequences of sharing personal information with others is (surprise) they will learn about us and understand us better. Opening up and sharing personally information is of course, a pathway to more meaningful interpersonal relationships

8) Family Contact: one of the most appealing aspects of Facebook is how easy it makes staying in touch with family. Even family members living on opposite sides of the world can quickly chat with or receive updates from each other.

9) Mood Booster: Facebook users report that they use it to feel better when they are depressed, stressed, or anxious. The boost in mood may come from the previously discussed points of feeling more connected, understood, and important to others.

10) Makes us Feel Part Of an expansive exciting World: Most of us lead pretty normal lives. We go to work or to school/college, we come home, look forward to weekends and holidays...and repeat. Every once in a while we do something a bit more interesting, enjoyable, or exciting and this makes the routine of our normal lives easier to accept. Part of the appeal of Facebook is that it allows us to temporarily escape our "normal" lives and be a part of something larger, more exciting, or more interesting.

11) Feeds the Essential Need For Human Connection: This point is so obvious it hardly needs to be mentioned - Facebook allows us to connect with others. As social animals we absolutely need human contact for emotional and psychological health. Consequently, we are hard-wired to seek connections with others. Facebook makes establishing these connections easier than any time in human history. Everything on Facebook is designed to establish more and more connections with others

12) I'm Thinking About You...But I Really Don't Want To Talk To You Right Now: Staying with the theme of "it's popular because it's easier", Facebook allows us to tell others we are thinking about them, but without the effort of a phone call, the thought required for a full email message, or the expectation of a reply following a text message.

13) Social Needs Fulfilled In Digital Form: Facebook is that it makes filling these social needs much easier compared to the effort that would be required for in-person contact. Of note, the "friends commenting on my life" structure of Facebook also addresses Esteem Needs (believing in personal worth and gaining social recognition).

14) I Can't Miss Out!: Not being on Facebook means missing out on online social interaction...and also being left out of real world activities. To avoid this undesirable situation, people may obsessively check their Facebook accounts dozens of times per day. It is easy to understand how a fear of being socially isolated could contribute to an addiction to Facebook.

15) Friendship Quantified (How many friends do you have?): Facebook that may lead to addiction or obsession is the simple fact of having a defined number attached to how many "friends" you have accumulated. As previously mentioned, being socially accepted appears to be a universal human need. Having friends makes us feel appreciated, validates our sense of self-worth, and boosts our self-esteem.

16) I'm Not Wasting My Time...This Is Meaningful!: However, for Facebook addiction it is much easier to justify excessive use…because how can something positive like forming friends and connecting with others be seen as a problem? The answer is that even activities that are healthy in moderation (e.g., exercise, dieting) can become problems when they develop into obsessions.

17) Socializing + Gaming = An Irresistible Combination: Not only does Facebook appeal to our need for social connections and friendships; it is increasingly becoming one of the world's most popular destinations for online gaming. Not surprisingly, Facebook tends to focus games that emphasize online social interactions with other players

18) How Do I Really Compare to Others: it also provides a forum for social comparison. Humans have a very strong drive to evaluate themselves by comparing their opinions, accomplishments, and abilities to others. Given this drive, the popularity of quizzes and personality tests on Facebook is not surprising. And of course, a large reason for their appeal is that after completion, they then allow the user to compare his or herself to others.

19) Insecurity Response: if someone is feeling insecure in a relationship, questions whether he/she has been told the truth by someone, or has trust issues in general, Facebook may be the source they turn to for "the real story".

20) Boredom buster for All: The reduction of boredom is a common reason people give for using Facebook. For some, the convenience of single, easy-to-use resource for news, games, and social interaction becomes the "go-to" activity whenever boredom arises.

Feeling alone is something that many people experience from time to time. When we have not had enough social contact with others feeling lonely is normal and hopefully encourages us to seek out others - this is the adaptive purpose of the loneliness emotion.

When used in moderation, interacting with others on Facebook can provide quick relief from loneliness - and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. However, when used as a primary substitute for real world contact, digital loneliness relief may not be very long-lasting or satisfying. In some situations, spending more time on Facebook in an attempt to reduce loneliness may actually contribute to long-term loneliness, depression, and Facebook addiction.

1 comment:

  1. Inculcating a behavior of judicious use of resources can only solve this addiction!