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Addiction to Facebook

Introduction

There is an increased debate on Internet addiction where scholars argue whether individuals are addicted to the content displayed on the net or simply addicted to the platform. Scholars attribute excessive use of computers as a principle cause of Internet addiction. They further discriminate among three kinds of addicts: texting or emailing, gaming online and sexual preoccupation online. Social networks comprise one platform which involves excessive emailing and texting.

Facebook addiction

Facebook addiction is considered to be a disorder driven by strong urge. There is a compulsion factor to it because not browsing on Facebook creates anxiety among addicts. It is considered to be an urge because browsing through Facebook can be a pleasurable experience. Facebook is one of the most popular social networking sites and has over 600 million users globally. There are seven symptoms to suggest Facebook addiction. These are spending excessive time browsing through Facebook, sharing one’s secrets on the website, being extremely concerned about updating and creating a favourable image on Facebook, checking the website for updates every now and then, continuously adding new friends, reporting on Facebook and not engaging in an offline social life.

Signs to suggest addiction to Facebook

A recent academic study further reveals that excessive addiction to social networking sites can lead to signs of withdrawal. Individuals isolate themselves from family and friends. Further signs of Facebook addiction have been linked with short and poor sleep patterns.

Scholarly research on Facebook addiction has been associated adversely with conscientiousness and favorably with extra-version. Researchers have also tried to analyze certain individual personality traits to the addiction. This is based on the five-factor personality theory that evaluates individual personality on the basis of being intellectually and creatively focused, neuroticism, conscientiousness, extra-version and agreeableness. Based on this theory, academic scholars observe that individuals who are addicted to Facebook are narcissists. Researchers also relate Facebook addiction with continuous maintenance of offline networks. Being in touch with friends, families and colleagues might explain the reason why individuals are excessively addicted.

Conclusion

Facebook addiction leads to an alienated life and mental problems. Scientists suggest the use of Facebook in moderation because being completely alienated from social networking sites could lead to withdrawal signs. Spending more time with family and friends online could help individuals control the addiction.