Are you Facebook addicted?

by Guest Author on May 4, 2011

in Facebook, Guest Posts

The immense popularity of the social network Facebook has generated a lot of additional business, including the celebrated book and movie, but also some other activities that are less widely publicized, like the study regarding the Facebook Addiction Disorder (FAD). While the study is still in the works and other psychologists go rampant on dangers of online dependency, the actual question here is why do people use Facebook so much and why it is so incredibly popular? Why do people rather spend time on Facebook, instead of going out and actually mingling with people in person?

The situation for singles to socialize has become very complicated in the last couple of decades. Sexual harassment lawsuits, AIDS, financial crisis and dozens of other factors have limited the possibilities of young adults to approach each other and to interact in previously acceptable manners. More and more people connect, interact and socialize through bulletin boards, forums, emails and now also social networks. Contrary to personal interaction, hiding behind the internet allows the interested individual to present him- or herself in best possible manner, with best possible, even altered personas, avatars if you like, and most inhibitions that exist in the real world do not apply anymore.

Such virtual existence can become addictive. There are several computer “games” that simulate real life, like Sim City, Second Life, even the immensely popular Star Wars has their own internet universe opened for escaping the everyday life, 24 hours, seven days a week, be a Jedi or Yoda, Jabba the Hutt or any of the members of the Star Wars universe in the online game Star Wars Galaxies. Your own personality forgotten, guaranteed. There are plenty of other online multiplayer games available, Counterstrike or Quake, that do not require you to establish a persona, just go around and shoot your opponents, but no less addictive and no less popular.

Social networking
There is nothing to install, in order to start interacting with people on Facebook. You just create your profile with a few clicks and you are there. You can mail and message your friends, find long lost connections, see pictures of people who are far away and do other very good and useful things. The problem starts when you suppress and neglect your regular life in order to hang around on Facebook. Yes, perhaps people who would not talk to you in person did answer your post on Facebook, but that does not mean that you are suddenly “in”. On the other hand, you really can talk to people, or at least post on their wall, who are generally out of your reach, up to certain celebrities who maintain their own Facebook page themselves, or at least visit frequently.

Bottom line
Do not allow an alternate reality to rule your life, no matter how close to the real thing it is. Keep everything within good measure and you will not become an addict. If you find out that you missed school or work because of Facebook, that you neglected to sleep because of Facebook, that you have not eaten and cried for two days if your status has not been liked by a single friend, then you do have a problem. Facebook, like the internet in general, is a great tool and a wonderful possibility to stay in touch with people. Use it as such, but go out and live as well. The world is beautiful, more beautiful than an LCD screen can display and real social interaction is way better than the artificial compensation called Facebook.

Guest article written by: Lurie., webmaster of a

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