Addicted to Facebook?

// Posted by on 02/20/2012 (6:19 PM)

I read this article earlier today and thought it was really interesting. I believe it was last week we talked about being addicted to social media and someone had brought up the possibility of going a day without technology. Honestly, I do not think this would be possible or feasible for many of us who have part-time jobs in addition to taking classes, have leadership roles on campus or off that require constant updates, or have long distance relationships and technology is the only way to stay in contact. That was one topic in this story that I thought was interesting, but it was not the main reason that I am writing.

The real reason that I wanted to post this link was the idea of rehab for those who are addicted to Facebook. What constitutes being addicted to Facebook? I don’t think I would consider myself addicted, though I do check it often.

So what constitutes a Facebook addict? Are you one?

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Renee said...

My initial impression of this article is that its just sad that we’ve gotten to the point where we actually need rehabs for facebook addicts. Is this actually a real thing or are we just making excuses for ourselves. To me this is comprobably to how are society extremely overdiagnoses A.D.D. and A.D.H.D..
One thing I did like from the article was how one of the doctors said that it was about learning “healthy internet habits”. There are so many ways that the internet can be beneficial in our lives but spending hours being unproductive and scrolling through facebook pages is not one of them.
Also I thought this statement was really interesting, “Aboujaoude’s observations include changes in how people use and rely on memory, as well as other aspects of intellectual life including writing, reading and attention span”. This reminds me of how we talked about new media being a literal extension of the self. Our intellectual capacity, specifically memory and attention span, have changed because now we have technology which can compute and remember for us and which provides instant gratification.

// 02/20/2012 at 9:05 pm

Kelsey said...

Your last point Renee reminds me of something I think we’ve mentioned before, a quote of Socrates’ describing his dislike for paper. ‘How would we ever develop our memories if we relied on paper?’ I’m curious what kind of changes have been made to our memory, reading and writing abilities, and attention spans and how extensive the change is or not. I think it would be safe to assume that research is being done on this subject and I will keep an eye out for its’ results.
I was the one who suggested a technology blackout day and Cameron, I agree it would be foolish to unplug while we’re at school, there are too many risks but, does everyone think we could pull this off over spring break?
And responding to your question I definitely think facebook addiction is a problem, I’ve said for awhile now that if facebook crashed for a couple hours productivity on college campuses would sky rocket. However, having thought about it and read this article I think people would be flipping out trying to see if it was just their facebook or everyone’s and why it crashed as if it were crucial to existence. Facebook is a convenient tool, I’ve really appreciated how easy it is to keep in touch with people far away from me but there is such a thing as too much. And, like Renee said, it’s a sad that we need rehab centers for things like facebook but if people are trying to get help I guess that means something.

// 02/20/2012 at 10:06 pm

Bridget said...

I think the idea of a Facebook addict suggests the person over-using Facebook does so for the ability to be constantly in tune to their friends’ lives. In other words, while Facebooking uselessly for hours is sad, it also signals the user’s extreme need to be kept “in-the-loop” to the various social circles they belong as well as always being up-to-date with information.

I think the rapidly revolutionizing internet world has made us expect to receive information faster than ever before. Not only do we expect to hear global, national, and local news sooner and easier, but we also expect to hear news from family and friends sooner as well. In a way, the easy, speedy access to internet and social media sites has spoiled us. We are constantly on the lookout for news – whether it be a Facebook relationship status change or a Presidential election result.

// 02/20/2012 at 10:47 pm

Abbey said...

Kelsey, you make such a good point about how our memories and attention spans may have changed as a result of facebook. I have never thought about the addiction that our society seems to feel to facebook that way, but I share your concerns. I actually did “unplug” from all social media sites for an entire week (well, twitter and facebook because those are the only two that I use) and I have to say, the project was a success. I have since started going on my twitter again, but I still have not reactivated my facebook. I found that when I sit down at the library to do work, I start things much faster without being able to log on to facebook. I would not consider myself an addict by any stretch of the imagination– sure, I would check it multiple times a day despite having notifications received to my phone and not really needing to– but the time I wasted without considering myself an addict was nonetheless substantial. I find it upsetting to learn from this article that our society has developed such things as facebook rehab, but I can’t say I’m necessarily surprised. I wonder if the pros of facebook like keeping in touch across long distances and a means of communication to those close to us are worth the cons of, scarily, addiction, among others.

// 02/21/2012 at 7:27 pm