Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Great Facebook Addiction

Is Facebook the drug of our generation? The answer is a big embarrassing "yes," says an interesting new study by Ars Technica.
 Except we youngsters can't even say that anymore, now that we're Facebooking our moms and whatnot. As a direct quote from the study explains, "Students from 10 countries... all reported distress, isolation, confusion, boredom, and a feeling of addiction when they had to go 24 hours without any form of media, including Internet."Apparently a large amount of this distress was in reaction to not having access to Facebook.

Lets take a moment to think that one over. What is it we do on Facebook? Post statuses about our fun Friday night? Whine about final exams? Boast about our vacations and semesters abroad through cleverly titled photo albums? I'm an addict and I'll be the first to admit it, but I've never felt so silly about that until just now. In fact, now that I really think about it, not once since I became Facebook active have I gone more than a few days without checking in. And now that I have my trusty iPhone in my pocket at all times (God help us all if I don't) it's certainly less sparatic than a few days. Maybe more like a few hours?

This study has really got me thinking about deleting my Facebook app and seeing how long it takes me to start "itching like a crack head," as one study participant put so eloquently.


  1. As soon as I saw the title of this post, I was immediately hooked. I guess that's the way the brain of a Facebook addict works. I recently re-watched The Social Network, and in one scene, a character goes, "Yeah it's been at Stanford for two weeks. It's pretty cool, except it's horribly addicting." As soon as I heard that line, I just laughed because it was so true. Sadly, I can easily lose tons of hours procrastinating by just clicking, clicking, clicking through Facebook pages. Half the time I'm not even that interested, but it keeps me away from schoolwork, so that's all that matters. When i went on a family vacation last year, I was not able to access the internet. I probably went through half those symptoms and had "social deprivation." It's so sad to admit, but I think a lot of people go through it (and judging by your post, that's true).

  2. Social networking like everything else can be taken to extreme excess. I do think its important that as a society we realize that internet addiction, food addiction, exercise addiction, these are all real issues for people and not something to be explained away as psychological mumbo jumbo. I wish you luck in deleting your Facebook app.

  3. Update: no luck in breaking the Facebook addiction OR deleting the app! Although I know my Facebook use is not as extreme as many others, I do know that I could benefit productivity-wise from cutting back. That has proven to be difficult though, as it is such an easy means of communication for getting in touch with my friends at home. I like that you agree with the "social deprivation" aspect of not having access, as I do feel a strange pang of being left out when I go some time without it. However, I don't feel like my Facebook use has at all cut into my face-to-face social life - if anything, it has saved me from expensive fees for too many text messages :)

  4. really, the FB/Zynga games are really a very bad bad addiction. I was couple of months back really addict of these Games. I am happy that I have completely stopped it now. I just removed these Game applications from my FB profile.