Are You Addicted to Facebook?

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When you wake up in the morning, what’s the first thing you do?  Do you grab your iPhone or other media-enabled device and check facebook?  What is the last thing you do before bed?  If you check facebook first thing in the morning and last thing at night, you may be suffering from a facebook addiction.

While facebook has many benefits, such as allowing previous friends and acquaintances to reconnect and rebuild their friendships, it also has many downsides.  These downsides, such as loneliness, an increasing hunger for recognition by others, and anxiety all sprout from seeds and eventually grow stronger if the compulsive behavior of “facebooking” is not dealt with.  Facebook can be a big distraction to high school students, who make up a large majority of the users.

Facebook allows users to feel comfortable behind a wall of security, and there is no obligation for users to comment on statuses and posts, so there is a lot of freedom left to the facebook user.  When a user posts a status, it gets posted on the “news feed” of every one of their friends, and these connections are free to comment on the status or link.  Essentially, every notification from a comment on a posted status or link is a little boost of self-esteem and self-worth.  However, constantly posting statuses and links makes one’s content appear less worthy of attention, and it is likely that this will give the responsible user a bad reputation with his/her connections in the real world as someone who is needy and hungry for every bit of attention.  It makes sense why facebook is so popular with high school students, due to the much newfound insecurity within peoples’ lives during these 4 years.  Low self-esteem, and low self-worth are contributors to more time spent on facebook waiting for comments or starting conversations with people.  The cycle is deadly though, because when one doesn’t receive a notification or comment back, it withdraws self-esteem. 

You may suffer from a facebook addiction if you:

-Check facebook first thing in the morning.

-Check facebook before you go to sleep.

-Check facebook in each moment of boredom or in a waiting room with nothing to do.

-Go on facebook while attempting to do homework.

-Update your status more than 2 times a day.  In all honesty, other than your couple closest friends, nobody really wants to hear about your workout was or how hung-over you are.  (Ask yourself. “So what?  What is the worth in this statement?”  Before you post a status)

-Wander aimlessly.  Essentially, rather than having a given task or goal to accomplish, one just logs on and reads the news feed looking for links to click and read.

-Lurk, or stalk photos of friends or friends’ friends.  (This is really unhealthy… )

-Ask friends to write on your facebook wall or message you when you’re online, rather than emailing you directly or using a mobile phone to reach you.  Many users log onto their computer and check email, so it would make more sense to have a friend email you directly rather than going through an external source to read messages.

-Your goal is to have the most friends as possible, even to the extent of adding people you have never even heard of.

The easiest way to overcome an Internet addiction is to find something more worthwhile in life to do with your time.  Working out, playing sports, or just hanging out with friends are great ways to spend time.  These activities also have both self-esteem boosting qualities and other rewards.  If you would gauge yourself as only mildly addicted with a reasonable amount of self-control, video games are another outlet if you have too much free time and you are already spending a lot of time outside and with friends.  However, with video games it is easy to get addicted and fall into a bad habit of becoming anti-social.

So next time you press that blue “F” on your home screen, think twice about what you are doing and maybe quit and go for a walk in the sun.  Remember, life is too short to be spent wasted on facebook.

=)

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