The newest social networking site, Facebook has opened up an exciting online world that has enabled millions of people around the world to connect with each other. Facebook provides its members a way to make new friends, keep in touch with current friends, and find old friends and family anywhere in the world without ever having to leave their home. Since its introduction to the public in 2005 Facebook has experienced phenomenal growth and has become the world’s most popular social networking site, far surpassing that of the previous favorites MySpace and Twitter.
Facebook is an amazing site that provides an exciting and stimulating entertainment for its members 24 hours a day. People find themselves spending anywhere from a few minutes a day to several hours a day on Facebook discovering what others have posted, taking part in conversations and posting on interesting subjects. They become so involved in sending and answering messages to their growing number of friends, making new friends and keeping everyone updated on their activities several times a day about what they are doing that they do not notice the amount of time that has gone by. Some joke about calling themselves or their friends “Facebook addicts” because of the amount of time they spend each day on Facebook.
Some people also find the time to enjoy some of the other fun entertainment offered on Facebook. Playing online games with other members is one of the popular sources of entertainment that Facebook offers. Two of the most popular online games are Farmville and Vampire Wars. Both games require people to check in several times a day. Members can spend hours each day tending their farms or chasing others for their blood points. Some players have commented that they have lost total track of time when playing these games and are amazed when they realize that several hours have gone by since they had started the game (Hinz).
Quizzes are another form of entertainment that appear to be addictive to people. There are thousands of these quizzes that will let you know everything you wanted know, and in some cases did not want to know, about your friends. Members send these to each other constantly. A few of the quizzes on Facebook this week were; Are you a limousine or a SUV? Are you more feminine or masculine? The useless, pointless, senseless test, the naughty or not test, and have you gone bonkers? People can spend hours taking these quizzes. They can spend even longer reading the results of other people’s quizzes.
This has opened up a question regarding the amount of time that people are spending on Facebook. Is there such a thing as too much Facebook? Many experts are saying yes, too many people are spending an extreme amount of time on the site. Psychologists are now exploring the ramifications Facebook has on the lives of people. The amount of time some people are spending on Facebook is starting to be considered an addiction. Doctors have named the social networking obsession Facebook Addiction Disorder or FAD. Psychologist Dr. Michael Fence described the condition as a situation in which a person’s Facebook usage “overtakes” and interferes with daily activities like sleeping , waking up, getting dressed, is overly harmful to social activities, and work (Lipari).
Dr. Elias Aboujaoude, director of Stanford’s Impulse Control Disorders Clinic, did a study and he noted that a person’s drive to compulsively use the internet for social networking is similar to that of other impulse-control disorders. It was characterized by the repetitive and irresistible urge to perform a pleasurable act that will lead to personal and professional problems and become otherwise intrusive in one’s life (Silk). While Facebook Addiction Disorder is not yet an actual medical diagnosis, there are many studies taking place and many therapists are noting a rise in their clients who are hooked on social networking to the...
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