“Having lunch with bae at best restaurant in town”, “Watching the new Star Wars…”, “Going on road trip with family”.
How many times do we read such posts on Facebook time and time again. And what is it about reading about the lives of others that is making us addicted to Facebook.
How addicted are we to Facebook is the question?
Social experience’s are filled within Facebook, we believe we need interaction, ask yourself why are we compelled to check Facebook? if we look back at the olden days parents socialized outside in gardens or having tea and cake whilst children played outside, now we are replacing this with social sites such as Facebook. What does this suggest to you? What does this tell you? Has Facebook taken over our life’s? Has it changed social interaction?
Social psychologists deal with the factors that lead us to behave in a given way in the presence of others, and look at the conditions under which certain behavior/actions and feelings occur. Are we looking for acceptance from others to feel and be part of a virtual group to feel belonged and to boost out self-esteem. Self esteem can be linked to Facebook addiction through the lines and comments we receive on our posts and pages, for someone with low self esteem the positive and the more likes and comments they receive is making them wanted and part of an in-group.
A recent study found that giving up Facebook could be more difficult then giving smoking and alcohol up. The study found that there was more people who felt the need to stay on top of online social networks.
A recent study linked “Facebook users with more friends have bigger sections of brains,” An association was found between having more Facebook contacts, a higher number of real world social contacts and the amount of grey matter in areas of the brain associated with social perception and memory. When we get positive feedback on Facebook, the feeling lights up this part of our brain. The greater the intensity of our Facebook use, the greater the reward.
People may feel socially obligated to like or comment on certain types of social milestones or achievements. If someone posts that they just got engaged or received a promotion, friends may feel the need to like the post, as an acknowledgment. Your friends are more likely to feel obligated to say “Your new baby is so cute” than to say “that’s an interesting news story you posted about the presidential race”.
Facebook itself pushes certain types of posts to the top of people’s news feeds, so such posts will get even more likes. Also the intellectual posts may attract less attention because they can’t be absorbed quickly – I can easily appreciate the adorable photo of my friend’s cat and click “like” as I scroll down my newsfeed, but I don’t have time to click on and read the potentially fascinating post,
We personally feel we have to be checking Facebook on a daily basis maybe every few hours or not. I suppose this could be down to how were feeling on the day, where we are, who we are with and basically what is happening with others around the world. whether that be family and friends or total strangers to celebrities.
In 2012 research carried out in Norway published a psychological scale to measure Facebook addiction. Facebook addiction is quite possible. As with any type of technology, the compulsive use of social networks can affect our offline social life and have serious social, physical and psychological consequences. Some of the top signs of Facebook addiction includes,
1. Initial feelings of satisfaction or pleasure after a Facebook login session.
2. Staying logged into a Facebook session longer than planned
3. Giving up important social or occupational activities in order to spend time on Facebook.
4. Continued use of Facebook despite negative consequences related to Facebook use, including physical symptoms of fatigue, marital or social problems, and/or problems at work.
Going forward now we have Facebook as part of our lives what would life be like without it? How many of us would crave for what we had by being part of this Virtual Groups.
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