Facebook Addict: r u 1?

Let’s face it: Facebook has invaded our space in more ways than one and it might not be too far-fetched to think that it is affecting our health and lives. Although Facebook addiction has yet to reach alarming levels in Malaysia, many studies in the United States have shown it to detrimental in various ways.

For one, Facebook addicts are, well, addicts. Like someone who is addicted to alcohol, tobacco or drugs, Facebook addicts develop a tolerance. Over time, they crave more and more of Facebook time, preferring to chat online, make and meet FB friends instead of meeting people face-to-face.

Body image experts warn of people developing unhealthy body images and resorting to extreme weight-loss tactics when they see their FB friends looking fitter and slimmer. The same extends to happiness levels – it is difficult not to feel depressed when you constantly see others having more fun than you!

The solution is simple- simply shut down your computer and get a life! But first, are you really addicted?

Surprise, surprise, Professor Cecilie Schou Andreassen from the University of Bergen, Norway, has even formulated a five-point “Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale” to measure Facebook addiction.

In her first of its kind study involving 423 participants that was recently published in Psychological Reports, Professor Andreassen found that FB addiction occurs more regularly among younger people and those who are anxious and socially insecure. Women are also at higher risk.

Take this test to find out whether you are addicted. Reply ‘rarely’, ‘occassionally’, ‘often’ or ‘very often’ to these questions below:

  1. You spend a lot of time thinking about Facebook or planning to use Facebook.
  2. You feel an urge to use Facebook more and more.
  3. You use Facebook in order to forget about personal problems.
  4. You have tried to cut down on the use of Facebook without success.
  5. You become restless or troubled if you are prohibited from using Facebook.
  6. You use Facebook so much that it has a negative impact on your job/studies.

Responses of “often,” or “very often” to at least four of these six questions qualifies you as a Facebook addict.

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