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Facebook Addiction

The Allure of the Social Media

Much have been written on the related phenomena of computer and/or internet addiction but few seem to view the much more disguised Facebook addiction as a serious problem. The reasons are not farfetched: Facebook offers so much and seems so pleasant that few give any thought to the amounts of time spent either on it or the effects which such excessive time use impacts on the socio-economic functionality of the individual users. Smart phone addiction is closely linked to addiction to social media, the most popular of which is Facebook.

Facebook offers many attractive features for social interaction and exhibitionism which makes it almost irresistible for hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Social networking in times past used to be much more physical in nature thus limiting its potential for being in the public glare to a limited number of people for any group of networked friends and family members. With the advent of the Internet-based social media, networking left the private domain and now rests squarely in the public glare of potentially a worldwide audience for any network user. With facilities such as instant messaging, creation of personal profiles, uploading of pictures and creation of photo albums, creation of exclusive network groups and so on, Facebook makes it easy for people to exhibit their vainer sides and fulfil the emotional need to socialise thereby creating a strong pool of current that attracts and keeps billions of people spell bound as they stay hooked on their smart phones, Ipads, tablets, and laptops 24/7.

Is Facebook really addictive?

Some people are of the opinion that in this cyber age, the use of electronic technology is as necessary as the need for water coolers and word processors and therefore the word ‘addiction’ cannot be accurately used with respect to the time spent on the Internet or its dependent applications. However, is this position tenable? Can we ignore the potential socio-economic disaster that addiction - if truly we can apply that word in this regard - to social media like Facebook can spawn if left unchecked?

The reality today is that almost everyone in the world that is old enough to know appreciates the need to have a Facebook presence, from the ordinary man on the street to celebrities and presidents and governors of nations. Unfortunately, because of its perceived attractiveness, no one seems to notice the problem, but the truth is that a lot of pastimes pursued on Facebook are for obvious trivialities that on a more reflective look amount to colossal wastes of precious time.


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