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facebook-addiction-disordersAre You Addicted to Facebook?

We all love Facebook.  And many times when we intend to get tasks accomplished, we instead find ourselves updating our status's, playing FarmVille, answering questions about our friends, uploading photos or even instant messaging on Facebook.  And guess what?  Our "to-do list" does not get finished!  Then at the end of the day, we wonder where the time went.  Well researchers in Norway have studied our activity on Facebook and have come up with a "Facebook Addiction Scale," which gauges whether or not our social media activity is unhealthy.  Psychologists have concluded that Facebook addiction is a real thing, and have come up with signs of being addicted to Facebook.

Facebook Addiction

The research, which took place in Bergen, Norway studied over 400 college students and was published in the publication, Psychological Reports.  Here are the six signs that you might be addicted to Facebook.

  • Much time is spent thinking about Facebook, or when the next available time you can get on Facebook.
  • Your presence on Facebook increases as time goes on.
  • Facebook is used as an escape or diversion from problems in your life.
  • You cannot stop cutting back the time that you spend on the social media site.
  • When kept from using Facebook, you become anxious and restless.
  • Other facets of your life suffer from using Facebook.

The researchers asked the students with a five-pronged approach, and the students had to respond using the following:  (1) very rarely, (2) rarely, (3) sometimes, (4) often, and (5) very often.  As predicted, the students that answered the last two options, ("often" or "very often"), were most likely to be addicted to Facebook in such a way that it affected the rest of their lives outside the social media giant.  In addition, students that did not sleep well seemed to score more highly on the scale, as well as socially insecure and younger people.

In a world of cyberspace and social media choices, quitting activity on Facebook and can be difficult.  The University of Chicago has even gone so far as to say that social media outlets are more apt to pull you in than even a sex addiction.  Sixty-six percent of adults use social media and Facebook boasts over 900 million users who actively log on.

Finding the Facebook Balance

If you fear that you or your child(ren) are addicted to Facebook, then put a plan in place to regulate the time spent on Facebook.  Like limiting television, it can be done.  Map out your day with your "to-do" list and use the social media website to reward you for your hard work.  Withold Facebook privileges until your children's homework and chores are finished.  In addition, limit the time that you and the kids can be on Facebook.  Kids will likely be highly motivated as well, if Facebook time is given as a reward for hard work at school, home and just plain good behavior.  At first the concept might feel a bit out of place, but balance is the key.  Regulating Facebook time will allow you to be more social in a healthy way, by simply picking up the telephone or taking your child to a friend's house to hang out.
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