Mark Zuckerberg, from Harvard University, launched the site called “thefacebook.com” in 2004. The site became a hit within two years after it extended beyond educational institutions. Anyone can become Facebook user by registering with email address and it is free to join. With 1.3 billion active users per month, Facebook becomes one of the most popular social networking site and the number is still growing. Love it or hate it, there is no deny that Facebook is already became a part of our life.
According to DigitalBuzz, 48% of Facebook users aged from 18 – 34 checking their Facebook would be the first thing they do when they wake up.
A recent study claims that the desire to stay on the top of social networking sites is the most difficult to resist compared to sex and sleep. How many people on earth can say that they can live without Facebook? The answer is too obvious to point out.
What spell that Facebook cast on their users? What makes Facebook so special that can attract billions of users? Facebook offers a new way to connect with each other and reach news that happened all over the world. Facebook users also obsessed with Facebook activities such as updating statuses, uploading photos and videos, checking in, and liking or commenting on posts. Once users registered on Facebook, they start being friends with anyone around them or following fans pages and it is a beginning of life engaged with Facebook. However, over past few years, the phenomenon of over rely on Facebook attracts significant attention. Here are few signs that can tell if a user is addicted to Facebook or not.
Firstly, checking Facebook whenever possible which means users would check their Facebook page anytime, anywhere they have opportunities to access. They tend to check most recent newsfeeds or comments that their friends left on their posts or perhaps just a habitual movement.
Secondly, spend more than an hour per day looking through Facebook. Thirdly, add as many friends as they could even someone they just met once. Finally, compromising real life and live in online social life. Facebook addict start to over-reliant on Facebook and give up the real social life. All of these actions are daily behaviors of Facebook addict. They have serious impact on people who overuse Facebook, especially young generation.
With smart phones and 3G/ Wi-Fi become commonplace, people can access social networking sites whenever they want and the number of “phubbers” grows dramatically. Although Facebook provides a brand new way of connection, it also brings negative effects to addictive users. Recent research from California State University shows that overuse social networking sites like Facebook can have serious psychological disorders, including narcissism, antisocial behaviors, mania, and aggressive tendencies among young adults. The healthy implications of excessive Facebook usage could occur not only on youth but also adults and even elders. Users make friends or connect with friends and relatives through Facebook instead of face to face could also results in losing skill of social interaction and communication as well as speaking skills. Moreover, a BBC News report suggests that online relationships lack of “real” social interaction could keep people apart. While people spend more time on social networking sites like Facebook, it may increase the level of social isolation.
The other negative impact is that it could decrease productivity both on study and workplace. Effectiveness and productivity may fall down due to frequently checking on newsfeed and comments on Facebook. Nowadays, students have a number of ways to access social networking sites which could be distractions whenever in class or study. It is more difficult for students to focus on educational tasks. On the other hand, work performance could also be affected by obsessing with Facebook as well.
Last year, a pair of Ph.D. students at MIT’s Media Lab, Robert Morris and Dan McDuff, came up a machine called “Pavlov Poke” to control their social media impulses. They set up some code to monitor their browsers and connect with a special device. If they visit Facebook site too often, they would get a shock sent from the device connected to their keyboards. They claim that the shock is not dangerous but is enough to get your attention.
Facebook is designed to enrich social lives; however, the impacts of overusing it cannot be overlooked. Although it has led to positive changes in the way people communicate and share information, misusing Facebook could bring negative effects on real life. It is important to let online users realize the consequences of over-reliant on Facebook and educate them how to make Facebook a valuable tool for communicating and receiving information.