Saturday, October 2, 2010

Facebook Addiction

I just saw the movie about the beginnings of Facebook and I have to say, it doesn't appear that the conditions surrounding the start up were conducive to a Godly-inspired creation. I realize that there is a lot of good that can come from it, but I have to also acknowledge that I personally have discovered some negative affects it has had on me.

After seeing the movie, I did a little research about what psychologists say are some of negative consequences and the addictive qualities about Facebook, and so much of it hits home with what I have experienced. I don't mean to be Negative Nancy but I just wanted to go over some of the ways it can be destructive and how to avoid it for my own benefit because I can honestly admit that since I started being more involved with it, I have felt a sort of addictive pull that doesn't feel right and that has been a distraction to other worthy pursuits.

Here are excerpts from an article about Facebook addiction:

"Facebook has become an indispensable way to find old friends, schedule events, play games and even send virtual gifts. But if you're doing more living online than off, it might be time to reassess. Many students are now seeing Facebook more as an addiction than a networking tool, and psychologists are starting to agree.

"Are personal relationships taking a backseat to Facebook? Do you think about Facebook even when you're offline? Do you use Facebook to escape problems or homework or household chores? Do you stay on Facebook longer than intended? Have you ever concealed Facebook use?

"If you answered yes to any, you might be a borderline addict - no joke.

"Frequent Facebook visits actually cause something psychologists refer to as intermittent reinforcement.

"Notifications, messages and invites reward you with an unpredictable high, much like gambling. That anticipation can get dangerously addictive. (I discovered how much of a "high" this is for me because at one point in the movie there was a listing of friend requests on a facebook page during the movie, and I was almost out of my chair wanting to clink on it. Get me to rehab, quick!!)

"The key may be as simple as diagnosing your triggers and changing your habits.

"Find out what's missing from your life," said Bedi. "Whether it's having too much free time, not knowing anyone or just escaping, think about what made you resort to [Facebook], and what you could be doing instead."

I decided to stay off of facebook for a whole day. I am now in a cold sweat and wondering what is going on in the world that I don't know about. I mean, I am missing out on all the things people "like." I don't plan to give up facebook altogether because there are some good things that come from it, but this cold turkey withdrawal is letting me know how dependent I have gotten on it. Without it I can rediscover some old priorities and interests.

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