Six signs that you have become addicted to Facebook
Do you feel an urge to use Facebook often, or need to constantly check your emails? Then you may be addicted to social media.
Increasing numbers of people are losing control of the time they spend online, a new study from the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy has said.
As a result, more and more are turning to therapists and councillors to help with their social media dependence, which can be as addictive as cigarettes or alcohol.
“Being connected to friends and business associates has clear benefits, but many people, especially young people, find the desire to use Facebook or Twitter so strong that it’s affecting their personal relationships, their studies and often their jobs,” said Shane Kelly, professional services manager with the IACP.
Mobile devices such as phones and tablets are a big issue with social media addiction due to the ease of access, the association noted.
“Many people find it impossible to put down their mobile even when having a meal with friends, attending a meeting or while out on a first date.”
While Twitter and Facebook may seem less harmful that nicotine or alcohol, studies have shown that people with higher usage of social media sites may have lower levels of self-esteem a higher rate of depression.
The association added that the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale should be used to determine if you have a problem.
The scale was developed In Norway to assess whether a Facebook user is addicted to using the platform.
If you agree with most of these statements then you may have a problem:
1. You spend a lot of time thinking about Facebook or planning how to use it.
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 had a negative impact on your job/studies.
The IACP advise internet users who are concerned about the amount of time they spend online to take steps to tackle the problem.