Tuesday, October 13

Are You an Addict?

Do you depend on it? Would you feel lost without it? Have you become anxious without it? You would be wrong to think that i'm talking about drugs, cigarettes or alcohol. In fact, what I am rambling on about is Facebook and other social networking sites.

Gone are the days where you would write a letter, pop it in an envelope and post it. Today, Facebook, Myspace and similar social networking sites have replaced traditional communication methods and play an integral part in the keeping in touch with friends, family and co-workers. Facebook has risen immensely in popularity over recent years and with it's growing functionality and features so has the number of users. browsing for longer than they intended.
the average user has 130 friends
Facebook is amazing; you can message friends, write on their walls, upload pictures and even 'poke' them. It is, however, quite addictive. You can easily lose track of time browsing on the your friend’s pages. For some, Facebook is simply a useful tool for keeping in touch with friends, whilst for others it is the way to interact with friends. At the very extreme there are users who assimilate friends like some kind of human stamp collection, spam friend's walls with fashionable garbage or inform the whole world on every single thing they are doing via updates. The question is: does anyone really care? Am I bothered whether you ‘just got on the bus’? Do I need to know your favourite cereal? Studies have shown that the average individual will have between 5 and 10 close friends. How users of Facebook can amass hundreds of 'friends' is an intriguing question. We all want to be loved, wanted or appreciated; It is what makes us human. But the fact that the average user has 130 friends shows that Facebook allows us to create a virtual community that is, as name says, virtual. It emphasises a friendship gluttony/obsession; a staggering 6,000,000,000 minutes are spent on Facebook by around 150 million users daily. This works out to be 40 minutes per person, per day. This figure may not actually appear to be a lot. But when it is considered with the fact that an individual will only have between 5 and 10 close friends at any one time and that a message may take no more than 3 minutes to type and pictures are loaded in seconds there is a lot of time spent not actually interacting with your real friends. This is the 'Facebook addiction'.
a staggering 6,000,000,000 minutes are spent on Facebook by around 150 million
users daily
The danger of turning something that was intended to be helpful and beneficial into something menacing is ever so real with Facebook.

Caroline Hocking, once said that when she de-activated her account after realizing she had become hooked on the website that her 'virtual' life was over'. Having amassed 350 friends and uploaded over 30 photo albums she ended her 2 year Facebook-life and went cold turkey. This only lasted 10 days later; a sign of the grasp Facebook has on its users. Do we really rely on Facebook that much? Is it an ecstasy that feeds our social urges? Many people manage to use Facebook without becoming overly dependent on it, but there is a growing concern that the Facebook obsession will lead to more bad than good. People have been arrested because of it, studies have been made on their effect on impressionable children, jobs have been lost because of employees overeagerness to Facebook whilst at work and even led to divorce.

The question to the reader is, could you live without Facebook or any other social websites; are you an addict? Do people choose to be 'Facebook-whores' or are they just consumed blindly by the sheer power of Facebook.


Wez said...

I'm addicted to internet itself! LOL so yes I'm a Facebook whore and I don't know if I'll be able to live 'without it'...

carrotmadman6 said...

I can live without Facebook (I've got <50 friends). :)

Twitter? No. :S

Yashvin said...

An interesting fact which I just read :

"Facebook is now Running Over 30,000 Servers, Collecting a 25 terabytes of log data per day and more than 80 billion images!!!"


ÅnGe|e said...

I can definitely live without facebook. When I signed up on facebook a few years ago I hooked for the first few months. Hahaha :p I was either checking friends' profiles or playing whatever games that were available. Now I'm cured. Facebook addict? No :D

nav said...

@Wez i wish sometimes that Facebook didn't really exist. The world was going ok before it arrived, we still had friends before, good friends!

@Carrotmadman6 yehh i hardly use Facebook anymore, Twitter is much more useful! Instead of un-interesting status updates I can selectively read useful tweets! :)

@Yashvin 30,000 wow! It's a bit worrying what could happen to all that data if it falls into the wrong hands. Just had a thought, what if ALL the servers were destroyed in some sort of hate-crime against Mark Zuckerberg; What some people need therapy with the loss? (lol!)

@AnGele That's the only reason i go on Facebook now, to play some poker :)

Mo said...

Dont have time for facebook I have too much real life to live

Mike Shea said...

Very glad I'm old school - along with being old (61)-
Facebook etc. I could take it or leave it. It's fun, but so is a walk in the park. And as I wouldn't think of walking in the park for more than a few hours, the same with Facebook/Internet in general