Facebook is a popular social network that enables its members to interact with friends, workmates and family. It is a free networking site that was started in 2004 and is available in 37 languages. One is required to possess an email address in order to register; once registered, a member creates his or her own profile and is able to upload photos, videos, send messages and update their status. The site has interesting features such as groups, marketplace, pages and events that allow the public to interact (Rajadhyaksha). It has privacy settings that enable users to decide how and who views their profile. Moreover, users are in a position to unfriend and block people whom they do not want to interact with.
Benefits of Facebook
Facebook plays a very important role in communication and sharing of information. Users share opinions, ask questions, share their location data through Facebook. This site creates an arena for reconnection of old friends, schoolmates and workmates whom one had lost contact with. Facebook makes it even easier since it has a feature that helps users find friends so long as they have their email addresses, names or other pieces of information (Mootee). One is able to chat with friends on Facebook when they are online and business people chat with their clients and get reviews about their products.
The Facebook mobile application makes it easier for users to visit the site by means of their mobile devices; this is an advantage because one is able to access the site even when they are not currently able to use their PCs. Many businesses are being promoted and advertised through Facebook Ads and Fans pages (Young & De Abreu 22). This feature allows one to target his or her group of interest, thus making ads very beneficial and effective. Moreover, Facebook provides a source of entertainment with its numerous games and application. In fact, there are people who log in just to play games. Others use Facebook as a boredom killer. For instance, when students are on vacation, they tend to get bored; as a result, they use Facebook as a form of entertainment. In addition, many people use Facbook as a dating site.
Symptoms of Facebook Addiction
Facebook, if not used properly, can cause serious addiction disorders. There are several ways that show someone is addicted to Facebook. First, tolerance is an important indicator of Facebook addiction disorder (Maurieni 12). This happens when people spend a lot of time on Facebook until they reach a point when they feel something is amiss if they do not access the site. Withdrawal symptoms show up in these individuals; they feel bad if they are restricted to access Facebook because they have to participate in other normal activities. They also get stressed and anxiety steps in. They even resort to talking about Facebook and the status or pictures they had uploaded earlier.
Another important indicator of the disorder is reduction of recreational and social activities. A victim of the disorder will reduce the time spent with family and friends as well as will rarely go out, play sport and participate in other activities. In extreme cases, victims limit their communication to Facebook, so that anyone wishing to communicate with them has to use Facebook (Rice 62). Having many fake friends and replacing real dates with virtual ones on Facebook is a clear indicator of the disorder. In other cases of this addiction, victims create Facebook pages for their pets. An individual with Facebook disorder addiction gets excited when he or she gets a notification, a friend request or a message.
Negative Effects of Facebook Addiction
Most Facebook users use it as a part time activity. In some cases, users dump their part time activities, like hobbies and sport, in order to devote more time to Facebook. This may result in unhealthy lifestyles as users just seat at home, rarely perform physical activities and consume junk food. In other cases, users become tied to strangers and forget about their real friends (Protalinski). Third parties even write Facebook applications that infect other computers with viruses.
How to Handle Facebook Disorder Addiction
It is vital that people sincerely acknowledge that they have Facebook disorder addiction in order to deal with it effectively. Victims should question themselves what they are doing on Facebook and the value of Facebook in their lives and health. An essential thing to do in order to evaluate oneself is to record all the activity on Facebook and the amount of logs in. Instead of writing updates on Facebook, one can buy a notebook and write down all the information they wish when such an urge arises. in addition, victims should find a hobby that can occupy part of the time spent on Facebook (Jantz). Evaluate the kind of friends and conversations you have on Facebook. Do those friends influence you in a good way and do the conversations with them add any value to your life? Are the conversations you engage in on Facebook worth your time spent? Answers to these questions will help victims in realizing that they do not have to spend all their time on Facebook. Addiction to having many friends on Facebook can be avoided by accepting requests only from people you know well enough. This prevents cases of having fake friends who might influence one’s life negatively. Moreover, addicts can avoid overindulgence on Facebook by sending text messages and phone calls instead of communicating on Facebook (Miller 67).
Facebook has numerous advantages and, if used properly, can be of great importance to the society as a whole. Overindulgence in the website can cause adverse side effects, Facebook addiction disorder being one of them. This disorder can make victims lose their jobs as they are always on Facebook and are not performing well in their jobs. As much as this technology has helped a lot, it is advisable to be careful in utilizing it. Through Facebook, we are able to study, transact business, get entertainment, discuss and talk about important issues that concern us, and make new friends. If used properly, Facebook is of great advantage to all its users. Generally, Facebook is a good social network.