Hooked on the F-Book? Take this quick quiz developed by the University of Bergen in Norway to find out.
Give one of the following 5 responses to each of the five quiz questions:
(1) Very rarely, (2) Rarely, (3) Sometimes, (4) Often, and (5) Very often:
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.
Dr. Cecilie Andraessen and colleagues from the University of Bergen suggest that scoring ‘often’ or ‘very often’ on at least four of the six items means you may in fact be addicted to the ‘Book’, reports Medical News Today.
Does it matter if you’re addicted to Facebook?
Yes and no. Research activity surrounding the way we use Facebook is currently going off like a New Years’ Eve party.
And while it’s early days, some of the initial results are pretty fascinating.
They suggest that it’s the way you use Facebook, not the extent to which you use it, that can impact on your mental health and your sense of happiness.
Here are two key findings, reported by Stephen Marche in The Atlantic Magazine:
1. Receiving comments on status updates or semi-public messages eases loneliness
A longitudinal study of 1,200 Facebook users from the Human-Computer Institute in the US found that personalised messages, or ‘composed communication’ are more satisfying than ‘one-click communication’ — “the lazy click of a like”.
“So, you should inform your friend in writing how charming her son looks with Harry Potter cake smeared all over his face, and how interesting her sepia-toned photograph of that tree-framed bit of skyline is, and how cool it is that she’s at whatever concert she happens to be at. That’s what we all want to hear,” writes Marche.
“Even better than sending a private Facebook message is the semi-public conversation, the kind of back-and-forth in which you half ignore the other people who may be listening in.”
2. Scanning friends’ status updates and ‘passive consumption’ of FB can make you feel disconnected
According to Marche’s research, passive Facebook consumption can actually leave you feeling depressed.
He cites Human-Computer Institute researcher Moira Burke: “If two women each talk to their friends the same amount of time, but one of them spends more time reading about friends on Facebook as well, the one reading tends to grow slightly more depressed.”
Bottom line: use Facebook to support and complement friends and avoid using it to mindlessly fill in time. It’ll make your time spent on FB a happier experience.
Because science says so.
Are you addicted to Facebook? What tips do you have for using Facebook without getting too sucked in?
References available on request