Worried you’ve OD’ed on The Social Network?
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There is only one way to find out, thanks to the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale, which lets you tell whether you are truly addicted to The Social Network or not.
The Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale, developed by researchers in Norway, is based on 6 criteria including ‘you spend a lot of time thinking about Facebook’, ‘feel an urge’ to use it more or you tried to cut down but without success.
Researchers at the Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen carried out the test on 423 students and Facebook members (227 women and 196 men) last year and the results have just been published in the journal Psychological Reports.
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Here’s the criteria Facebookers need to ask themselves, do you:
· You spend a lot of time thinking about Facebook or plan use of Facebook;
· You feel an urge to use Facebook more and more;
· You use Facebook in order to forget about personal problems;
· You have tried to cut down on the use of Facebook without success;
· You become restless or troubled if you are prohibited from using Facebook;
· You use Facebook so much that it has had a negative impact on your job/studies.
Researchers rated the answers on a scale of 1-5 as follows: (1) Very rarely, (2) Rarely, (3) Sometimes, (4) Often, and (5) Very often. Participants who answered ‘Often” or ‘Always’ to four or more of the questions were deemed very likely Facebook addicts, so if you take this test and find a lot of ‘4’ and ‘5’ answers, alarm bells may start going off.
And it seems like drink and drugs, Facebook addiction is increasingly common, warns Doctor of Psychology, Cecilie Schou Andreassen, who was involved in the study.
“The use of Facebook has increased rapidly. We are dealing with a subdivision of Internet addiction connected to social media.”
And, it seems, women are more prone to Facebook addiction than men, according to the study, as are Gen Y.
Those who are “anxious and socially insecure” use The Social Network most, says Andreassen.
“It occurs more regularly among younger than older users.
“We have also found that people who are anxious and socially insecure use Facebook more than those with lower scores on those traits, probably because those who are anxious find it easier to communicate via social media than face-to-face.”
However, those who are organised and more ambitious seem to be least prone to addiction to online socialising.
The study, is the first of its kind in the world.