Are You Addicted to Facebook? There's a Test for That
Though I am not on Facebook, I have seen some odd behavior related to it. I have known people to put off important work to play a game or check for new postings. I have even known someone who told me something in confidence post a related comment I made to Facebook. (Apparently one can keep a secret and still publicly post a remark directly related to the secret.) Researchers are very interested in the ways Facebook alters behaviors and mindsets because it appears to be creating addictions. Now researchers at the University of Bergen have created the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale.
As with every other phenomenon, one cannot study it without having some way to measure it. This test allows researchers to determine if someone is indeed addicted, which will then allow the researchers to collect data to find a pattern amongst the addicts. Already we know most Facebook addicts are anxious and socially insecure. Facebook feels safer to them because it does not require face-to-face interactions. Women are at greater risk of becoming addicted because of the social nature of Facebook.
The test considers six criteria and has people rate them on a scale from very rarely, through sometimes, to very often.
- 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.
Scoring "often" or "very often" on four or more of these suggests you may be addicted.