For most people, not a day goes by without scrolling through their Facebook feed and checking their notifications. A lot of people depend on the social media site to stay in touch with friends and family, keep up on news, and reminisce on life events. But when does using Facebook go from a helpful tool to a full-on addiction?
Researchers used 301 Facebook users to compile data, and IBN Live looked at what takes a user from casual usage to total dependency. If you’re someone who actually meets new people using Facebook, apparently you’re the most dependent on it. Another sign of dependency—getting self-validation from interactions on the site. Amber Ferris (assistant professor of communication at The University of Akron) says these types of people, “… rely on feedback from Facebook friends to better understand themselves.” Basically, if you’re seeking attention from your peers and meeting new people with Facebook, you may be dependent.
Constantly searching for ideas for entertainment on Facebook? According to researchers there’s a link between that and dependency as well. Another finding from the research is that people who have the post positive posts on the site are also the people with higher self-esteem. This should really come as no surprise. Ferris adds, “This makes a lot of sense. If you are happy with your life, you are more likely to want to share that happiness with others on social media
I think we’ve all heard of the dangers of letting social media replace real connections with real people. Interacting with people online should never be a replacement for face-to-face relationships, and your “value” online should never have an affect on your actual self worth. Moral of the story—sometimes it’s smart to just unplug.
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