A Facebook addiction test has finally been developed and published by researchers at the University of Bergen, in the journal Psychological Reports.
The Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale, created by Psychology Professor Cecilia Schou Andreassen based on research with 423 students, deems a user addicted to Facebook if they answer “often” or “always” four or more times to six questions which must be answered with “very rarely”, “rarely”, “sometimes”, “often”, and “very often”, or “always”:
1) You spend a lot of time thinking about Facebook or plan to use Facebook.
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 a negative impact on your job/studies.
I am a big Facebook fan and on again off again critic because of its awful privacy policies and confusing way of providing what the company seems to promote as the new commerce of social interaction – “frictionless sharing” (as if we could not have healthy social interaction before Facebook became an integral part of our culture).
And, I write about Facebook a lot, so this is my job. I answered: “often”, “sometimes”, “very rarely”, “very rarely”, “very rarely” and “very rarely” to the above test so it would seem that I have so far managed to avoid the dreaded Facebook Addiction Disease.
Professor Andreassen, who is in charge of the Facebook addiction project at the University of Bergen, explained that younger people tend to get addicted to Facebook more than older people, and those that score higher on the scale are generally more anxious or socially insecure than average and use Facebook so much because they find it easier than face-to-face interaction. Women in general are more prone to get addicted to Facebook because of its social nature.
People who are more goal oriented, ambitious, and organized have less of a tendency to become addicted to Facebook and use social media in general for networking and as an important part of their work.
Andreassen said their study of 423 students, comprised of 227 women and 196 men, showed there is a relationship between overuse of Facebok, extroversion, and a delayed sleep-wake rhythm. The study showed that the symptoms of Facebook addiction are also similar to addiction to alcohol, chemical substance, and drug addiction.
Thank gosh I’m finished writing this Facebook article, I’m way overdue for a Facebook fix.