Facebook is a social networking website that allows users to create profiles, communicate with friends and family, play games, and participate in polls. It can also be used by professionals to market their services. While it is an easy way to stay in touch with people, excessive use can have negative impacts on a person's life, leading to behavioral and emotional difficulties.
Researchers have begun to investigate the psychology of Facebook addiction. They have developed several scales that measure a number of factors related to Facebook. For example, one scale is the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale (BFAS). This 18-item questionnaire includes items for each of the six core elements of addiction. These elements are salience, cravings, conflict, mood modification, withdrawal, and relapse.
Other studies have found that Facebook is related to depression, social loneliness, and insomnia. However, these results are not definitive. In fact, some studies have shown that Facebook is not the cause of these issues. Instead, it may be an underlying factor.
In one study, researchers looked at the relationship between Facebook use and personality traits. The participants were 20 undergraduate students who completed a standardized self-report scale. Gender was controlled for, with males being coded as 0 and females as 1. A bootstrapping procedure was used to sample the participants across 10,000 samples.
In another study, researchers examined the effect of loneliness on Facebook usage. Loneliness was associated with higher Facebook scores. There was a positive correlation between loneliness and depression. Although the study does not prove cause and effect, it is a good starting point for investigating the role of loneliness in Facebook addiction.
Researchers used an fMRI to analyze the brains of the participants. Results showed that those who were addicted to Facebook had more activity in the amygdala and striatum, which are areas involved in impulsive behavior.
People who use Facebook as a form of coping with negative emotions, like stress or anxiety, are more likely to become addicted. They spend more time on the site, grow their friend list, and are more likely to be irritable and restless if they are denied access to the site. Similarly, when they attempt to cut back on their use of the site, they become more restless and withdraw.
While the term "Facebook addiction" is not yet an official psychiatric diagnosis, it is important to understand its implications. It is a problem that can affect a person's entire life, and there is no effective way to cure it. Rather, people should learn to curb their use and learn how to minimize the boredom that it causes.