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posted by Dopefish on Sunday February 16 2014, @09:23PM   Printer-friendly
from the facebook-is-a-time-suck dept.

janrinok writes:

"Researchers from Norway have developed a new instrument to measure Facebook addiction, the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale. This report is based on one first issued in 2012, but updated within the past few days.

'The use of Facebook has increased rapidly. We are dealing with a subdivision of Internet addiction connected to social media,' Doctor of Psychology Cecilie Schou Andreassen says about the study, which is the first of its kind worldwide.

Andreassen heads the research project “Facebook Addiction” at the University of Bergen (UiB). An article about the results has just been published in the renowned journal Psychological Reports. She has clear views as to why some people develop Facebook dependency.

"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. People who are organized and more ambitious tend to be less at risk from Facebook addiction. They will often use social media as an integral part of work and networking. Our research also indicates that women are more at risk of developing Facebook addiction, probably due to the social nature of Facebook," Andreassen says.

The report also details 6 warning signs of Facebook addiction, which resemble those of drug, alcohol and chemical substance addiction."

Related Stories

End of Day 1: Systems Update 149 comments

So, as I write this, day one has officially come to an end. I'm still somewhat in shock over it. Last night when I was editing the database to change over hostnames and such, I was thinking, man, it would be great if we got 100 regular users by tomorrow. Turns out I was wrong. By a factor of ten. Holy cow, people. I'm still in a state of disbelief, partially due to the epic turnout, but also because our very modest server hardware hasn't soiled itself from the influx (the numbers are, well, "impressive" is a way to put it). Anyway, I wanted to do a bit of a writeup of where we stand now, what works, and what doesn't. Check it out (and some raw numbers) after the break! Warning, it is a bit lengthy.

Silicon Valley Technologists Form Group to Fight Tech Addiction 27 comments

Silicon Valley technologists, including former Google and Facebook employees, have formed the Center for Humane Technology:

A group of Silicon Valley technologists who were early employees at Facebook and Google, alarmed over the ill effects of social networks and smartphones, are banding together to challenge the companies they helped build.

The cohort is creating a union of concerned experts called the Center for Humane Technology. Along with the nonprofit media watchdog group Common Sense Media, it also plans an anti-tech addiction lobbying effort and an ad campaign at 55,000 public schools in the United States.

The campaign, titled The Truth About Tech, will be funded with $7 million from Common Sense and capital raised by the Center for Humane Technology. Common Sense also has $50 million in donated media and airtime from partners including Comcast and DirecTV. It will be aimed at educating students, parents and teachers about the dangers of technology, including the depression that can come from heavy use of social media.

"We were on the inside," said Tristan Harris, a former in-house ethicist at Google who is heading the new group. "We know what the companies measure. We know how they talk, and we know how the engineering works."

Omidyar Network is listed as a key advisor/supporter.

Also at TIME.

Related: How Facebook Can Be Addictive
Facebook Founding President Sounds Alarm, Criticizes Facebook
Another Former Facebook Exec Speaks Out
FBI Whistleblower on Pierre Omidyar and His Campaign to Neuter Wikileaks

Original Submission

Treatment Centers for Internet Addiction are Popping Up 8 comments

The digital drug: Internet addiction spawns U.S. treatment programs

When Danny Reagan was 13, he began exhibiting signs of what doctors usually associate with drug addiction. He became agitated, secretive and withdrew from friends. He had quit baseball and Boy Scouts, and he stopped doing homework and showering.

But he was not using drugs. He was hooked on YouTube and video games, to the point where he could do nothing else. As doctors would confirm, he was addicted to his electronics.

"After I got my console, I kind of fell in love with it," Danny, now 16 and a junior in a Cincinnati high school, said. "I liked being able to kind of shut everything out and just relax."

Danny was different from typical plugged-in American teenagers. Psychiatrists say internet addiction, characterized by a loss of control over internet use and disregard for the consequences of it, affects up to 8 percent of Americans and is becoming more common around the world.

Show-e-ring? Is that some kind of connected device?

Related: How Facebook Can Be Addictive
Asia's Smartphone Addiction
In South Korea, a Rehab Camp for Internet-Addicted Teenagers
Chinese Teen Dies as a Result of Internet Addiction Camp
World Health Organization Will Recognize "Gaming Disorder"
World Health Organization Officially Lists "Gaming Disorder" in ICD
Why is There a 'Gaming Disorder' but No 'Smartphone Disorder?'

Original Submission

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  • (Score: 1) by Nerdfest on Sunday February 16 2014, @09:32PM

    by Nerdfest (80) on Sunday February 16 2014, @09:32PM (#311)

    I can understand it. I quit FaceBook because of the addictive draw of in (for me), and I was planning on stopping SlashDot, from a combination of the quality drop of the site and the addictive nature. Damn you enablers.

    • (Score: 1) by mtrycz on Sunday February 16 2014, @09:51PM

      by mtrycz (60) on Sunday February 16 2014, @09:51PM (#314)

      While I did find Facebook increasingly distractive, the thing that made me quit was that, to my friends, i was *supposed* to have and curate an account, and I was *supossed* to be informed on what was going around by stalking people's accounts.
      Too much peer-pressure to bare. People take it too seriously.
      Anyway, that's not the best headline I've seen, I must admit.

      In capitalist America, ads view YOU!
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by chromas on Sunday February 16 2014, @09:52PM

      by chromas (34) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 16 2014, @09:52PM (#315) Journal

      Opera, Slashdot and Michael Jackson have found a cure for addicted user—I mean audiences. It's called β. Unfortunately, studies show most Facebook users to be immune.

    • (Score: 1) by sgleysti on Sunday February 16 2014, @10:09PM

      by sgleysti (56) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 16 2014, @10:09PM (#317)

      Man, IRC is addicting, I'll tell you what.

      I've just set auto-login on xchat... one click to interesting conversations. I'll have to be careful.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by ticho on Sunday February 16 2014, @09:36PM

    by ticho (89) on Sunday February 16 2014, @09:36PM (#313) Homepage Journal
    No. []
    • (Score: 1) by Dopefish on Monday February 17 2014, @02:53AM

      by Dopefish (12) on Monday February 17 2014, @02:53AM (#383)

      Thanks for the pointer, ticho. I went ahead and revised the title to avoid breaking the Betteridge law of headlines.

    • (Score: 1) by weeds on Monday February 17 2014, @03:22PM

      by weeds (611) on Monday February 17 2014, @03:22PM (#765) Journal

      According to Wikipedia - "Addiction is the continued repetition of a behavior despite adverse consequences" I don't see a list of adverse consequences.
      According to the article, the warning signs are:
      " 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."

      Only one of the warning sings qualifies as addiction.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Techwolf on Sunday February 16 2014, @10:08PM

    by Techwolf (87) on Sunday February 16 2014, @10:08PM (#316)

    I never had one to begin with. When I first heard about Facebook, checked it out and found out it required RL info, I said NO. And never look back. I always had a personal policy of keeping Internet info and personal info separate. That policy saved my ass a few times as some internet friends (now ex-) went loony big time, but never affected me due to they didn't have any personal info on me.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by ticho on Sunday February 16 2014, @10:22PM

      by ticho (89) on Sunday February 16 2014, @10:22PM (#321) Homepage Journal

      I never had an account there either. When it was becoming popular, I looked at the concept and figured the craze over something that invasive should only last few months. Alas, the craze is still going quite strong, but I still fail to see the point in having an account. :)

    • (Score: 1) by Istaera on Monday February 17 2014, @07:31AM

      by Istaera (113) on Monday February 17 2014, @07:31AM (#479)

      The problem is other people. Real life friends who innocently decide to share information about me. That is the reason I got facebook; to monitor what was said.

      I believe there's somebody out there watching us. Unfortunately, it's the government.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @11:25AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @11:25AM (#3354)

        The problem is other people. Real life friends who innocently decide to share information about me. That is the reason I got facebook; to monitor what was said.

        This is probably a very real and scary problem. I just hate your "solution".

        On the study summary "Andreassen's study shows that scoring of "often" or "very often" on at least four of the six items may suggest that you are addicted to Facebook." That's like saying if you drink one or more vodka bottles a week you might be addicted to alcohol. Not very conclusive. What was interesting on the other hand was the description of a likely addict.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by deimios on Monday February 17 2014, @09:09AM

      by deimios (201) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 17 2014, @09:09AM (#517) Journal

      Oh you most certainly have a facebook profile. You just don't have access to it. ctly-is-a-facebook-shadow-profile []

  • (Score: 1) by internetguy on Monday February 17 2014, @08:26AM

    by internetguy (235) on Monday February 17 2014, @08:26AM (#499)

    Anything can be an addition if you're willing to pay for "therapy". Facebook is nothing more than a communication service (which wiretaps your conversations). I never heard of anyone addicted to: Telephone, Snail mail, or Email mail. I love using Facebook for communicating with my network of friends. Before the Internet you have to have a telephone tree if you wanted to get mass information out to a group of people? Do you remember telephone trees?

    Sig: I must be new here.