Photo: Flickr/Jeremy Brooks
At what point does occasional Facebook stalking become a full-blown addiction? And how many of Facebook’s 900 million users are actively hooked?A new study from Norway, the first of its kind worldwide, says that “Facebook addiction resembles drug, alcohol and chemical substance addiction.”
Those at the highest risk of developing a Facebook jones are users that are young, female, anxious and socially insecure (whereas those who are organised and ambitious face less risk), according to lead researcher and Doctor of Psychology Cecilie Schou Andreassen.
Her team of researchers at the University of Bergen created the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale to test if one has crossed the threshold from “social media enthusiast” to full-fledged “Facebook addict.”
Each of the six criteria are scored on the following scale: (1) Very rarely, (2) Rarely, (3) Sometimes, (4) Often, and (5) 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 “always” on at least four of the seven items suggests that you are addicted to Facebook, according to the study.