Are you a Facebook addict?

May 8, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

(Credit: stock image)

Are you a Facebook addict? Take the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale test, developed in Norway, and find out.

Do you (1) Very rarely, (2) Rarely, (3) Sometimes, (4) Often, or (5) Very often:

  • Spend a lot of time thinking about Facebook or plan use of Facebook.
  • Feel an urge to use Facebook more and more.
  • Use Facebook to forget about personal problems.
  • Try to cut down on the use of Facebook without success.
  • Become restless or troubled if you are prohibited from using Facebook.
  • Use Facebook so much that it has had a negative impact on your job/studies.

After adding these up, your full score correlates with your addiction level. Did you score “often” or “very often” on at least four of the six items? You’re a Facebook addict.*

At least that that what psychologist Dr. Cecilie Schou Andreassen, who heads the Facebook Addiction research project at the University of Bergen, suggests. Her study also found that symptoms of Facebook addiction resemble those of drug and alcohol addiction — and unsurprisingly, Facebook addicts have sleep-wake-cycle problems. The study also found:

  • Facebook addiction occurs more regularly among younger than older users.
  • 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.
  • Women are more at risk of developing Facebook addiction, probably due to the social nature of Facebook.

The researchers are also working on measuring other addictions, such as the Bergen Work Addiction Scale. (I’m guessing there’s a high negative correlation between Facebook addiction and work addiction.)

* Personal confession: if you substitute “email” for “Facebook,” I definitely have a problem. If they invent a way to check email while you sleep, let me know.

Ref.: Cecilie Schou Andreassen et al., Development of a Facebook addiction scale, Psychological Reports, 2012, DOI: 10.2466/02.09.18.PR0.110.2.501-517

Amara D. Angelica is Editor of KurzweilAI