Psychologists now say Facebook addiction is a real problem and it can now be measured. Researchers in Norway have come up with a new way to measure your obsession with Facebook and it’s called the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale. The new study was published in the April issue of the journal Psychological Reports. The research team tested over 400 students at the University of Bergen in Norway. The scale uses these six criteria to gauge your Facebook addiction:
- The amount of time you spend thinking about or planning to use Facebook
- If you feel the urge to use Facebook over and over
- Whether you use Facebook to forget your personal problems
- You have unsuccessfully tried to cut down on your Facebook usage
- If not allowed to use Facebook, you become bothered or restless
- You are on Facebook so often if negatively affects your job or school work.
The students were asked to determine how each statement applied to them regarding their Facebook usage on a scale of one to five with one being very rarely and five being very often. Those who had poor sleeping habits also scored higher on the scale. Study author, Dr. Cecilie Schou Andreassen says the addiction and dependency occur more often with younger users rather than older ones. Andreassen also notes that people who have anxiety and are more socially insecure tend to use Facebook more often than those who scored lower with such traits. According to the Huffington Post, this is probably because anxious people communicate easier through social media outlets than they do face to face. Researchers from the University of Chicago believe social media can be even more addictive than having sex. Another study showed that 66 percent of online adults use some kind of social media such as Facebook or Twitter. Facebook has over 900 million users who are active on their site each month.