Addicted to Facebook

By: Sylvia Rivera

Mark Zuckerberg invent with his roomates facebook. http://www.noticias24.com

In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg and two of his roommates, all three students of Harvard University, came upon the idea of creating a social network and with it was born Facebook.com. Their purpose was to find a way to communicate with friends from other universities via internet. In the beginning, facebook was a way for university students and professors to maintain contact. Then, it expanded to high schools and finally, to the public. Now this social network has become a distraction for many of its users, to the point, where one can consider it being an addiction.

According to Hernan Méndez, counselor and psychologist of the addiction program in the UPRM, “addiction is an obsessive compulsive behavior where the person loses control”. He also stated that people with, little to no friends, are more prone to become addicts of   facebook.com.

theoatmeal.com/quiz/facebook_addict

On the other hand,  a series of studies have discovered that people within the age of 25 years or more, because of their interest in finding old classmates and friends, have been drawn to facebook. This can

cause a problem if the person is spending a lot of time in the site. “Everything that makes you feel good can become an addiction,” Mendez explained. However the problem does not lie in the site itself but in the users and their disconnection for real life.

For Qadmier Carrero, a freshman in the UPRM, studying has become difficult because he is compelled to spend more time on Facebook. “I spend at least eight to nine hours on Facebook per day”, stated Mr. Carrero. He explained that he enters the site so periodically to check on comments posted by his friends and to maintain a virtual farm on Farmville.

Farmville is an application of the Facebook site, where the user creates and maintains their farm. In Farmville, a user needs to enter on specifics times to collect fruit and vegetables, and take care of the farm animals. Therefore, in order to maintain a good farm, a person is obligated to enter regularly throughout the day. Other examples of applications like Farmville are; Yoville, Fish World, and Café World. All of these other application, like Farmville, promotes excessive time contribution from the users towards the site.

“I’ve known people that have lost their jobs and compromised relationships because of Facebook,” says Miriam Velez a psychologist at the UPRM.

The person who is addicted could encounter serious problems, in regard to health and economical status, by obsessively using Facebook. Lack of sleep, through excessive use, can be one of the problems a person can encounter. This could cause problems in classes by promoting absent and as of result, lowering grades. Economically, Facebook got applications like Farmville that have some online store where you could use credit cards to by collectables items. By using credit cards obsessively it could make more debts to pay and an unstable management of money. As a result, the household rent, food and social activities with the family and friends can be altered.

In relationships the consequences could be a break-up. This might be cause by putting or seeing comments without the consent of the partner or by not paying attention to your family. The CNN news interviewed a woman who ignored her daughter asking for help on homework.  She explained that was because she was too busy on Facebook. The woman was so embarrassed by her behavior that she stayed anonymously with another named in the interview.

Cell phones are another cause of addiction to Facebook because you don’t need to carry a computer were ever you go. Now it comes with the program insert and influence users to pay extra for internet.

When persons recognized that they have problems to logout they try looking for some sort of help. On the Facebook site there are a f

ew groups for persons who think there addicts. But they encouraged persons to be proud and to continue with the bad habit.

Psychologies recommend to addicts on Facebook to leave the site or to try to check it the less possible. “The 12 steps is use usually for any addiction” said Méndez.

The 12 steps is usually use by anonymous alcoholics. Is base by working as groups with people with an addiction in common.

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