Are you addicted to Facebook? Do you know someone who you think is?
A group of scientists at the Department of Psychosocial Science, University of Bergen, Norway have been developing a scale to measure levels of addiction:
The Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale (BFAS).—This scale comprised 18
items, three for each of the six core features of addiction: salience, mood
modification, tolerance, withdrawal, conflict, and relapse. Each item is
scored on a 5-point scale using anchors of 1: Very rarely and 5: Very often.
Higher scores indicate greater Facebook addiction.
The full report is here.
This scale is specifically aimed at measuring Facebook addiction as a special case inside the broader class of Internet addiction that others are also studying. They’re not using Facebook as a metaphor for all forms of social networking, they are directly looking at people who are addicted to Facebook. That’s a scary thought.
The Independent reported it this way:
It gets into your blood, consuming your thoughts and inducing panic attacks if the next fix is not in sight.
On a good day, it might offer a harmless escape from the troubles of the world.
But on a bad, it can turn into a monstrous distraction, rendering you unable to concentrate on work or studies.
The drug is Facebook, and if you fear you may be an addict, now is the time to find out.
Researchers tested a scientific scale on 423 students which measures how hooked users are.
They found women are more at risk of addiction because of the social nature of the site.
The Norwegian team found ambitious types are less likely to become addicted as they take advantage of the site for their own purposes, such as work and networking.
My favourite line from the study report is this one:
People scoring high on narcissism tend to be more active on social network sites, as social network sites provide an opportunity to present oneself in a favorable way in line with one’s ideal self.
Does this remind you of someone you know?