As mentioned with the academic journal Psychological Reports, Dr. Cecilie Schou Andreassen has published results of a research project conducted at the University of Bergen in Norway that identified addiction levels in people that frequently use Facebook and other social media networks. Based off a study of 423 people completed last year, researchers discovered that young people were more likely to be addicted to Facebook and women were more likely to be addicted than men. In addition, people with social anxiety or insecurity were more likely to be addicted to the social network, mostly because it’s easier to communicate online rather than in person.
The Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale identifies the warning signs of Facebook addiction within six statements and asks the respondent to assign a weighted response to each statement. Responses are numbered on a range of one to five and are labeled “Very rarely, Rarely, Sometimes, Often, and Very often.”
If the respondent rates four out of the six questions as “Often” or “Very often,” Dr. Andreassen concludes that the respondent is likely addicted to Facebook. The statements basically measure how preooupied the respondent is with Facebook and how Facebook use is impacting their personal and professional lives.
Specifically, the six statements are as follows:
- 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.
Respondents that scored high on the scale also had issues with their sleeping habits, typically going to bed late and waking up late. The results of the study also indicated that organized, ambitious respondents were less likely to be addicted to Facebook, but more likely to use professional social networks for business and networking.