People should not be Facebook Addicted

Introduction

With the massive development of science and technology, there are more means of communications to connect people all over the world. Among those social networks such as Instagram, GroupMe, and Snapchat, it is undeniable that Facebook is the most popular social site in the world, with 1.49 billion daily active users on Facebook on average for September 2018, 2.27 billion monthly active users as of September 2018 (“Facebook Users by Country,” 2018), and a global usage penetration of 22.9% (We Are Social, 2018).With the improvement of technology, currently almost anyone could get access to the site. They no longer need a heavy computer get online; instead, users solely need phones or anything having cellular service or Internet connection to log in to Facebook (Fox et al., 170). This increases the use of Facebook rapidly. As a result, there are numerous research and surveys taken to examine the usage of this social site. In 2015, when I was in my senior year at high school in Hanoi, Vietnam, I took a survey about using Facebook in recent young generation. I was surprised when I got myself accrued the number of hours that I had spent on Facebook: more than 10 hours per day. After the survey, I was informed to be Facebook addicted and warned to adjust my using habit. From that time, I began noticing the effects that Facebook had on its users.

I did read many articles, newspapers and watched several videos analyzing the impacts of Facebook addiction. In the end, I found that people should not overuse Facebook. First, it harms relationships as it reduces direct communication and raises negative impression among users. Second, the addiction of Facebook decreases work productivity as it increases procrastination and causes work corruption. Finally, overusing the site badly affects human’s psychological problems.

Thesis

Bad influence on relationships

Facebook addiction could potentially harm a relationship. First, it reduces direct communication between people. These social sites are relatively attractive and could easily get their users addicted. People spend so much time on the sites that they are no longer willing to meet directly or communicate face-to-face as users find these sites more convenient. Using the site saves users a certain amount of money, for they would not be charged any amount if they use public wi-fi and do not have to make a call. Normally, if they want to talk directly, people would call each other. This would be costly when it comes to long call. Also, by messengering, users could chat anywhere and whenever they want as long as they could get connected. Along with the money saving, there would be other factors such as traffic-jams and personal life schedules contributing to Facebook use’s convenience. Even though this tool would help in maintaining relationships and keeping in touch more convenient, its perceived accessibility and the visibility may foster expectations (Fox et al., 173). Since this site could be easily accessed on mobile devices constantly, users can reach Facebook at all times; at the same time, other network members also expect those people to be able to reach it at all times (Fox et al., 171). “If partners’ Facebook use or expectations are not compatible, this may create conflict and make relationships maintenance on the site feel burdensome” (Fox et al., 173). Additionally, not meeting directly for long could make people feel awkward and uncomfortable when it comes to face to face communication psychologically. As a result, people tend to avoid the feeling by trying not to meet directly.

Second, this overuse of Facebook could potentially create skepticism and misunderstanding among people. In essence, when Facebook user posts things onto this social site, he tends to show the ones that could potentially catch the attention of the crowd. Specifically, instead of posting the full part of a story, he could only upload part of the pictures; therefore, many people could misunderstand the story behind. In other words, the appearance of the story may vary based on the comments that owners’ friends leave on owners’ posts (Ballantine, 51). Specifically, how the users perceive their “walls,” profiles, or posts are influenced by their peer comments and postings left on “walls” or profiles (Walther et al., 2009). As a result, people would only post the one that would be either positively perceived or good for them, and sometimes, even the one that does not influence them at all. Since people could not distinguish what is true from the posts, they have the tendency to be more vigilant and less trustful about others. In the end, these factors contribute to damaging relationships.

Declination of work productivity

Facebook addiction would badly impact work productivity by distracting people from working continuously for they keep checking messengers and notifications on Facebook. In fact, “an average of 2.35 hours is spent accessing social media at work every day and 13 per cent of the total productivity is lost owing to the social media indulgence alone” (“Social media affecting workplace productivity: report,” 2018).

On one side, many people get so addicted to the site for they are curious to know what is happening surrounding them. These people often delay working. For example, when watching a small piece of video advertisement on Facebook, perhaps it only last for a few short minutes but advertising videos on this social site often link to another. Psychologically, people tend to do the things that interest them more (Steel, 2007). “Facebook may be used in this way by chronic procrastinators looking for immediate pleasurable reward in the present time” (Steel, 2007).

On the other side, some users get trapped into Facebook for the fear of social pressure such as the feeling of guilt or dissatisfaction (Fox et al., 171). They feel guilty and sometimes, even uncomfortable when feeling forced to reply immediately to friends’ posts (Fox et al., 171). By looking at the phones or logging into Facebook all the time, the notification’s sounds and baggers would distract the employees, which makes workers could not finish the work efficiently and continuously.

Harmfully effect to human’s psychological problems

Another negative impact that Facebook addiction has on users is the harmful influence on human’s psychological issues. First, it creates the unsecured feeling of being intruded upon. Using the sites means users would unavoidably be watched by others, not only by acquaintances but also by strangers. In fact, Facebook is considered as a tool for cyberbullying, stalking, and online harassment (Fox et al., 2013). This makes many people feeling unsecured, unsafe, and intruded whenever they post anything online. Public visibility on Facebook also enables the monitoring of others’ content without their awareness; for example, Facebook does not inform a user who has viewed their page (Fox et al., 169). This makes users feel scared whenever they post anything onto their “walls,” since they could not control who have seen their things. One example is the Facebook of celebrities. These famous people often never use one accounts, as they know there would highly chances that their Facebook pages are being watched or observed by stalkers.

Secondly, Facebook addiction would make users have a tendency to live “fake” or “unreal.” Many people use this social site either to show off or to create a fake self-image. Nearly every picture posted on the social media is modified and edited before being uploaded onto social sites until the uploaders find the work is perfect enough. As a result, some people can not live true to themselves and could not accept things that do not have beautiful appearance.

Finally, many people use this social site merely to fulfill their low psychological well-being. Individuals with low psychological well-being often reach out to these social sites more often than others because they want to either pass time or fulfill the emptiness in their feeling when being alone. According to the article “The uses and abuses of Facebook: A review of Facebook addiction,” “individuals with low psychosocial well-being, such as loneliness, anxiety or depression, are motivated to use Facebook to find social support or to pass time” (145). According to Chen and Lee (2013), Facebook interaction has a connection with reduction in self-esteem, feelings of distress, and cognitive overload. People with low psychological well-being often compare themselves with others. Unfortunately, as stated by Knox (2015), Facebook users tend to upload the “perfect” part of themselves. As a result, low well-being users would feel stressed and worse for themselves and think negatively, which eventually might affect their mental health.

Conclusion

Overuse Facebook or Facebook addiction causes not only physical problems but also mental issues, as it makes people less connected, declines human well-being, and harms our work efficiency. In general, Facebook addiction affects us both physically and mentally. However, all these bad impact does not mean people have to stop using the site. We should consider when to use the site, and for how long. Instead of relying on Facebook as the only entertainment, we could try other healthy options such as reading books and playing sports.

References

  1. Ballantine, Paul W., et al. “The Influence of User Comments on Perceptions of Facebook Relationship Status Updates.” Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 49, 2015, pp. 50–55. (DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2015.02.055)
  2. Chen, W., & Lee, K. H. (2013). “Sharing, liking, commenting, and distressed? The pathway between Facebook interaction and psychological distress.” Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, vol. 16, pp. 728–734. (DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2012.0272)
  3. Facebook. “Number of Monthly Active Facebook Users Worldwide as of 3rd Quarter 2018 (in Millions).” Statista – The Statistics Portal, Statista, www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/, Accessed 6 Dec 2018
  4. “Facebook Users by Country | Statistic.” Statista, www.statista.com/statistics/268136/top-15-countries-based-on-number-of-facebook-users/, Accessed 6 Dec 2018
  5. Fox, Jesse, and Jennifer J. Moreland. “The Dark Side of Social Networking Sites: An Exploration of the Relational and Psychological Stressors Associated with Facebook Use and Affordances.” Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 45, 2015, pp. 168–176. (DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2014.11.083)
  6. Shakya, Holly B., and Nicholas A. Christakis. “Association of Facebook Use With Compromised Well-Being: A Longitudinal Study.” American Journal of Epidemiology, 2017. (DOI:10.1093/aje/kww189)
  7. Steel, P. (2007). The nature of procrastination: A meta-analytic and theoretical review of quintessential self-regulatory failure. Psychological Bulletin, 133(1), 65-94. (DOI: 10.1037/0033-2909.133.1.65)
  8. We Are Social. “Leading Countries Based on Number of Facebook Users as of October 2018 (in
  9. Millions).” Statista – The Statistics Portal, Statista, www.statista.com/statistics/268136/top-15-countries-based-on-number-of-facebook-users/, Accessed 6 Dec 2018
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