As continue to move further into the digital age, social media is becoming more and more addictive, with people spending far too much time on their favourite networks, letting their friends know what they’re doing and where.
It is getting to a point where social media is one of the most addictive things in the world, and is an addiction that the vast majority of people have and probably don’t even realise. In fact, science has proved that Facebook is addictive, and the need to scroll through our news feeds reportedly activates the same part of our brain as some hardcore narcotics.
Facebook has over 1.6bn active users that browse the site on a daily basis. Checking our news feeds is becoming as habitual in our daily routines as eating and sleeping.
Am I addicted?
Many of us will feel, or hope, that we have some sort of self-restraint and would be able to put down our mobile phones long enough to make a cup of tea, walk to the shop or maybe even do a day’s work.
However, when you really think about it, a lot of people are browsing social media sites whilst doing these everyday tasks – we read our friends’ status updates whilst the kettle boils, OR watch a video or two to make the walk to the shops more enjoyable. In fact, some of us even have to use Facebook as part of our jobs!
So, when you think about it, there is no escape from the grasps of the social site. It didn’t become the world’s largest network for no reason now, did it? If you reflect on your day so far, count how many times you’ve opened the Facebook app on your phone, or logged in on a computer. I bet that number is higher than you would have guessed.
If this has sparked a mini-revelation or an epiphany, you can even take a small test to confirm how addicted you are to Facebook.
Is there a solution?
One developer has recognised that some people spend too long on the site, perhaps as a means of procrastination or a way to relieve boredom, and as a result has created a new plug-in that will tell a user when they’ve spent too long on Facebook.
The Focusbook chrome plug-in asks the user for a reason why they are entering the site each time they attempt to do so, in a bid to shame a user from browsing the site for the 42nd time in one day. As well as this, you can set a time limit, and once you have run out of time, the plug-in will come marching in and tell you to get back to reality.
This sounds like the perfect solution for those who recognise their addiction and use the site as a means of distraction from doing something else. The plug-in may be a useful tool for combating this addiction and help users to binge on the site far less than they probably do now.
Unfortunately, the plug-in only works for desktop users, so users of the mobile app will have to continue to try and find that hint of self-restraint.