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Addiction to

English Assignment
Mohanathas Gajendiran (Roll No 50)

When we hear the word Social Network, in matter of seconds our mouth will pronounce the name Facebook. Yes, the number one and most popular social networking website in our planet Earth. And like much of the internet, this network is a great innovation. What surprised me was that even if a community like Facebook serves numerous advantages (allows users search for new and old friends , makes it easier to join groups having similar likes and dislikes etc.) , it also proves to have certain disadvantages as well (overcrowding , stalking). Facebook has emerged as, I think, as the most effective persuasive technology ever. There are about 10,000 new users who are joining into Facebook every day. Facebook is a social network service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. As of January 2011, Facebook has more than 600 million active users. Users may create a personal profile, add other users as friends, and exchange messages, including automatic notifications when they update their profile. Additionally, users may join common interest user groups, organized by workplace, school, or college, or other characteristics. And Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates and some computer science students. This history has been told in the film named The Social Network, directed by David Fincher. So for more detail we can watch that movie. And all of us know what Facebook is. But Im here to talk about the addiction of younger generation into this social networking website. Technology has been changing at a fast pace ever since the industrial revolution. One of the most important breakthroughs or basis of technology was agriculture. It paved the way for transportation, labor, media and other forms of entertainment, consumer market and thus to a revolution. Newspapers were popular in the early 90s but the advent of television spawned fears of mass idolization. Similarly, in the late 90s, critics held the dispersion of Internet as evidence of individuals increasing alienation from society and public life. People always want a better lifestyle; therefore there is always something new arising so humans can cope with their physical and social environment improving social trust, civic engagement, political participation, membership in groups and associations, volunteering, confidence in political institutions, life satisfaction and a variety of other concepts collectively known as social capital was directly involved with technology. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg with his Harvard college roommates, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes in 2004. The founders initially limited the website membership to Harvard students and then later expanded to selective universities, school students and finally to anyone aged 13 and over. Like most social network sites, Facebook provides a formatted web page into which each user can enter personal information; its almost like a bio data with a lot of detailed information. Once someone is accepted as a friend, not only the two users personal profile but also their entire social networks are disclosed to each other. This allows each user to traverse networks by clicking through friends profiles, so that ones social network snowballs rapidly across people and institutions (Valenzuela, S., Park, N., & Kee, F. K. (2008)

There is also the public message system called The wall where friends leave comments to the owner of the profile that can be viewed by other users. The news feed and the mini feed is also a feature which allows users to see what the other users do and did and also through the mini feed control who can see what you did and do on your profile. Among the most popular modules users can incorporate to their profiles is Facebook Groups, developed by organizations, random groups which allow users to create and join groups based around common interests and activities. Of course there is privacy settings which enables the user to control who can see what. This capability is the backbone of Facebook and other SNS and what attracts millions of users around the globe. And also this is the very bad thing on Facebook in the view boys. Because girls use these settings to hide almost everything of their content in their page, so its disappointing for boys. And Im one of them. Unsafe disclosure of information, cyber bullying, addiction, risky behavior and contacting dangerous communities are but a few of the concerns raised in the media about the use of online social networks Moral panic is a common reaction to new forms of communication. Facebook has gone from being a social networking website to an addiction to everyone who uses it excessively. It has been a place where people can reduce, exaggerate, reform or fake their identity, for the physical presence is not so dominant in a social network based on a cyberdomain. Imitation, thus fake identities and fake personalities are often enhanced through cyber social networks. Often its users tend to become something they arent, to attract and keep up their personality which they have built for the other users in their network. This has formed many physical as well as psychological problems such as split personality, multiple personality, lying disorders, sleeping disorders and a new found distressing condition known as Facebook Addiction Disorder (FAD). And the disease FAD which we almost suffered from guys. It doesnt have a cure almost.

Facebook Addiction Disorder (FAD)


Some may argue that since these have become just as much a part of daily life as water coolers and word processing programs, these cannot be painted as "addictive" so much as just another daily life tool in the world of the 21st Century. However, just as "newbie" infatuation with the connectedness and immediacy of email and web surfing led to a societal concern about "Internet Addiction" or pathological Internet use, the phenomenon of social networking has left the arena of personal and group networking to a very public and constant arena which allows for strong reinforcement of exhibitionist, voyeuristic, &/or interaction-seeking behavior, often in combination. Add to the instant texting component the ability to post pictures and videos, play pop-psychology and pop-culture games and quizzes ("applications"), follow (slightly less closely than Twitter) the every move, decision, feeling, and random thought of everyone in countless networks, and also maintain a homepage/"wall" for all to see and visit, and this is the best possible recipe for significant (behavioral) addiction, as it fills a large and "normal" part of so many lives. Whether it is more of an "addiction" than say ice cream, or "staying connected",

or talking, reading, gambling, or excessive online/TV/cellphone activity (to the extent it interferes with other necessary and/or "healthy" behavior), is no doubt individual. But it is only a matter of time before large numbers fall prey to the lures of a 24/7 social network with so many wonderful things to offer, a home among friends and shared applications (aka games, quizzes, personality-types "tests", awards, gifts and various "silly stuff") not to mention sharing laughs and creative feedback via photos, graphics, videos and more. Need evidence for the pervasiveness of Facebook? If you have a Facebook account, you already know: Real and imagined friends, f2f and online acquaintances, school buddies from the past, ex-spouses, military leaders, even the President of the United States, all appreciate the power of "having a Facebook" presence. (This turns out to be much more so than with Second Life's initial promise, perhaps because of the ease of use and fading of novelty.) The amazing thing is that, like cell phones, nobody seems to notice the vast amount of time and energy - at work, at home, and now while on the move - people are devoting to Facebook. It has become a given. An article on computer hardware for photographers (Shutterbug, May 2009, p.95) advises, "If you need a PC to access your e-mail and Facebook accounts when you're on the road..." to consider specific small mobile PC's. Commercial television features closing credits inviting viewers to follow-up via Facebook or Twitter. More and more links on web pages invite "sharing" on Facebook or RSS feeds or Twitter. We're all connected, hooray! And for some the opportunities are pure ecstasy, both for the social networking component (which was at the heart of the idea in the first place, albeit targeted at students) and for the games and contests which can be more of a time sponge than any prior computer diversion known to wo/man, such as solitaire or randomly surfing the web. One of the ironies is that the very people who might otherwise be working with people professionally to treat addictions, social isolation, etc., seem to be themselves among the most active Facebookers. Admittedly drawn from a limited Sample, it is nonetheless overwhelming to see how much time is devoted to things like determining what crayon color one is, or who is the best at Bejeweled Blitz - and these are often mental health professionals who assumedly spend at least some time off of Facebook, and might be able to endure a day (or hour) or two without going through withdrawal. However, many people have so integrated Facebook as a part of normal life - "I wake up in the morning and check Facebook" has overtaken waking up, getting dressed, and finding/checking the cell phone - that it has become as much a part of the (invisible) tapestry of normal daily life as using the telephone or checking email. For better and worse. Like many Internet tools, this can be both an opportunity and challenge, and for many it is easy to strike a perfect blend. Students - who I have recently observed taking "breaks" from homework to take quizzes on what kind of element, lover, animal, serial killer, doctor or rock star one most resembles - have already integrated everything from Facebook to texting to Iphones, AIM, SMS, and Tivo into "normal daily life". But there is seemingly a new "newbie" experience among oldsters who seem to enjoy the same treats which were intended for college students and then co-opted by high school students as well. As with all potentially "addictive"online activities, people vary in their involvement, some periodically "checking in" to stay in touch, others checking once or twice a day, as a supplement

to phone and e-mail checking, and some seemingly spending quite substantial portions of time in activities which might be called creative, self-revealing, competitive, or purely social. Different age groups focus on different important activities, of course, students often sharing woes about assignments or gossip about peers, as well as creative videos and self-affirming photos or quiz results, some adults checking in occasionally or only when notified of incoming messages (to inbox or wall), still others invariably posting multiple messages every day relating to mundane daily life activities, or quiz results, or feeling states of the moment. One may wonder: Is this happening in the presence of clients? Co-workers? While supposedly conversing online with another person? At the expense of Real Life (RL), or to be more accurate, NonOnline Life? I have reported on some of the research and theory pertaining to "Internet Addiction", and have (silently) observed what appears to be a commercially-blessed wave of cell-phone and device addiction (as distinct from social networking addiction). But Facebook Addiction Disorder (FAD) appears to me to have the most ingrained and self-reinforcing of all scenarios, reinforcing through immediacy, acclamation, intimacy, shared experience, shared creativity, and the ability to be the complete and total captain of the ship of one's Facebook home page. For some the "apps" seem to be totally compelling, for hours on end, for others Facebook is used more like email, to keep in touch with a group, sometimes serious, sometimes playful, sometimes simply sharing. But the fact of how ingrained Facebook has become culturally is one which is easy to miss, because, well, everybody's doing it! Or so it seems. The irony of who is most pathologically addicted (as opposed to homework, relationship, or work avoidant even without such a seductive companion as Facebook) is that nobody may be left to observe or treat this huge behavioral phenomenon, as everybody is too focused on Walls and apps and networks and finding old & new friends. When is a friend a friend? When is constant behavior an addiction? Is there such a thing as too much or too little social networking? Who decides? Who asks? Obviously much of this is rightfully engaging, and also quite healthy. Like most activities, moderation and integration are key. Those that may seriously label and treat FAD as a behavioral addiction will clearly need to use context in determining if a behavior has become demonstrably harmful to overall social, work, or (f2f) interpersonal efficacy. For many people, especially those not already invested in maintaining personal homepages, blogs, photo-sharing collections, IM-ing networks, etc., Facebook offers the perfect menu of opportunity. It may be similar to the proverbial "kid in the candy store" who cannot turn away from every temptation in sight, for hours of time supposedly spent on work, homework, housework, or relationship work, who may have a problem, if not "disorder". It is when one cannot leave the continuous activation/reinforcement of a daily (or hourly or constant) activity that one may surmise it has become a problem. For others, it's a wonderful candy store available whenever one is in the mood for sweets or hanging out with friends online or checking in - without the need to do so on a constant and urgent basis.

Look for the next stage: "How to Tell if You're a Facebook Addict". And then, can it be long before we see specialized treatments for FADs? The other important form of negativity immerging through compulsive use of social networks, specifically Facebook, is the decay of the ability to express emotions without restraint; users tend to withhold what they actually want to say (good or bad) to someone who is physically present, rather users prefer to update it on their status. For example if a user wanted to scold to a friend who had wronged the user, she/he would actually update a status scolding, mostly as if passing a hint than saying what they actually want to say to the specific person on the face. Thus Facebook causes lots of unnecessary drama in relationships. This could also be called a form of cyber bullying. Students are less productive because Facebook acts as a distraction. Freedom of speech and expressing of emotions have been shaped and fine-tuned to this extent that in the future humans would be evolved to a higher form of species that would not require emotions and expressions or maybe to an advanced utopia. Every aspect of the compulsive users life is Facebooked, Its not official until its Facebook official. Thus Facebook is affecting various different aspects of peoples everyday lives. Facebook has become a norm among the current generation but is not a necessity. Ellison, Steinfield, and Lampe (2007) using survey data from a small sample of undergraduate students in the U.S. Applying Putnams (2000) framework of bridging and bonding social capital, Ellison and her colleagues found that use of Facebook had a strong association to maintaining or solidifying existing offline relationships, as opposed to meeting new people. Most interestingly, these authors found that Facebook usage interacted with students psychological well-being, suggesting that it might provide greater benefits for users experiencing low self-esteem and low life satisfaction. That social network sites can foster users well-being and social capital does not mean that they always do. Survey research by Nyland, Marvez, and Beck (2007) found that heavy users of MySpace felt less socially involved with the community around them than light users. Furthermore, a substantial proportion of respondents were using this social network for entertainment, as opposed to maintaining or strengthening offline relationships (Valenzuela, S., Park, N., & Kee, F. K. (2008) And now the new term Facebook me is usual among us, because its easy to do almost everything in one single place. The addictiveness of Facebook affects everyone. Many people will start using Facebook and find that they start checking it more and more every day before they have their bath. Since it is now available on most smart phones, whether it is on the browser of the phone or the Facebook application, it is more accessible causing people to want to check it more often. One thing, like checking your friends status update will lead to more interaction. Eventually, you will realize you can spend hours on Facebook and end up on a page totally different than the one you started on and nothing you were actually supposed to be doing got done. A number of users waste serious amount of time, while exploring the profiles of other users. Voyeurism (the practice of obtaining sexual gratification by looking at sexual objects or acts, especially secretively) is part of human nature and Facebook has found just the correct way to exploit this inherent human desire Addiction to Facebook causes an addict to spend a lot of time on

Facebook instead of doing other important activities, interact more via the internet than the society. Like explained above there are certain advantages in using Facebook and also disadvantages. It is up to the user to know how? When? And why? She/he uses Facebook. The problem lies when a person does not know the limits. It is evident that all technologies have a positive as well as a negative impact on people who actually use it excessively. Rather than finding faults in technology or in this case, censure internet it is essential to see what went wrong at home and commence fixing from there. Everything is out in the market for people to use it and make life easier. Yet not knowing to use it properly or knowing too much about it is where mankind fails. Humans are more reliant on technology than ever before and that is exactly why Technology actually serves to harm humans rather than help them. This is my conclusion and at last if you need to contact me Facebook me on this address facebook.com/mgajen. Thank You