It's boring, it invades our privacy, it makes us mad at our opposing-political-viewpoint friends and family, it's just so LAME ... it seems like there a thousand reasons for why we should all quit Facebook, and yet we never do. We say it's because we don't want to lose touch with friends or whatever, but maybe the real reason is that we're addicted. Like no-fooling, serious-withdrawals, shivering-over-a-crack-pipe-style addicted.
A recent study revealed that talking about ourselves, like when we post a status update, lights up the same parts of our brain that derive enjoyment from food, money, or sex. That's right, using Facebook is exactly like getting paid to have sex ... with a donut.
Frostitution aside, there's a simple way to figure out if your pleasure-seeking brain has become too hooked on Facebook. Researchers from the University of Bergen in Norway have developed the first "Facebook Addiction Scale" to determine whether or not you're addicted to social media.
In the interest of professional journalism, I decided to take the test and share my results with you. First, I had to evaluate the following six warning signs and assign a number scale to each sign: (1) Very rarely, (2) Rarely, (3) Sometimes, (4) Often, and (5) Very often.
Okay, here goes ...
You spend a lot of time thinking about Facebook or plan use of Facebook.
Hmmmm. Well, I'm technically thinking about it right now OH GOD DOES THIS MEAN I NEED REHAB wait I'm only thinking about it because I'm writing this article. Whew. I'm going to say 1) Very rarely.
You feel an urge to use Facebook more and more.
This makes Facebook sound like a bladder infection, but again, I'm going to say 1) Very rarely.
You use Facebook in order to forget about personal problems.
Ha! If anything, I use Facebook to complain about personal problems. 1) Very rarely.
You have tried to cut down on the use of Facebook without success.
Well, until I figured out how to hide certain statuses, I did find myself wondering why I was repeatedly wasting my time reading notifications about someone's FarmVille progress, so I guess I'll say 2) Rarely.
You become restless or troubled if you are prohibited from using Facebook.
Yeah like when you're on a plane and they make you turn off your electronics and it's like HOW WILL I KNOW WHAT PEOPLE ARE EATING FOR LUNCH OR LISTENING TO ON SPOTIFY ARRRGH HULK SMASH. I'm kidding. 1) Very rarely.
You use Facebook so much that it has had a negative impact on your job/studies.
If we can define my "studies" as my "appreciation for amusing cat videos," then I'd actually say Facebook has helped GREATLY in that regard! 1) Very rarely.
According to the Facebook Addiction Scale, if you score 4's or 5's on at least four items, you may very well be addicted. Luckily, it seems I'm doing just fine in keeping my raging Facebook dependency in check, which is a relief, because the research doesn't offer any advice on what to do if you ARE addicted. I guess all you can do is post it to your Timeline.
Where do you land on the Facebook Addiction Scale? (No cheating!)
Image via Flickr/nitz