When Facebook does not empower
It has become a serious problem for many people in Western countries: internet addictions and more specifically social media addictions. Internet addiction will even be included in this years’ edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-V).
Facebook in particular is designed to gratify a large range of personal needs: in the Facebook environment it is easy to shift between different sets of functions. On the newsfeed, users are being fed short chunks of information and pictures uploaded by their friends, groups, communities and advertisers, and that are often designed to please, entertain or attract attention. Then it is possible to have instant chat conversations with any of the listed friends of users that are online. Emailing with off-line users is also possible. And there are a large number of pages of celebrities, groups, issues, channels and music that can be visited while staying in the Facebook environment. Additionally Facebook launched a number of apps and games, that can keep users busy and entertained while staying on the site. Facebook is designed to keep users as long online as possible, as they are the source of income for the owners.
Especially for people who have difficulties in life outside the internet, and are therefore generally more vulnerable to addictions, the risk to become Facebook addicted is obviously much larger. Whereas all the options Facebook offers are for many people simply entertaining, informing or life-improving, most users recognize its pulling and time-consuming quality as well, and can understand the risk of it becoming addictive.