Addicted to Facebook?
By Ian Geddes and Susan Chan
We were watching a Panorama programme recently about Facebook and the impact it has had on social interaction. A recent article by Nick Collins in the Telegraph, also commented on the growing numbers of people affected by what has been labelled as ‘Facebook addiction’. Research by the University of Bergen identifies the profile of those most likely to encounter addiction symptoms of anxiety and insecurity and a compulsive need to use such social networking sites. We have recently worked with clients who have recognised their reliance on Facebook, spending several hours a day checking and writing. A common feeling is that they ‘need to know what is going on’. The University of Chicago investigated the ‘desires’ and ‘urges’ from over 250 people and found that alcohol and tobacco prompted lower levels of desire than the need to check social network sites! 80% of parents (as reported by Matt Warman from the Telegraph) fear that their children could get addicted to social network sites. 30% of parents stated that they believe that the web can ‘rewire’ a person’s brain. There is no evidence for this. Of course it can be fun and can be so useful when keeping in touch with friends and family. I was in a school over the lunch interval recently. The weather was nice yet the indoor space was packed with lots of students (mostly girls) busy on their phones and ipads, busy networking away. It seems that the desire, for some young people to do this, is more appealing than actually interacting with the person sitting beside them! Where will we be in 10 years time? Will the bubble have burst or will we be even more hooked into virtual interaction?
Hypnotherapy can be very successfully used to tackle addictions. Social networking, like other habits or compulsions, can similarly be worked on using a variety of techniques and approaches.
We would be delighted to receive your comments about this and your experiences in this contemporary issue.