Facebook has never been more addictive.
In 2013, it was 63% of Facebook users who checked in daily. In 2014, that number shot up to 70%. If you check Facebook day after day, you join over 864 million others with the same compulsive routine.
For many of us, Facebook is a kind of addiction, a default habit that is now rewiring our brains.
Ofir Turel, a psychologist at Cal State Fullerton, has the research to prove it. To make his point, he says Facebook addicts driving a car are more likely to respond faster to a push notification alert on their phone than to street signs. “That’s the power of Facebook,” he said.
Turel co-authored a study showing Facebook addiction engages the same impulsive regions of the mind as drug addicts, but with one significant difference. Facebook addicts, unlike compulsive drug abusers, “have the ability to control their behavior, but they don’t have the motivation to control this behavior because they don’t see the consequences to be that severe,” he wrote.
Many of you use Facebook and Twitter for noble ends, and this is to be applauded. Many of you are reading this post because of Facebook. But the self-evident reality is that Facebook addiction, like many addictions, is boredom-induced. Facebook is a place to turn when life gets drab, a digital slot machine we pull to win tokens of interesting news or funny videos. It’s designed to be this.
For many users, Facebook is the object we turn to, to satisfy our Boredom-Induced Distraction-Addiction (BIDA). This is when it becomes problematic.