Are you a social media enthusiast or simply a Facebook addict? Researchers from Norway have developed a new tool to measure this phenomenon — the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale (BFAS). In January 2011, 227 women and 196 men participated in BFAS tests. The scale can facilitate clinical assessment and can be used for the estimation of Facebook addiction prevalence in the general population worldwide. ”We are dealing with a subdivision of Internet addiction connected to social media,” says Cecilie Schou Andreassen from the University of Bergen, who led the first of its kind study anywhere, reports the journal Psychological Reports.
Andreassen’s study shows that the symptoms of Facebook addiction resemble those of drug addiction, alcohol addiction and chemical substance addiction, according to Bergen statement. She said Facebook dependency occurs more regularly among younger than older users. People who are anxious and socially insecure were also found to use Facebook more frequently, probably because they find it easier to communicate via social media than face-to-face, Andreassen adds.
“Our research also indicates that women are more at risk of developing Facebook addiction, probably due to the social nature of Facebook,” Andreassen says. Andreassen’s study shows that scoring “often” or “always” on at least four of the seven items on Bergen scale may suggest that you are addicted to Facebook.
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