Facebook addiction disorder
A new condition defined by an excess of time spent on Facebook, the internet-based social network, to such a degree that it affects a person’s life activities. No one knows exact figures, but up to 350 million people suffer from FAD, which is defined in much the same way as addiction disorders are assessed.
Facebook addiction disorder is not recognised by the American Psychiatric Association.
A current definition requires that the person has 2 to 3 of the following criteria for 6 months or more:
Person spends long periods of time on the site; an objective sign is multiple open Facebook windows: 3 or more open windows ticks this box.
Restriction of Facebook access results in anxiety, distress and talking about Facebook and what might have been posted on their wall in their absence.
• Substitution of normal social/recreational activities
The person chooses to spend more time on Facebook and various forms of Facebook “interactions”
• Virtual dates
Instead of face-to-face interactions (movies, dinner), they interact with partners online at specified times
• Virtual friendships
This box is ticked if 8 out of 10 people on a person’s Facebook page are complete strangers
• Complete obsession with Facebook
The person’s interactions on meeting new people reflect this obsession: They’ll say, “I’ll talk to you on Facebook”, or “I’ll see you in Facebook”. Their pets may have Facebook pages, and notifications, wall posts, inboxes or friend requests that they receive give them a high, one not unlike the highs seen in addicted gamblers.