Face the Addiction
Social media like Facebook and Twitter are meant to enrich our lives and provide a possibility to bond and socialise with other people. However, researchers and therapists are now beginning to see signs of the opposite. When digital communication becomes more important than real-life interaction people lose basic communicative skills.
The researchers claim that Facebook is harder to quit than alcohol or tobacco, and that compulsive internet socialising may give the same symptoms as any other drug.
They Simply Have To
More than 300 million people in the world are on Facebook daily and many feel that they simply have to log on or else they actually feel unwell. American psychologist Aric Digman claims that meeting people on the net instead of face to face may lead to hormone disorders. Besides, Swedish studies reveal the amazing fact that daily Facebook activity actually makes you feel unhappy. (Gøteborgs universitet, Leif Denti, 2012)
Studies Showed Alarming Reactions
So far there are no statistics or medical evidence to verify this, but American studies involving students who were without social media for 24 hours showed alarming reactions; the students became irritable, depressed, and restless – but, on the other hand, they reported that they had deeper and more quality conversations with each other during the test.
For many people Facebook is an obsession that occupies their minds even when they are not logged on. It affects their productivity and drains time; it may even work as an escape from unpleasant and tedious daily duties. If you have the symptoms, the only way out is to be hard on yourself and “go cold turkey” like any other addict would have to.
- Do some research in the class or the school on the use of social media. Use the material for different statistical conclusions (e.g. use per day / week, girls versus boys, how long they can go without, number of friends on FB)
- Make everyone in class write down pros and cons related to Facebook use. Finally write them all on the blackboard. Pick at least ten of the arguments and make questions for them, like this: Facebook helps you stay in contact with friends = Why do you have a Facebook account? You cannot use the same question twice.
- Why do you think many people actually feel less happy as a result of Facebook?
- How important is Facebook in your everyday life? Check the links above for comparison.
- Would you include your mother as a friend on FB? Why / why not?
- According to the text and links, some people say that Facebook actually is dangerous? What do they mean by that? Do you think it can be as serious as that?
- What does it mean to “go cold turkey”?
- Discuss the irony in this statement: “I used to be so lonely, but thanks to Facebook I now have more than a thousand friends.”
- Look at this YouTube clip: Why has this become a hit. Does he have a point or is he taking it way too far?
A derivation is a word that is an extension of another word (e.g. creativity and creative are derivations of create) How many derivations can you make of these basic words (the text will give you some clues):
- enrich, riches
- communication, communicative
- anti-social, socialise, socialist
- daily, everyday, weekday, birthday, daytime, daylight
- addictive, addiction
- restless, unrest
- production, productive
- plesant, unpleasant, pleasure
- activity,actual, active, actuate, activate
- Write an essay in which you elaborate on the various aspects of Facebook use. Focus on different types of people of all ages, healthy and sick, popular and lonely.
- Ten years ago few had heard of Facebook. Now it is a household name. What do you think comes next in the social network arena? Write an essay in which you use your creative powers to see into the future.