Facebook Addiction

by Ashley Gerdes

Sam wakes up in the morning and after slapping on some clothes, she logs on to Facebook. Sam goes to class, opens her laptop and after trying to listen to her professor for five minutes, she logs on to Facebook. After class Sam walks home, situates herself on the couch, and logs on to Facebook. Many college students claim that Facebook is addicting. Is Facebook addicting? What brings these students back time after time? Just what is all the fuss about?

Facebook is a website designed for online socializing and networking. It was originally just for college students with a valid college e-mail address, has extended to high schools, companies, regions, and more. In 2005, Facebook was available at 882 colleges, and 85% of those enrolled had a Facebook profile (Kosik). According to Kosik's article, "Internet Use and Addiction: A Literature Review to Gain Understanding of the Implications of The Facebook on College Students," 60% of students logged in daily, 85% logged in at least once a week, and 93% logged in at least once a month.

I interviewed four Minnesota State University-Mankato students and asked them Facebook related questions. All of them admitted to be at least somewhat addicted to Facebook, and thought that other people they knew were as well.

When I asked one student why she thought Facebook was addicting, she said, "It is addicting because it's such an easy way to keep in touch with so many people from so many places. You can see pictures of all your friends and the dumb stuff they do, and there are a lot of features that make contacting people much easier"(Ammann). Another student said, "I don't get to see my friends from my previous college anymore, and Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with them and see how they're doing and what they have been up to" (Burgstiner). One student said, "I love looking at people's pictures. I can sit there for hours and look through people's profiles and all of their pictures"(Olson).

When I asked the students how much time the spent on Facebook, three of the students said about an hour or two a day. Another student claimed to spend a couple hours a week on Facebook.

I asked the students what they spent the most time doing while logged on to Facebook. One student said, "When I'm on Facebook I reply to people who have written on my wall, look at new pictures people have posted, or write on peoples' walls" (Dresser). The "wall" on Facebook is an area on a person's profile that allows their friends to write messages or notes to that person. Another student said, "I spend the most time reading people's profiles, especially if I see they've updated it, or just look at who is friends with who" (Olson). Other students said they spend their time replying to messages and wall posts, searching for old friends, or looking at pictures.

It's no question that Facebook is constantly growing in popularity. It's debatable whether or not Facebook is addicting. Some students claim that it is while others claim that it isn't. The students I interviewed claimed that Facebook is addicting because of reasons ranging from all of the pictures available to look at to seeing what old friends are up to. Will Facebook addiction become a serious problem among college students? Is Facebook just another fad that people will lose interest in after a period of time? Only time can tell.

Works Cited:

Ammann, JoAnn. Personal Interview. 2 Oct. 2006.

Burgstiner, Jason. Personal Interview. 2 Oct. 2006.

Dresser, Allison. Personal Interview. 4 Oct. 2006.

Kosik, Amber. "Internet Use and Addiction: A Literature Review to Gain Understanding of the Implications of The Facebook on College Students." 2 October 2006.

Olson, Angela. Personal Interview. 4 Oct, 2006.

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