News

Facebook fixation causes concern

PLUGGED IN: Facebook is an addiction that is very common among college students. Whether at home, in the library or during lecture, Facebook pops up on screens everywhere. Photo by: Shan Uddin // Hurricane Staff

The word addiction can often fall after words such as drug, alcohol and sex. For many college students, the infamous social networking site known as Facebook is another word that can legitimately be added to this list of vices.

Aside from text messaging and television, Facebook has become one of the biggest procrastination tools among college students, as they find themselves constantly checking for newly added friends, posts and pictures.

Since August, the general growth of active users has risen to an astonishing 100 million, making it the fourth most-trafficked site in the world since its debut in 2004, according to statistics on the Facebook Web site.

In addition, the site mentioned that each user spends an average of 20 minutes on Facebook each day. However, rising concern is forming for collegiate users who exceed this time to the extent some would consider abnormal and possibly unhealthy.

Patricia Abril, an assistant professor in the University of Miami’s School of Business, has and continues to research the way Internet privacy laws intersect with social networking sites. She recently published statistics in “The Next Digital Divide: Online Social Network Privacy,” a survey she conducted on 500 UM students in her business law class. The results showed that not only do an overwhelming amount of students use Facebook, they frequently check it daily.

“We all have a need to be connected and it’s more pronounced when you’re a young adult,” Abril said. “The more 24/7 our access is to this technology, the more we want it.”

Fifty-five percent of the survey’s respondents reported that they check their Facebook account more than once a day. Almost 80 percent said they check Facebook at least once a day.

Abril said that, despite the large amounts of students drawn to Facebook, she would not necessarily call it an addiction, but rather an obsession.

Vivechjanand  S. Chunoo, an advisor in Hecht Residential College, said that while an addiction may be difficult to define among different people, recognizing damaging behavior is not.

“Clearly, if one’s desire to be on Facebook is interrupting a major life role or activity – I’m talking about going to class, grooming, eating, or engaging in traditional social endeavors – that might be an indicator that something’s out of balance,” Chunoo said.

Aside from “deteriorating grades and declining physical health and wellness,” Chunoo said that consequences such as “significantly raised levels of distress or discomfort can result and, in severe cases, anxiety, depression, and a number of other psychological issues can arise.”

Students who are concerned with their Facebook habits may seek help from a licensed mental health professional or a professional counselor at the Counseling Center on campus.

September 11, 2008

Reporters

Analisa Harangozo

Staff News Writer


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Throughout the four years he spent as a tackle for the Miami Hurricanes, Tyree St. Louis never consi ...

Finally, a marquee home game for the University of Miami men’s basketball team, a game big enough th ...

University of Miami basketball coach Jim Larranaga, awaiting word from the NCAA on the appeal to rei ...

The Hurricanes officially welcomed ballyhooed new quarterback Tate Martell on campus Friday, and he’ ...

Before Jess Simpson’s final playoff run as the coach of Buford fell short in a Georgia state champio ...

The University of Miami brings together leaders in academia, professional practice, and industry to ...

On Dec. 14, 2018 universal health care programs in both the United States and Mexico were dealt sign ...

For the first time in more than 15 years, two of UMTV’s weekly shows were nominated for the Televisi ...

Miami Transplant Institute performed 681 transplants during 2018, setting a new national record in k ...

Jazz aficionados launch new video series by sharing invaluable performance techniques. ...

"We're excited to welcome these coaches to the Miami family," Diaz said. ...

The No. 17 Miami women's tennis team recorded its second win of the day Saturday evening at the ...

Chris Lykes scored 20 points, but the Canes come up just short against No. 13 UNC. ...

In the first of its two matches Saturday at the FGCU Tennis Complex, the No. 17 Miami women's t ...

Canes have won six of last 10 meetings with UNC. ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.