I am almost certain that the majority of people reading this right now are probably still not over this morning’s traumatic events. At around 10 am EST, Facebook went down for about 10 minutes — the longest time it has ever suffered a technical problem. All across the world you could hear cries of panic as the human race came to the realization that we may actually have to talk to one another for the brutal minutes we were Facebook-less. An American psychologist, Michael Fenichel, PhD has introduced the term FAD, or Facebook Addiction Disorder. FAD is a condition that is defined by hours spent on Facebook, so much time in fact that the healthy balance of an individual’s life is affected. It is estimated that approximately 350 million people are suffering from the disorder. To find out if you are a victim of this treacherous condition, take a look at the symptoms below. If you suffer from two or more of these symptoms, you may have to seek further help.
1. Withdrawal Symptoms
When one is restricted from Facebook, they are subjected to participate in normal everyday activities. When this occurs, common signs of FAD are distress, anxiety and the compulsion to talk about Facebook amongst peers and to search for interesting posts that have been published since their absence.
2. Lack of normal social or recreational activities
When a person is suffering from FAD they will reduce the time spent catching up with friends and playing sports to simply spending time on Facebook. Instead of catching up with friends over a drink or dinner, the conversation is had via the social site. The person suffering from this symptom usually finds out that his or her sister is getting married through a status update, or that his or her pet rabbit, Fluffy has died via a photo their younger sibling uploaded. One can usually spot someone suffering from these symptoms. They tend to be pale due to lack of natural light and they are awkward and uncomfortable in almost all social interactions outside of Facebook.
3. Fake Friends
Sometimes someone uploads a picture or a status and you think, Who is that? How on earth do I know them? We all have them, they’re our fake friends. When we were younger, having thousands of Facebook friends gave us instant street cred. Now you just have to sieve through inane posts and look at photos of strangers’ babies all the while wondering who the hell this Jack person is.
A Facebook addict will often go through desperate measures to get online if they don’t have their computer near them. If his or her phone dies, they may ask you for theirs. Another telltale sign is when multiple Facebook windows are open on their computer at the same time. Three or more tabs and you are indeed suffering from this condition.
5. Complete and utter addiction
These people have Facebook pages for his or her pets, and any notifications, wall posts, messages or friend request automatically results in a natural high.
So what does one do if they are indeed suffering from FAD? I am not too sure what the experts say, however I do know with all mental disorders it will not be an easy fix. To start, we all need to take a good look at ourselves and our behavior. If Facebook is eating into your social, sport or study time, then something is wrong. One needs to recognize the signs of this terrifying addiction and then needs to readjust his or her lifestyle. It wont be an easy ride, and I can assure you it will not happen overnight, but eventually we are going to have to unite and fix this Facebook overload and to finally rid the world of FAD! Here are some hilarious tweets that trended during those bleak minutes this morning. Enjoy!