Facebook is a tool that was essentially created to share interests, make new friends, express feelings, and connect with our loved ones. Over the years technology has continuously advanced to make Facebook and other social networks easier to use. This can be a problem because it brings up an argument of whether or not we have taken these social networks for granted. Although there are many pros to social media the cons can easily outweigh them. It is great that a person can stay in touch with someone they are close to, but the time that is spent getting distracted by all of the other things is where it becomes an issue. Are we really using social networks for the purpose they were created or has it turned into an addiction?
An addiction can be defined as being confined to a habit to the extent that it causes problems in a person’s life. Many people who use social networks may not even realize they could meet the symptoms of an addiction. People can argue all of the pros to social media and claim that it helps us communicate and raise business profits. However, in the end a person could really be hurting themselves. Social media does not care how long we spend on it, so it is important to understand that there is already Facebook addiction tests taking place.
Facebook and other social networks have made it much easier to stay in contact with many people who come into our lives, but the convenience has gotten in the way of important priorities. Emre Cam and Onur Isbulan, student journalists at the University of Sakarya, write about this in an article titled, “A New Addiction for Teacher Candidates: Social Networks.” They claim, “Specialists remarked that the desire for being on social networks is superior to the desires for sleep and rest, pointing to a social disaster…” (Cam and Isbulan 15). These students used a research study as an example to prove that the participants had a much higher need to be on social media than to rest. This is when it becomes a hazard to a person’s life because we are not able to get the amount of rest our body needs.
Not only can Facebook easily lead to an addiction, but it can also influence psychological health. Mustafa Koc and Seval Gulyagci, student journalists at Suleyman Demirel University, provide evidence about this in an article titled, “Facebook Addiction Among Turkish College Students: The Role of Psychological Health, Demographic, and USAge Characteristics.” They state, “The results revealed that weekly time commitment, social motives, severe depression, and anxiety and insomnia positively predicted Facebook addiction” (Gulyagci and Koc 279). This is important to understand because this is where our role as teachers comes in. We should be able to educate people and provide examples of the right coping skills before we let Facebook turn into the ultimate social support.
Even though Facebook and other social networks get in the way of important priorities, there is always an alternative point of view that comes from another person’s perspective. Louis Lam, a student journalist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, states a counter argument towards my claim in an article titled, “An Innovative Research on the usage of Facebook in the Higher Education context of Hong Kong.” He states that the, “Teachers role changes when participating in online learning environments such as Facebook and communicating with students in order to establish the relationship and motivate students in learning” (Lam 379). In other words, he is saying that the teacher takes on a different part to inspire students to learn when Facebook is introduced. However, if Facebook was used as a tool for online learning it would become a huge distraction for education. For example, I can barely get my homework done because I can easily spend hours on social networks.
All of this information is important to understand because we should be able to educate people on the signs of addiction. People should be more aware of the time that is spent on these social networks and what they were essentially created for. The Internet is a great tool for people to learn and communicate, but the convenience has started to affect psychological health. Social networks are not good tools for people to incorporate into their educational lives. It is a distraction that needs to be kept private. We can be the change to show people the real beauty in life; so put down the phone and look up.