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Are You a Facebook Addict?

by Dore Frances, M.A., Theapeutic Consultant and founder of Horizon Family Solutions, LLC
A client was 15 minutes late showing up for our appointment this morning. Facebook!

She blamed Facebook!

Is this social-networking phenomenon "addictive?"

Can you survive without it? Are you one of the 175 million people who are on Facebook? For the last year this parent has been passionately against her son being on the Internet, as she feels he is addicted. She has been concerned about his fake friendships and virtual connections rather than genuine ones. Now, who is the fanatic and where did her son learn about the Internet and how is it that he became addicted? This mom says that Facebook is the ideal procrastination tool for her. She finds creative excuses for not being with her son when he is aggravating and not being with her husband when she wants her own "me" time. On the average she spends 1 hour to 2 hours on Facebook daily. What does she do?

She says she updates her status, gushes over photos, discovered her neighbor had a bad cold, and a co-worker has a crush on Brad Pitt. She now knows 25 things about someone's brother she does not even know and has debated over which way the toilet paper needs to be placed on the roll.

She also knows who is tired and who is energized. She knows who loves the beach and who loves burgers.

She knows who is going to bed and when, and who is staying up working late. To an outsider, this probably sounds like 60 minutes of nothing. Yes, sometimes it works. A while back I had a neighbor that was sick and was on Facebook and was worried she would be sick for her wedding. I was able to take something to her that helped because I saw it on Facebook. And so yes, it can be beneficial. So, is Facebook a good way to stay in touch or is it a way to avoid "real connections" and "actual communication", and is that what we are teaching our kids, and if so, why then are parents so angry at their kids for avoiding them and not talking to them, as they would rather be on the Internet? The costs of devaluing real connections, real communication, real friendships and the reduction of face-to-face interaction and replacing those with superficial relationships is hurting our kids and our families.

Yes, Facebook is fantastic for staying in touch with far-flung friends and family and business associates. Moreover, it can give us day-to-day surprisingly touching snapshots of our loved ones day to day lives.

The site has greatly strengthened bonds in my real world.

However, when it comes to choosing between cultivating relationships on Facebook versus in real life, of course, it is no contest. A computer cannot offer me a cup of coffee, laugh out loud at my jokes, or give me a hug.

I know my client feels bad about arriving late for her appointment today, and she vowed not to let Facebook take precedence over her home life, her kids or her husband!


Dore Frances, M.A., is an educational consultant, childs right advocate, parent coach, specializing in working with troubled teens and their families in the United States, Canda, and abroad. See her site at: www.guidingteens.com or contact her by phone at:(541) 312-4422, or email at:Dore@DoreFrances.com.
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Disclaimer: Internet Special Education Resources (ISER) provides this information in an effort to help parents find local special education professionals and resources. ISER does not recommend or endorse any particular special education referral source, special educational methodological bias, type of special education professional, or specific special education professional.

 

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