IAN HART: Are we becoming addicted to Facebook?

What was '˜born' on February 4, 2004, and has over 1.75 billion monthly visitors?

Sunday, 16th October 2016, 4:00 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 1:08 am
Ian Hart

No prizes for the right answer – Facebook, the 21st century phenomenon.

The amount of monthly visitors roughly equates to the population of this country multiplied 28 and a half times, which shows Facebook represents a big part of many people’s lives. In a lot of cases, there’s almost an argument to say it takes over people’s lives.

For my part, I had an amusing relationship with Facebook, played out over a number of years, and in the main I found it to be exactly what the new-found description says – social media.

I enjoyed many a ‘heated debate’ over such diverse subjects as the X Factor or the Iraq War, from Lord Lucan to Princess Diana, with the upside very much being the polarised views being aired in a public forum.

I’ve been invited to functions, posted photos and had old photos posted of me.

All good clean fun but was there the developing of a hidden undercurrent?

I posted when I felt good but there were times when I wasn’t in a good place and went online – had I, at almost 52, become addicted to Facebook?

I’m sure most users would be amazed if they actually looked at the amount of time they spent on the site.

So on Saturday morning, having read the definition of addiction in the dictionary and realised that it wasn’t quite that, I had decided enough was enough. I thanked everyone for their friendship, debate and camaraderie, and then closed my account.

It’s not been hard, just different, and for a couple of days I looked for the button on both phone and tablet, only for it not to be there.

Five days in, have I missed it? Yes and no, but I feel it has been a positive move. I would advise it, even if only temporary.

Will I go back? It’s probably too early to say but if anybody needs to get hold of me I’ve a mobile, landline and, what the hell, why not actually knock on my door and come and see me?


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