Why Facebook Is So Addictive? [CASE STUDY]

More than 500 million active users, an average of 130 friends each, a total of 700 billion minutes spent per month with a daily usage of 55 minutes. Just what is it about Facebook that kept us logged like that, we allow it to control our lives and made us became willing contributors to Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth?


We feel worthy

Every single status update, photo shared and link posted you have made on your Facebook wall is actually attributed to a theory on psychology. Abraham Maslow stated that humans have three basic needs, which are for love, affection and a sense of belonging. We might not realize it but that in sharing with our friends our activities and photographs, we are actually seeking for attention and belongingness. We want people to notice us and of course, we feel better when they do and take time to comment on our posts. The best is that it’s OK to do so on Facebook because that’s what Facebook is meant for. I often joke and call all these a case of narcissism!

And then we subscribe to the email notifications that notify us as soon as someone makes a comment on your posts. These only show how addicted we are to Facebook that we NEED to know when someone has had something said. And we’d check out that comment right away, sometimes even through the email itself so that we save a few seconds of “anxiety”. We do love ourselves so much eh? Most people even have notifications that alert them whenever someone has commented after them. Now, Facebook is going to empower your lives.

Stalking (or being a busybody) is fun!

Now, don’t tell me that you haven’t done this at any point. If I, the average Facebook user, have done it and continue to do so, I believe that this happens elsewhere too. There is surely someone among your “friends” that you want to know more about. You’d want to see if that colleague of yours has a wild side, you want to check out your schoolmate’s wedding gown or you want to know if your ex has a new girl. Stalking will happen more frequently if it involves someone whom you have a crush on. I speak from experience. Facebook is great because it gives you peeks into people’s lives without them even knowing it.

Increasing your number of “friends”

Facebook has brought together people who have been separated after they have left school, a workplace or even a country. I thought it was simply marvellous that a classmate from primary school, whom I have last seen 10 years ago, found me on Facebook. You’d never who you’d find or find you each time you log in. Facebook makes this task easier by suggesting people whom it thinks you might know. And so you log in each time hoping that your number of friends will grow. I know having a large number of friends is flattering!

Besides growing the number of friends, I mean widening your network, Facebook is a great tool for catching up. You don’t have to pick up the phone anymore only to stumble on what to say. A quick ‘hi’ on your friends’ wall suffices to let them know that they are in your thoughts.

It’s the most fun site to kill boredom

What other site lets you snoop around people’s lives, have a say on their photos and statuses, read articles that they think are worth reading and watch videos that they feel you should not miss? When you have gone through all those, there are quizzes that help you get to know yourself better. And of course, there were the days when Facebook games ruled our lives (and still do). Animals need to be tended to at all times and crops need to be watched to prevent thieves from stealing them. There were also cafes and restaurants to run. How can one not be addicted to Facebook with such “commitments” needed from it?

It is hard to imagine what we all did in our past time and how we managed to keep everything to ourselves before the creation of Facebook. I don’t remember Friendster or MySpace being this big. Facebook looks set to stay for a couple more years, even longer unless something more powerful (and addictive) crops up. Just to end this piece, here’s a question:

Q: When FaceBook, MySpace and Twitter merge into one super social networking company what will it be called?

A: They will call it “My Twit Face.”

This article is written by Jasmine. She is an experienced web developer and web consultant. She is also the chief editor at 100WebHosting.com – a web hosting review and resources website.