Facebook gives users the ability to portray their whole personal life on the internet, and makes it possible to be in constant connection with intimate details of the lives of others. Millions of people use it every day connect with friends, upload photos, share links and videos, and research those they meet in “real life.”
Many have found Facebook to be an engaging and efficient way of enhancing their social life. But out 50 Georgia users interviewed by the Financial, 35 claim they are considering deactivating their Facebook account. Many have found that continual use of the popular social network has an undesirable way of affecting relationships with friends, family and relatives. And increasingly, Facebook has contributed or is somehow coming to be involved in the breakdown of marriages.
According to one psychologist, dependence and addiction are major problems for some. Facebook gives users the opportunity to essentially create virtual world where they can become more comfortable than in real life. It also gives them the opportunity to create an ideal self without responsibility and to gain an unlimited number of “friends,” and often puts users in a position of power over others.
According to one expert, if a user has emotional balance, dependency is likely to be less of an issue. Social networks can be an effective way to communicate, search for and receive information. Sometimes social networks can fill a communication gap for certain groups of people, and this can all be positive.
But stresses and problems in real life lead some to turn to virtual world for escape, and with this comes the risk of dependency. People who become dependent on social networking may have problems with communication in real life. Online they often forget the habits and customs of normal relationships, such as truthfulness and proper expression of emotions. Users of social networks, especially young people, often lack a sense of responsibility for their actions online, and get caught up in their ability to express themselves however they want.
If an individual becomes overly dependent on the virtual world of social networking, it can lead to shorted attention span, a tunnel-vision attitude, insomnia, depression, aggression, as well as memory problems.
Family lawyers are increasingly seeing how Facebook is playing an increasingly large role in divorce. Along with social networking comes the possibility of meeting new people, meeting old friends or acquaintances, and of living a separate life. According to one expert, the 30 cases she has dealt with in the last nine months all involved Facebook. Another has said that one in five of divorce petitions in the past year involved references to Facebook.
Source: finchannel.com, “Trends in Georgia: Getting Bored With Facebook,” Tako Khelaia, 24 Jan 2011.