If you use Facebook to read the news, play games, look at comments on your posts, or make new friends then you could have Facebook dependency, says a new study.
According to study co-author Amber Ferris, an assistant professor of communication at the University of Akron, the more we use Facebook to achieve our goals, the more dependent on it we become. Besides, those who use the social network to meet new people are found to be the most dependent on it.
To determine the reasons for Facebook dependency, the researchers studied 301 users aged between 18 and 68, who posted on the site at least once a month.
The study showed that the people who see Facebook as a way of understanding themselves better go on the site to meet new people and get attention from others. These people have agreeable personalities but lower self-esteem than others.
“They rely on feedback from Facebook friends to better understand themselves,” Ferris said.
The researchers also found a link between the need to search for information or entertainment (such as ideas for going out/leisure activities) and developing a heavy dependence on the site.
The study revealed that the most positive posts came from people with high self-esteem. They do this to stay connected with people they already know and to get attention from others.
“This makes a lot of sense. If you are happy with your life, you are more likely to want to share that happiness with others on social media,” Ferris said.
She also said that people who use Facebook to meet new people tend to be extroverts, who communicate personal information easily on the web but are not always honest in the information they disclose.