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Internet Addiction Disorder (otherwise known as Facebookalitis) is set to become the big psychological disorder of the 21st century – and it seems we have mostly Facebook to thank for that. Thanks to the social media goliath, it seems that we are turning into a legion of junkies who salivate whenever we hear the sound of a new status notification arriving or a Friend Request being approved.

The following infographic examines what Facebook, and the Internet in general, is doing to our minds. Every new status update is like snorting crack cocaine apparently, only cheaper, (unless your ISP has suddenly decided to put their prices up to compete with the drug barons). We just can’t get enough of the Facebook stuff. But Facebookalitis is also apparently responsible for rewiring our brains and making them shrivel up. Something cheerful to think about, next time you’re on Facebook uploading a picture of your lunch.

The problem has become so serious that Internet Addiction Disorder is set to become officially recognised as a “psychological diagnosis”. Although I think it would be pretty easy to diagnose someone if they are sitting in the psychiatrist’s office updating their Facebook wall to tell everyone they are in the psychiatrist’s office.  And they send the psychiatrist a Friend Request.

Let us know in the comments what you think of the infographic. Do you think you’re turning into a slobbering incoherent vegetable because of the Internet, and Facebook in particular? Or is it all just a theory, like global warming?

Infographic Source:
Image Credit: Stressed Girl Dragged From Her Computer via Shutterstock

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  1. Mary Grace
    November 10, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Tonight, my husband of almost 40 years was relaying his account of a conversation he'd just had on the phone with an old friend of ours. When I broke in with a question/observation about some detail of the conversation he'd had with our friend, my husband became upset. "I was telling you something. I simply wanted to share a story. I didn't want to have a conversation about it!" I became upset by this response. "You have to make room for some interaction when telling a story. Or, is it a siloquilille? (sp? It's midnight and I'm too tired to spell!)? We both became frustrated with the other until I verbalized the realization that the problem we were having was more than our relationship! He didn't get my point and only grew more irritated and impatient with the direction our conversation was taking. What was happening to two people who had decades of experience easily sharing ideas and communicating with each other? Quite simply, IAD, Internet Addiction Syndrome. My husband is in a lot of pain with degenerative spine disease and can't stand very long or walk much. He wasn't going to sit around doing nothing all day, so, he wrote a book. Then he worked on promoting the book and keeping up with his new audience via Facebook. soon he was waking up and falling to sleep with Facebook! He began setting himself up in the backyard from spring to autumn with a laptop, kindle, and IPad running simultaneously while he checked his email, blog, web site, social sites accounts and completed the NY Times crossword puzzle, read Saul Bellow and Dickens and followed the San Francisco Giants on TV on the IPad. Each and every step was evaluated and recorded on Facebook. As his pain increased he sought more and more to distract himself by seeking others so interested. If this online activity would divert him from the pain that grew more obvious each day, why would anyone object if he also grew less socially adept in person? ( Who doesn't want to hide when sick and in pain?) I've had my doubts and kept them pretty much to myself, until tonight. When he complained that he didn't want to engage in a conversation, that he simply wanted to retell our friend's story, I realized that he wanted to substitute the essence of a Facebook relationship with that of our marriage of 40 years! He had become addicted to a format for communication that eliminated the need for face-to-face conversation and replaced it with witty, incisive retorts that were well edited and considered,

  2. Kenneth Clark
    November 10, 2012 at 6:55 am

    This is definitely not me, but I may know some folks on my facebook, twitter, yahoo and google+ accounts like this.

    • Saikat Basu
      November 10, 2012 at 7:06 am

      I used to keep Facebook and Twitter open in a twin monitor. Stopped it recently as it was really hampering my concentration. Instead of that, now, after 25 minutes of continuous work, I have taken to mindfulness. Where I shut my eyes, and try to visualize and concentrate on the present moment. Helps to build up focus.

  3. Félix S. De Jesús
    November 10, 2012 at 4:19 am

    If you check the psychology of Facebook in Puerto Rico, most of the Fights and issues are thanks to Facebook. hahahahaha

  4. Anonymous
    November 9, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    I guess as a very limited FB user I'm spared a lot of agony and despair!

  5. Shmuel Mendelsohn
    November 8, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    To explain my previous comment - why is this different than any other compulsion?

  6. Shmuel Mendelsohn
    November 8, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    We must have finally conquered every other disease if we have a need to create new ones!

  7. Anononymous
    November 8, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Great infographic but does learning something online like programming count in this as well?

  8. Yudono Ra
    November 8, 2012 at 9:28 am

    my only addiction on facebook is the games..... argh

  9. Mike Lawrence
    November 7, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    It is interesting that there are people who find facebookitis something to take less seriously than they should. Having said that, it is not like having a serious illness or something. The reality is that Facebook fills a need. I know people who feel lonely at home, or at work and are looking to connect with a friend or two. I know people who go over the top and facebook each other when they are sitting next to each other. The reality is that we live in a new world with new issues and new concerns. I don't know how many people know the experience of sharing their phone line with six other people who happen to live in the vicinity. For all I know that may be the norm in some places in the world today. I'm rambling, but I guess I just want to say, you can love Facebook, just don't LOOOVVVEEE facebook.

    • Guest
      November 8, 2012 at 6:27 am

      Not me; I don't really have anyone with whom to connect, and I hate Facebook and everything it stands for. Have no intent of joining; never have and never will. MySpace's popularity came and went while I was in high school. There's some joke going around these days about beavers or badgers or some other woodland creature not caring, and guess what: I didn't. Couldn't understand why a song from 1987 -- Never Gonna Give You Up -- was all of a sudden popular again. Must be because I don't follow online trends and just wasn't all that much of a social butterfly in high school, more of a bookworm, and had more interest in studying than in bothering with the stupidity of boyfriends and slumber parties. I didn't even attend prom and don't regret it; didn't go to my graduation and don't regret that either.

      FB is not a place where meaningful connections are formed; in that regard it's kind of like high school where nothing is really as important as people try to make it seem. There are also security risks with so-called social media sites; not even talking about technical security risks, because despite being an introvert, I'm not a computer programmer and don't know anything about Java vulnerability or what have you. I had no idea coffee was that dangerous to your computer unless you spilled it on the keyboard. :-)

      What I'm talking about are personal security risks such as the gruesome Craig's List murders, and the numerous hazards that arise from online dating sites. Despite the proponents saying they've improved over the years, I still don't buy it. I'm not much into the whole idea of dating anyway; it seems kind of stupid and far too much of an effort. There's also the problem with Big Corporate spying on and building a dossier (biography) based on your "likes" and other habits. Call me paranoid; many people do, but sharing with "only friends" does not keep Tricky Dick's eavesdroppers out of the Watergate chat-room.

      • Anonymous
        November 8, 2012 at 10:55 am

        True that! im an introvert myself and hate facebook and similar sites. These sites are littered with perverts and serial killers for example Luka magnotta, who had about 70 fake profiles on facebook.

  10. Ankit paliwal
    November 7, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I must say Info-graphics is the best way to deliver the information.
    It saves lot of time.

  11. Deji Greg
    November 6, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    Internet Addiction Disorder (I.A.D)

  12. Jon Smith
    November 6, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    the evils of facebook and social media...

  13. James West
    November 6, 2012 at 4:13 am

    Great article... I read once how facebook can make you depressed because you see every ones photos and it seems every one is out having fun all the time when you are stuck in doors. Interesting :-)

  14. zanele mack hlungwane
    November 5, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    i can see all that but im to say i spend 23hrs online and 80% on facebook, its a good marketing tool!

    • Mark O'Neill
      November 5, 2012 at 8:58 pm

      you spend 23 hours online?? So you only sleep for one hour?

    • Chaos Emperor
      November 6, 2012 at 5:43 am

      you should get some rest bro or maybe you will be ill later or even worse

      • Alba Spam
        November 9, 2012 at 7:18 am

        They could be referring to 23h/week.

        • Chaos Emperor
          November 9, 2012 at 9:14 am

          Hmm it does make sense.The first time i read it i though it was 23/24 hrs.but if it is 23 hrs in a week than that means im longer than around 36 hrs a week.

        • Ibrahim Nadir
          November 10, 2012 at 1:17 pm

          i spend about the same time on facebook as much as i spend on makeUseOf LOL

  15. Anonymous
    November 5, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    where's the share button, copy&pasting is so yesterday

    • Mark O'Neill
      November 5, 2012 at 8:53 pm

      To the left of this box should be a floating blue box with social share buttons. If you don't see it, have you got some sort of extension / plugin running that might be blocking it?

      • Guest
        November 8, 2012 at 6:14 am

        Seems kind of counterproductive to be sharing a post about Facebook addiction on... Facebook, doesn't it? :-\

        I think the feds should go after Zuckyballs the same way they nailed Kim Dotcom. Suckypants, Biz Stone, Jack Dorsey, Tom Anderson (remember Peeping Tom from Myspace, the culprit behind it all?), whoever the guy is that invented Pinterest...

        Oh, and Page and Brin should go down like the Big Brother voyeurs they are. Stanford is an NSA training ground -- don't tell me it isn't.

  16. Overlod Eyser
    November 5, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Nice infographic.I'm sharing it right away

  17. Richard Wesley Eby
    November 5, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    This is why I rarely use facebook anymore. I get on maybe once a week for a few minutes out of the day anymore.

    • Chaos Emperor
      November 6, 2012 at 5:42 am

      the same goes to me

  18. Douglas Mutay
    November 5, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    I have suspended my fb account last week and will see how long i can keep up without this crazy thing! I totally agree with Mark. Very good article!

    • Mark O'Neill
      November 5, 2012 at 8:58 pm

      Suspending it is a bit drastic wouldn't you say?

  19. Zhong Jiang
    November 4, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    I don't see why people stay at facebook for such long period of time. For me, I usually review my messages or look for news for my subscribed pages. Since people tend to have a large abundance of time to sell, I mean they might as well, like few hundred more pages, comment on every single friends wall, ..etc.

  20. Boni Oloff
    November 4, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Internet Addicts have 10-20% smaller brain area responsible for memory, speech, motor control, emotion, sensory and other information..
    WOW.. That's make me scared enough...

    • Mark O'Neill
      November 5, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      and when you approve a friend request, your toilet starts flushing all by itself.

      • Boni Oloff
        November 6, 2012 at 6:21 am

        Please don't say that.. That makes me more scared now.. Haha..

  21. Raj Sarkar
    November 4, 2012 at 7:00 am

    Terrific infographic! :O

  22. josemon maliakal
    November 4, 2012 at 5:08 am


  23. Ayan Barik
    November 3, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    I was a hardcore user of facebook,but I was a victim.It ruined my life.For facebook,I could not be eligible for Computer Engineering study in degree level.But it addicts you like a drug.However I have controlled myself too much,still I'm,you can say something like 'semi-hardcore' fb user.But its Good,our education system allowed me to study Pharmacy at least or my life had to struggle too much.

    • Mark O'Neill
      November 5, 2012 at 8:54 pm

      In what way did it ruin your life? Were you on the site 24 hours a day? How did it stop you pursuing your studies?

  24. Eucadio Novelo
    November 3, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    I got friends who login to Facebook every break time we have in college plus they are always online whenever I have time to check my Facebook. Facebook is a great way to meet new friends and stay connected with friends, but as my grandpa said, "anything in excess is bad"

    • Mark O'Neill
      November 5, 2012 at 8:54 pm

      Exactly. Excessive use of anything is bad. But at the same time, it's a good way to keep in touch with friends and make new friends. So it's not all bad.

  25. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    November 3, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Uh oh. Have to admit I'm quite guilty for dopamine production everytime my phone rings. But it's to email rather than FB. I think the keyword is 'connect'. We're excited to be connected, to be always engaged in some sort of 'conversation'. There's something on the back of our mind that will gnaw us slowly everytime we 'fade' back to reality (answer the email! join the discussion!).

    I disagree about the 'brain athropy to internet addicts' part. It should be retitled to 'FB addicts'. Athropy will happen if that specific part is not used for some time, which only apply if you're doing the same thing over and over again, like watching television. If you're using internet properly, e.g to find informations, then your brain will actively making new 'paths', rejuvenating your mind.

    I have to agree to 'attention span' part though. Many people nowadays have patience as much as a teaspoon of salt.

    Like any other things. Moderation is the key.

    • Mark O'Neill
      November 5, 2012 at 9:00 pm

      Exactly. Being drawn into a conversation always sucks us back in. Especially when you get a notification that someone has responded and you HAVE to reply.

      I am having the attention span problem myself too. Quite often, I start a sentence and then.....

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