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Is Facebook Really Addictive? [Infographic]

In this blog post, we share an interesting infographic titled “Facebook Psychology: Is Addiction Affecting Our Minds?” This infographic advocates the concept of ‘Internet Addiction Disorder’ (IAO). IAO is essentially a behavioural addiction. Like most behavioural addiction IAO is not listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). However, Internet gaming disorder is listed in Section III, Conditions for Further Study, as a disorder requiring further study.

The DSM is generally slow when it comes to acknowledging new forms of mental illness, so IAO could make an appearance in the DSM in future years.

This infographic points out that Facebook makes use of technology in ways that are akin to Pavlov’s dogs hearing the sound of a bell when food was presented to them. In this case, a bell is substituted with the sound of a status notification or a friend request approval.

The below infographic seeks to examine the effect Facebook has on our minds. The infographic argues Facebook is re-wiring our brains in a similar manner to a drug or alcohol addiction.

Highlights of this infographic

Some of the highlights of this infographic include:

  • Every notification we receive could be a social, sexual or professional opportunity. Answering a notification results in a dopamine hit. Each notification thus recharges our addictive compulsion
  • Compulsive Facebook users displayed a fundamentally altered prefrontal cortex when a brain image scan was carried out
  • People addicted to the internet had a 10-20% reduction in brain areas that are responsible for speech, memory, motor control, emotions and sensory perception
  • China, Taiwan and Korea have accepted IAD as a recognised psychological disorder
  • As much as 30% of teens in these countries are considered to suffer from IAD

Without further ado, here’s the infographic in its full glory: