Elizabeth Adams began her Facebook presentation with a short survey of the audience. Of the 19 people in the audience, about half admitted to using Facebook at least once per day, and three people claimed to be addicted. Elizabeth hoped to find out just whether or not we actually are addicted.
It was assumed that the people most likely to be addicted would be young, female users. As research shows, however, there is little evidence of this being true. As Elizabeth mentions, there is no true scale which can measure one’s addiction to the site. She presents a few hypotheses, including the hypothesis that younger people will claim that Facebook is more intrusive in their lives. The Facebook Intrusion Questionnaire (FIQ) is the closest she was able to get to a legitimate scale which could be used for this study.
Older users actually did report that Facebook is less intrusive in their lives than younger users, confirming their first hypothesis. The more people used Facebook, the more likely they were to begin depending on it, and the more intrusive it would be in one’s life.
This study has a few implications. While it can be worrying that more and more college age students use social media to become more involved in social activities, it is possible to use this to our advantage in the future to find ways in which to evaluate the social interactions of students. The study was strong based on the number of overall participants, 666. However, in the future it would benefit them to include a more diverse sample — this could include age (the study focused on people age 18-30) and race and gender (most of the participants were Caucasian women of college age). The study was revealing in the information provided regarding intrusiveness, but Elizabeth says there is much more information they could gain from investigating altered hypotheses in the future.