How terrible is Facebook addiction? According to an internal survey, 360 million users’ lives were affected


On November 6, according to the internal documents of Facebook (renamed “meta”), the company’s researchers found that one in eight users reported that their sleep, work, childcare or interpersonal relationships had been affected by the forced use of social media services.
Facebook calls it a problematic usage pattern, what people call Internet addiction. According to the document, users think they perform worse on Facebook than any other major social media platform. It is reported that a Facebook team focusing on user welfare once proposed a series of solutions, and the company implemented some solutions and built optional functions to encourage users to leave social media and attract users to return to the platform through notification. Facebook dissolved the team at the end of 2019.
A Facebook spokesman said that the company began to develop a new plan in recent months to solve the problem of Internet addiction while solving other health problems such as users’ body image and mental health. Spokesman Dani lever said in a statement that the company has publicly expressed its hope to solve these problems. Some people have addiction problems with other technology products, such as televisions and smartphones, she said. “We have a role to play, which is why we have built tools and controls to help people manage when and how to use our services. In addition, we have a dedicated team working on the platform to better understand these issues and ensure that people use our applications in a way that makes sense to them,” Lofer said in a statement
Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee, previously disclosed thousands of pages of internal documents to regulators, legislators and the news media, proving how the company realized that it had caused polarization in many countries, leading people into a flood of wrong information. The Wall Street Journal’s series of articles on Facebook archives reveals how Facebook knows that products and systems critical to its business success often fail and cause harm. For some users, including adolescent girls or victims of human trafficking, the risk may be high. These documents highlight research on the possible negative impact of Facebook on a wider range of users.
Facebook officially changed its name to meta at the end of last month. The restructuring highlights the company’s focus on the extensive use of the online world characterized by virtual reality and beyond the meta universe of traditional social media.
Research on the use of social media may have a negative impact on people’s daily life. The study was launched a few years ago to reduce the harmful behavior that Facebook is increasingly discovering on its platform. Researchers from the user welfare team say that some users lack control over the time they spend on Facebook, so there are problems in their lives. They wrote that they do not consider this behavior a clinical addiction because it does not affect the brain like gambling or drug abuse. In the document, they pointed out that “activities such as shopping, sex and Facebook use, if repeated and excessive, may bring problems to some people.”
According to these documents, these problems include: when people stop completing tasks in life to check Facebook frequently, their work efficiency will decline; When they stay up late, they will lose sleep; When people use online time instead of coexistence time, interpersonal relationships deteriorate. The researchers pointed out that in some cases, “parents pay more attention to Facebook than taking care of or communicating with their children.” “I’m on Facebook every day and every moment. Literally, every moment; only when I take a bath,” a 22-year-old woman told the researchers. “I lost the concept of time.”
In March 2020, a few months after the dissolution of Facebook’s user welfare team, researchers who worked in the team internally shared a slide showing some findings and encouraged other teams to continue this work. Researchers estimate that these problems affect about 12.5% of the flagship application Facebook’s more than 2.9 billion users, or more than 360 million people. The U.S. market is one of Facebook’s most profitable markets, with about 10% of users showing this behavior. In the Philippines and India, the company’s largest market, employees think this figure is higher, about 25%.
The researchers said in the document that most users addicted to Facebook said they also used other social media applications, including instagram and WhatsApp. The researchers pointed out that in the use of smart phones, Facebook users also encounter some common problems, such as feeling the pressure to reply to messages and frequently viewing new content.
“Why should we care?” the researchers wrote on the slide. “People perceive the impact. In a comparative study with competitors, people think Facebook has lower happiness and higher problem utilization than other services.” other services in the comparison include youtube, reddit and the video game world of Warcraft. (compiled by Tencent technology / Wuji)