Facebook fans Ken and Lorraine Lee love keeping in touch with their grandkids through the online networking site.
Facebook fans Ken and Lorraine Lee love keeping in touch with their grandkids through the online networking site. Alistair Brightman

Facebook can be addictive

BURRUM Heads grandma Jenny Doak has a dirty little secret – she has an addiction.

The 62-year-old is hooked on social networking site Facebook and she’s not alone.

Since an American college student launched the site six years ago, millions of people all over the world have signed up to create a profile page and entered into the world of poking, Maffia Wars, Farmville and other guilty pleasures only the Facebook community understand.

Facebook has become such a phenomenon that a movie, The Social Network, was made about its evolution and released in cinemas last month.

Ms Doak joined the craze last year and says it frustrates her when people criticise those with an online life.

While the majority of Facebook users join for the networking factor, Ms Doak has fallen in love with the online gaming side.

She says she uses Facebook application Bejewelled at least four times a week and that the game’s competitiveness “adds to the addiction”.

“I play only a few other internet games and only occasionally,” she said

“I do have a very active life so the ‘get a life’ comments get right up my nose.”

Fellow mature aged Facebook users Ken and Lorraine Lee say they use the site to keep in touch with their grandchildren who live in different parts of the country and overseas.

They treat Facebook messages just like emails and while they recommend joining to other grandparents who have lost contact with their favourite young ones, they have one warning – don’t look at their message wall.

“Every now and then we accidentally look at something and think ‘oops we weren’t supposed to see that,” Ms Lee said

Since its inception, Facebook has been criticised for taking away the personal side of staying in touch with others and using up valuable time in the home and workplace.

Some rehabilitation centres in the US and Australia even recognise Facebook addiction as a treatable disorder.

Hervey Bay’s Lara Lawson says it’s all about balance.

“From major life events through to incidental daily routine, it keeps me from falling apart,” she said

Signs you could be addicted to Facebook

  • You log into Facebook before checking your regular email
  • You check Facebook daily, multiple times a day, or all day
  • Work has become a nice break from Facebook rather than the other way around
  • You obsessively check your friends/ ex-boyfriends/ total strangers list of friends to see if they have more friends than you do
  • When it comes to solving life’s problems your Magic 8-Ball application has made decision making so much easier
  • Hours pass before you realise you have done nothing but surf Facebook
  • Your usual bedtime has shifted
  • You realise you’ve spent the last hour looking at photos of people you don’t know


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