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Why using Facebook can be Unhealthy

Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with family, friends and colleagues.  Every day millions of people log in to chat, network, distribute photos, share links they like, play games, join groups and interact in a variety of ways on Facebook.

With all the benefits the social network giant offers, unfortunately there are a few drawbacks which can prove to be unhealthy for individuals who spend too much time on Facebook.

• Addiction

With the emergence of technology as a routine part of society, unfortunately computer addiction has become a real issue over the past decade. Being Facebook is such a big part of web interaction, the social network is also seeing its share of addicts.

In 2009 CNN published an article about Facebook addiction. Like other serious dependency issues, a Facebook compulsion can lead to more serious problems that trickle through one’s life. Spending too much time on the network can lead to unhealthy habits and residual effects. If one experiences strong anxiety when not able to access the network, this could be a warning sign that an individual’s time spent on the network goes beyond a habit.

With excessive Facebook use, it is possible health issues can emerge. Last summer a study was published that indicated “as many as one-third women aged 18-34 check Facebook when they first wake up, even before they get to the bathroom.”

• Health problems

Too much time on the computer can lead to fatigue, eye strain and, according to a new study, possible heart problems. The study, published in Jan. 2011 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, suggests spending hours in front of a computer or television for leisure purposes can lead to a higher risk of heart sicknesses.

Heart problem isn’t the only serious issue. In a separate research study, the American Academy of Pediatrics came to a conclusion that there is a link between social networking and depression. The phenomenon, called “Facebook depression,” is not very widespread at this point, but occurs when a teen gets “anxious” after frequent sessions on Facebook. The experts do point out that kids who develop “Facebook depression” generally have other social issues, but the socialization aspect integrated with Facebook, for instance, friend requests and posts being ignored, can be distressing for teens. Being adults often need acceptance too, theoretically this could perhaps apply to them as well, despite no study being cited.

If these studies are remotely close to actuality in the compulsion associated with the website, Facebook can perhaps be hazardous to your health.

• Sedentary

A large percentage of today’s activities involve sitting in front of a computer, and in many ways, society has become more sedentary. Spending too much time on Facebook can contribute to a less active lifestyle. While it is true many people use mobile, there are also those who still use a desktop or laptop to connect, which can promote less movement.

•  Emotional turmoil

Another way Facebook can be unhealthy is due to the emotional turmoil that can erupt. Facebook is often cited in marital, professional and friendship problems due to comments made, information streamed and/or misunderstandings. Additionally when individuals become too engrossed with Facebook, they may be more inclined to isolate themselves from family and friends which can lead to relationship conflicts.

While Facebook has its disadvantages that can lead to unhealthy issues, this does not mean that you should not join the network if membership is desired. By recognizing the potential negative health effects, these can be minimized and the positive aspects of using Facebook enjoyed.

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