Friday Poll: Is there a downside to your Facebook use?

Now that researchers say Facebook addiction may be a real thing, it's time to take a closer look at the double-edged sword of social networking. Is there a downside to all your Facebook use?

Mark Zuckerberg presents Timeline
Is Mark Zuckerberg addicted to Facebook? James Martin/CNET

Facebook fixation

Is there a downside to your Facebook use?

At what juncture have you reached the Facebook point of no return? Maybe it's when you post the minutia of every meal you ate for seven days straight. Perhaps it's when you start having Farmville dreams.

It turns out Facebook addiction may be a real thing . It's a bit like what you see in "The Godfather." You may try to get out, but it keeps pulling you back in.

Much like "Star Wars," Facebook has a dark side. There are people who neglect family and work in exchange for time spent wrapped up in social networking. Some researchers have even suggested there is such thing as " Facebook depression " among adolescents, but the studies aren't very definitive.

Now, a report from Harvard suggests boasting on Facebook can feel as good as sex . That's a pretty compelling reason to spend your every waking hour clinging to status updates, reading comments, and collecting "Likes."

This is not to say Facebook is some Internet monster sent from Hades to devour all your free time and dominate your thoughts. Lots of people have healthy, normal relationships with Facebook. They use it to stay connected with friends and colleagues and keep up with family, without sacrificing quality in other areas of their lives.

Facebook, of course, isn't the only tech phenomenon that's sucking up our time (hello, smartphones!), but let's focus in on this social-networking behemoth for now. It's time to 'fess up. Is there a downside to your Facebook use? Vote in our poll and talk it out in the comments.

About the author

Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET's Crave blog. When not wallowing in weird gadgets and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.

 

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