Pile and the other therapists interviewed for this article were quick to say that Facebook itself isn't the problem and that the vast majority of its 200 million users probably function just fine. "My daughter just got married, and I got great happiness posting her wedding pictures for all my friends to see." She says problems arise when users ignore family and work obligations because they find the Facebook world a more enjoyable place to spend time than the real world.Newton says she checks Facebook first thing when she wakes up, and then she checks her Facebook page as many as seven times while at work, and then she'll check Facebook again when she gets home and one more time before she goes to sleep.
However, over the past year, their growth paled in comparison with the gains made by older users."It's turned into a compulsion -- a compulsion to dissociate from your real world and go live in the Facebook world." So how do you know when your Facebook use has turned into a compulsion?You can take Pile's "Facebook Compulsion Inventory" to find out.Between April 2009 and May 2010, internet users ages 50-64 who said they use a social networking site like My Space, Facebook or Linked In grew 88% and those ages 65 and older grew 100% in their adoption of the sites, compared with a growth rate of 13% for those ages 18-29.One in ten (11%) online adults ages 50-64 and one in twenty (5%) online adults ages 65 and older now say they use Twitter or another service to share updates about themselves or see updates about others.