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Friday, September 24, 2010

Facebook outage spotlights social media addiction

Frustrated Facebook users find themselves jonesing for updates when site crashes. Industry watchers say Facebook users suffering through the two-and-a-half-hour outage were like drug addicts going through withdrawal. Facebook's more than 500 million users have grown accustomed to sharing updates about their cats and colleagues, and posting funny pictures of drunken friends and kids acting silly. They certainly don't like it when the social networking site goes down.

This past summer, a report from The Oxygen Media Insights Group, which is part of a company that focuses on Web sites for women, noted that a majority of the women in a survey said they are addicted to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. More than half (57%) of the women polled said they communicate with people more online than they do face to face, and 39% called themselves Facebook addicts.And analysts say social media's addictive qualities aren't only catnip for women. Men are also posting, uploading and checking out news feeds throughout the day.

While some users joked that U.S. worker productivity might skyrocket without Facebook, others said that instead of focusing on work, they spent their time complaining about the outage.

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