Facebook IPO-impulsive decision to buy stock?

I have recently done several articles and t.v interviews regarding the role of facebook in causing addiction.  The recent facebook IPO led me to question how many facebook users will impulsively buy stock just to be a part of the internet giant without giving it reasonable thought. It meets criteria for an addiction in every way, including physiological withdrawal symptoms.  More and more scottsdale psychiatrists are seeing facebook addictions and it is just a matter of time before people will present to us psychiatrists for facebook addiction as their primary problem.  One concerning aspect of this facebook addiction is the release of facebook IPO last week. I have had several people tell me they waned to buy facebook IPO stock if they could in hope’s of becoming “the next billionare.”  Similar to gambling, these are people with no prior interest in the stock market and rather are spending their limited funds on facebook based on their positive emotional attachment to the site. When people who would otherwise never consider buying stock turns to wanting to buy facebook IPO stock-that is concerning in my eyes.

Whether or not facebook will last is up for debate. The Facebook IPO has not done well and in the long-run I am in the minority who think it will not last as a company however I do believe it will be replaced by something equally as time consuming and addictive. Things are only going to get worse and psychiatrists need to step up their game, knowledge and treatment for social media and the digital age. Only this year has “internet diagnosis” been introduced into the long awaited revised DSM 5 (diagnostic and statistical manual) which includes all the criteria for making diagnoses.  This is seriously late addition considering internet addiction has been going on for well over a decade.  Unless we stay on top of these trends, we are going to be in trouble if the goal is to help people not ruin their lives.

Some people say it is silly to consider facebook an addiction or they laugh when I ask them ‘are you addicted?” They always say “no, I like it but I am not addicted.”  Well guess what? that is the very  SAME thing alcoholics and drug addicts say when they are in denial of a problem.  So while few will admit to it, the problem is more prevelent than you can imagine and the IPO last week only fortified the already ridiculous attachment people have adopted toward the internet giant.