Information

Social Media and General Addiction

Social Media and General Addiction


We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

I have a question made of four aspects on addiction and dopamine neurobiology.

1. I'm currently wondering whether the addictive potential of social media can be quantified. I'm aware it probably depends on the individual, but I would think an estimate is possible; for example, hardcore drugs may be more objectively more addictive than a sugary snack.

2. I'm also wondering if I'm correct in assuming that, in addiction, the diminution of dopamine receptors would render all activities (aside the addiction itself) less pleasurable. Is this the case?

3. Finally, I'm wondering if the availability of more receptors of dopamine would permit sustained release of this neurotransmitter over time. I.e. several short amounts of dopamine from natural sources would be more 'optimal' than a massive burst at one given time?

4. Finally, I'm wondering if I'm completely off track given Berridge's 'wanting' versus 'liking' distinction, where dopamine mediates wanting and opioids mediate liking. Would pleasure here occur from opioids rather than dopamine?

Thank you


Social Media: Mental Illness or Addiction?

While you might say that FoMO is an element of obsessive-compulsive or anxiety disorder rather than addiction, typical addict behaviors do include a difficulty in controlling the use of a substance, and withdrawal from said substance can result in anxiety, cravings, and feeling uncomfortable or antsy without access to their substance of choice (Nauert, 2010). One part of being a social media addict is the inability to stop checking social media sites throughout the day. A study on college students showed that 45% admitted to social media use 6-8 hours a day (Wang, Chen, & Liang, 2011). So are we dealing with addiction or mental illness? I would say a little bit of both. The addiction causes the symptoms of mental illness.

In a study by Rosen and colleagues in 2013, the main question that the researchers wanted to answer was, “Is Facebook creating ‘iDisorders?’” In their study, they tested whether the use of technology-related anxieties would predict clinical symptoms of six personality disorders and three mood disorders. Having more Facebook friends predicted clinical symptoms of Bipolar Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and Histrionic Personality Disorder. Also, an interesting find was that the anxiety of not being able to check Facebook is associated with antisocial and narcissistic traits.

Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, have created a major shift in the way people communicate with others online. If you’ve had a social media account, since you first heard about it, then you can probably attest to the transformation of social media communication styles over the years. It’s not the same as it once was.

A few different ways that individuals create negative outcomes within social media include:

  • Communicating thoughts and emotions across the board without much thought of consequence
  • Saying things that they wouldn’t normally say to anyone face-to-face, such as bullying and body-shaming behavior
  • Posting the amazing things going on in their lives, when truly they are hiding behind emotional pain
  • Sharing political and religious views that may be offensive to others
  • Giving way too much personal information for all eyes to see when the information should be intended for one close friend or trusted family member
  • Posting pictures of delicious meals everywhere they eat – we call these people “foodies”
  • Narcissistic behavior as evidenced by the “selfie”

Now you may be wondering if you are a social media addict. There are several social media addiction quizzes online, but I found one that seemed rather reputable.

Dr. James Roberts (2015) from Baylor University developed six specific features (salience, tolerance, euphoria, withdrawal, relapse, and conflict) and corresponding questions that identify social media addiction. Take the quiz to understand where your FoMO falls.

We all use social media, and it’s a helpful communication tool. The key is to find a healthy balance that empowers you, not takes away from you.

Written by Dr. Sonja Bethune, PsyD, Core Faculty in the Division of General Education.

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Are You Addicted To Social Media? Expert Offers Six Questions to Ask Yourself. (2016). Media Communications | Baylor University. Retrieved 22 August 2017, from https://www.baylor.edu/mediacommunications/news.php?action=story&story=174059

Nauert, R. (2010, April 23). College students ‘addicted’ to social media, Study finds. Live Science. Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/9888-college-students-addicted-social-media-study-finds.html

Pew Research Center. (2017, January 12). Social media fact sheet. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/social-media/

Rosen, L., Whaling, K., Rab, S., Carrier, L., & Cheever, N. (2013). Is Facebook creating ‘iDisorders’? The link between clinical symptoms of psychiatric disorders and technology use, attitudes and anxiety. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(3), 1243-1254.

Roberts, J. A. (2015). Too much of a good thing: Are you addicted to your smartphone?. Austin, TX: Sentia Publishing.

Tarsha, A. A. (2016). The role of existential therapy in the prevention of social media-driven anxiety. Existential Analysis, 27(2), 382-388.

Wang, Q., Chen, W., & Liang, Y. (2011). The effects of social media on college students. Johnson & Wales University, Providence, RI.


New study links celebrity worship to addictive and problematic social media use

People who are obsessed with celebrities are more likely to engage in addictive use of social media, according to new research from Eötvös Loránd University and Pázmány Péter Catholic University. The findings have been published in the journal Psychology of Popular Media.

“In the past few decades, a celebrity-fan relationship has been considered a one-sided, delusional emotional bond. Recently, social networking sites opened an avenue for a more direct, reciprocal communication between celebrities and their fans,” the authors of the study told PsyPost.

“Previous research suggests that individuals who admire celebrities have poor social skills and are at a greater risk of engaging in compulsive behaviors. Drawing on these findings, we were interested in exploring the connection between celebrity worship and social networking sites use habits. We assumed that celebrity worshippers may be more prone to become addicted to social media and pursue adverse friending practices (e.g., promiscuous friending) on social networking sites.”

The researchers surveyed 437 Hungarian adolescents and adults between 14 and 63 years of age regarding their social media habits, celebrity worship, and other factors. As expected, they found a link between celebrity worship and problematic social media use. In other words, participants who agreed with statements such as “I often feel compelled to learn the personal habits of my favorite celebrity” also tended to agree with statements such as “I have become restless or troubled if I have been prohibited from using social media.”

“Our findings suggest that individuals with an excessive admiration towards a celebrity are more likely to experience symptoms of problematic social networking sites use than those who are not so dedicated fans of their favorite celebrity. This result might indicate that some fans embed their favorite celebrity in their virtual social network in an attempt to bridge the gap between the desired fame, celebrity life and their own lives, hence reducing the discrepancy between the admired celebrity and their own selves,” the authors of the study explained.

“This process might maintain the psychological absorption with the favorite celebrity and can enhance the risk of addiction, according to the Absorption-Addiction Model proposed by McCutcheon and colleagues (2002). Our findings highlight the importance of identifying risky social networking sites use patterns in individuals with a tendency to become fascinated by celebrities in order to prevent them from developing an obsessive, deleterious admiration towards a celebrity.”


Social media use can be positive for mental health and well-being

January 6, 2020—Mesfin Awoke Bekalu, research scientist in the Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, discusses a new study he co-authored on associations between social media use and mental health and well-being.

What is healthy vs. potentially problematic social media use?

Our study has brought preliminary evidence to answer this question. Using a nationally representative sample, we assessed the association of two dimensions of social media use—how much it’s routinely used and how emotionally connected users are to the platforms—with three health-related outcomes: social well-being, positive mental health, and self-rated health.

We found that routine social media use—for example, using social media as part of everyday routine and responding to content that others share—is positively associated with all three health outcomes. Emotional connection to social media—for example, checking apps excessively out of fear of missing out, being disappointed about or feeling disconnected from friends when not logged into social media—is negatively associated with all three outcomes.

In more general terms, these findings suggest that as long as we are mindful users, routine use may not in itself be a problem. Indeed, it could be beneficial.

For those with unhealthy social media use, behavioral interventions may help. For example, programs that develop “effortful control” skills—the ability to self-regulate behavior—have been widely shown to be useful in dealing with problematic Internet and social media use.

We’re used to hearing that social media use is harmful to mental health and well-being, particularly for young people. Did it surprise you to find that it can have positive effects?

The findings go against what some might expect, which is intriguing. We know that having a strong social network is associated with positive mental health and well-being. Routine social media use may compensate for diminishing face-to-face social interactions in people’s busy lives. Social media may provide individuals with a platform that overcomes barriers of distance and time, allowing them to connect and reconnect with others and thereby expand and strengthen their in-person networks and interactions. Indeed, there is some empirical evidence supporting this.

On the other hand, a growing body of research has demonstrated that social media use is negatively associated with mental health and well-being, particularly among young people—for example, it may contribute to increased risk of depression and anxiety symptoms.

Our findings suggest that the ways that people are using social media may have more of an impact on their mental health and well-being than just the frequency and duration of their use.

What disparities did you find in the ways that social media use benefits and harms certain populations? What concerns does this raise?

My co-authors Rachel McCloud, Vish Viswanath, and I found that the benefits and harms associated with social media use varied across demographic, socioeconomic, and racial population sub-groups. Specifically, while the benefits were generally associated with younger age, better education, and being white, the harms were associated with older age, less education, and being a racial minority. Indeed, these findings are consistent with the body of work on communication inequalities and health disparities that our lab, the Viswanath lab, has documented over the past 15 or so years. We know that education, income, race, and ethnicity influence people’s access to, and ability to act on, health information from media, including the Internet. The concern is that social media may perpetuate those differences.


Seek Support

The first step is getting to know what this problem is then recognizing that you may have it. As with most other types of addiction, this one is not an easy habit to break. It’s best to get the support of your friends and family.

Many trained experts can help you deal with this kind of problem. With the increasing body of research about the topic, these professionals will be well equipped to help.

Can't imagine life without social media? Time to find out about the negative impact of social media on you and your peers.

Loraine has been writing for magazines, newspapers, and websites for 15 years. She has a master's in applied media technology and a keen interest in digital media, social media studies, and cybersecurity.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our newsletter for tech tips, reviews, free ebooks, and exclusive deals!


4 Ways to Fight Digital Burnout

Are you spending too much time on your devices? Learn how to spot the signs of screen fatigue and digital burnout.


Introduction

Social media use

Social media use is currently one of the most popular leisure activities among adolescents (e.g., [1–3]). Social media (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.) host virtual communities where users can create individual public and/or private profiles [4–6]. Users can access social media on different platforms (mobile or computer devices), for different activities (e.g., interacting with real-life friends, meeting others based on shared interest, chatting, mailing, sharing or creating pictures / videos, blogging, dating, playing games, gambling [7–9]).

Facebook is one of the most popular social media among 13–17 years old adolescents in the USA [2]. According to a recent report, 71% of teenage social media users access more than one social media and 24% of adolescents are “almost constantly” online due to the widespread use and popularity of smartphones [2]. Furthermore, there is an increasing interest to explore and assess the characteristics and prevalence of problematic/excessive use of social media (e.g., [4, 10–14]).

Problematic social media use

To date, there is no consensus among researchers regarding the definition of problematic social media use due to the conceptual confusion surrounding the classification of problematic internet use [15, 16]. Negative outcomes triggered by the excessive use of social media may have a detrimental effect on the personal, social, and/or professional lives of the users [8, 13, 17–20]. Lee, Cheung, and Thadani [21] argued that obsessive Facebook users had troubles in work, academic performance. and interpersonal relationships. For instance, Pantic and Damjanovic [22], Wegmann and Stodt [16], and Andreassen and Billieux [23] reported a significant positive correlation between depression symptoms and social media use, while Malik and Khan [24] found negative relationship between self-esteem and high levels of social media use.

Due to the lack of consistency in empirical studies, diagnosis of internet-related disorders has yet to be established based on the aforementioned theoretical constructs. Internet Use Disorder was suggested for consideration in the latest (fifth) edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5 [25]). However, only one internet-related disorder—Internet Gaming Disorder—was included in Section 3 of the DSM-5. Another problem is that various synonyms of problematic social media use exist in the literature with different diagnostic suggestions including (among others) Facebook dependence [26], Facebook addiction [10], social networking addiction [27], Twitter addiction [28], social media addiction [11], and Social Media Disorder [29].

Different theoretical models provide explanations for the development of problematic social media use (e.g., cognitive-behavioral, social skill, or socio-cognitive models [30]. These theoretical models have been developed from a clinical perspective, while the biopsychosocial model concerns behavioral addictions in general [14]. According to the biopsychosocial model [31], problematic social media use can be determined by a range of addiction symptoms including: mood modification (i.e., excessive social media use leading to specific changes in mood states), salience (i.e., total preoccupation with social media use), tolerance (i.e., increasing amounts of time using social media), withdrawal symptoms (i.e., negative feelings and psychological symptoms such as irritability, anxiety when social media use is restricted), conflict (i.e., interpersonal problems as a direct result of social media usage), and relapse (i.e., returning to excessive social media use after a period of abstinence).

Assessing problematic social media use

To obtain a reliable prevalence rate of problematic social media usage, it is important to use psychometrically valid measurement tools. Due to the problem of inconsistencies regarding the definition of problematic, excessive, or addictive social media use, there is also a lack of reliable and valid psychometric scales to assess the phenomenon of problematic social media use. More specifically, the existing assessment tools are based on different diagnostic suggestions such as problematic internet use (e.g., Internet Addiction Test [32–34], Internet Gaming Disorder [29]), or other aspects of addictive tendencies (e.g., withdrawal, loss of control, salience [35, 36]. In addition, some of the measurement tools focus only on specific social media (e.g., Facebook [14] such as the Facebook Addiction Symptoms Scale [37], the Facebook Addiction Scale [38], the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale [10], and the Facebook Intrusion Questionnaire [39]).

Although the most recent data show that Facebook is the most popular and frequently used social media among adolescents [2], empirical research has shown that adolescents use more than one social media frequently (e.g., [2]). Therefore, the assessment tools are unable to follow the ever-changing trends in the area of social media use. Considering the increased usage of various social media among adolescents [1–3, 5] the questionnaires should assess all available social media and the total range of activities on these social media instead of one specific social media such as Facebook [14].

Prevalence of problematic social media use

It is difficult to estimate the prevalence of problematic social media use due to the use of various assessment tools and the lack of a consensual definition of problematic social media use. Furthermore, recent research has demonstrated that problematic social media use has a higher prevalence among female users than males [11, 13, 40, 41]. Unfortunately, in studies that have assessed different aspects of problematic social media use, the gender distribution was usually frequently imbalanced in that women were typically over-represented [11, 12, 15, 26, 29, 37, 42–44], and may be explained by the higher willingness of females to participate in such studies.

Due to different theoretical frameworks and psychometric assessments, the prevalence of problematic social media use might be underestimated or overestimated. Previous studies have reported different prevalence rates relating to problematic social media use. For instance, Olowu and Seri [44] reported a prevalence rate of 2.8% of addicted social media use among college students, while Jafarkarimi and Sim [43] reported a prevalence rate of 47% being addicted to Facebook among a sample of college students. Explanations for the large difference in problematic social media use prevalence rates might be the non-representative (self-selected and typically small participant) samples and different cultural groups examined (e.g., Chinese, Australian, Nigerian college students, Dutch adolescents [12, 15, 26, 29, 37, 42–44]. Moreover, to date, there has only been one nationwide survey assessing problematic (ie., addictive) social media use [11] that examined the associations between problematic social media use, narcissism, and self-esteem, and between problematic use of social media, attention-deficit/hyperactivity, obsessive-compulsiveness, anxiety, and depression on cross-sectional convenience sample of 23,532 Norwegians (although the sample was not nationally representative).

Furthermore, no studies have examined the prevalence of problematic social media use utilizing a representative adolescent sample. Furthermore, only a few studies exist concerning problematic social media use among adolescents (e.g., [29]). Previous studies have reported an increased popularity of social media use among adolescents [1–4, 6] and the increased number of adolescent social media users could explain the higher prevalence of problematic usage in this group [4, 6]. Consequently, the aim of the present study was twofold:

  1. To test the psychometric properties of the Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale (BSMAS) using a nationally representative (Hungarian) adolescent sample.
  2. To assess the prevalence of problematic social media use in a nationally representative adolescent sample.

Excessive Social Media Use Comparable to Drug Addiction

Sherri Gordon is a published author and a bullying prevention expert.

Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Social media originated as a way for people to connect with family and friends, even if they were thousands of miles apart. But over the years, it has transformed. Now, social media is used in a variety of different ways and a lot more frequently. For instance, businesses, non-profit organizations, and even politicians use it as a way to reach a very targeted market.

Meanwhile, teens and young adults use social media as a virtual scrapbook to document every detail of their life as they are living it. There are even "influencers" with large social media followings, that use their following as a way to promote a product, service, or group through social media and gain support for it. Social media is even a valuable resource for and a means of connecting isolated populations with other parts of the world.

In many ways, social media has enriched our lives by connecting and inspiring people. But there is a dark side as well. Aside from all the negative posts on social media, the cyberbullying, and the FOMO (fear of missing out) that exists, recent studies indicate that excessive social media use not only leads to poor decision-making, but people who use social media incessantly often have attitudes, thoughts, and behaviors that mimic those of a drug addict.


Social media use increases depression and loneliness

The link between the social-media use, depression, and loneliness has been talked about for years, but a causal connection had never been proven. For the first time, Penn research based on experimental data connects Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram use to decreased well-being. Psychologist Melissa G. Hunt published her findings in the December Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.

Few prior studies have attempted to show that social media use harms users’ well-being, and those that have either put participants in unrealistic situations or were limited in scope, asking them to completely forego Facebook and relying on self-report data, for example, or conducting the work in a lab in as little time as an hour.

“We set out to do a much more comprehensive, rigorous study that was also more ecologically valid,” says Hunt, associate director of clinical training in Penn’s Psychology Department.

To that end, the research team, which included recent alumni Rachel Marx and Courtney Lipson and Penn senior Jordyn Young, designed their experiment to include the three platforms most popular with a cohort of undergraduates and then collected objective usage data automatically tracked by iPhones for active apps, not those running the background.

Each of 143 participants completed a survey to determine mood and well-being at the study’s start, plus shared shots of their iPhone battery screens to offer a week’s worth of baseline social-media data. Participants were then randomly assigned to a control group, which had users maintain their typical social-media behavior, or an experimental group that limited time on Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram to 10 minutes per platform per day.

For the next three weeks, participants shared iPhone battery screenshots to give the researchers weekly tallies for each individual. With those data in hand, Hunt then looked at seven outcome measures including fear of missing out, anxiety, depression, and loneliness.

“Here’s the bottom line,” she says. “Using less social media than you normally would leads to significant decreases in both depression and loneliness. These effects are particularly pronounced for folks who were more depressed when they came into the study.”

Hunt stresses that the findings do not suggest that 18- to 22-year-olds should stop using social media altogether. In fact, she built the study as she did to stay away from what she considers an unrealistic goal. The work does, however, speak to the idea of limiting screen time on these apps.

“It is a little ironic that reducing your use of social media actually makes you feel less lonely,” she says. But when she digs a little deeper, the findings make sense. “Some of the existing literature on social media suggests there’s an enormous amount of social comparison that happens. When you look at other people’s lives, particularly on Instagram, it’s easy to conclude that everyone else’s life is cooler or better than yours.”

Because this particular work only looked at Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, it’s not clear whether it applies broadly to other social media platforms. Hunt also hesitates to say that these findings would replicate for other age groups or in different settings. Those are questions she still hopes to answer, including in an upcoming study about the use of dating apps by college students.

Despite those caveats, and although the study didn’t determine the optimal time users should spend on these platforms or the best way to use them, Hunt says the findings do offer two related conclusions it couldn’t hurt any social-media user to follow.

For one, reduce opportunities for social comparison, she says. “When you’re not busy getting sucked into clickbait social media, you’re actually spending more time on things that are more likely to make you feel better about your life.” Secondly, she adds, because these tools are here to stay, it’s incumbent on society to figure out how to use them in a way that limits damaging effects. “In general, I would say, put your phone down and be with the people in your life.”

Melissa G. Hunt is the associate director of clinical training in the Department of Psychology in the School of Arts and Sciences at Penn.


Taking back control

How can we benefit from social networking sites without being consumed by them?Companies could redesign their sites to mitigate the risk of addiction. They could use opt-out default settings for features that encourage addiction and make it easier for people to self-regulate their usage. However, some claim that asking tech firms &ldquoto be less good at what they do feels like a ridiculous ask&rdquo. So government regulation may be needed, perhaps similar to that used with the tobacco industry.

Users could also consider whether personal reasons are making them vulnerable to problematic use. Factors that predict excessive use include an increased tendency to experience negative emotions, being unable to cope well with everyday problems, a need for self-promotion, loneliness and fear of missing out. These factors will, of course, not apply to everyone.

Finally, users could empower themselves. It is already possible to limit time on these sites using apps such as Freedom, Moment and StayFocusd. The majority of Facebook users have voluntarily taken a break from Facebook, though this can be hard.

&ldquoI am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul,&rdquo run the famous lines from Invictus. Sadly, future generations may find them incomprehensible.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)

Simon McCarthy-Jones is an Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology, Trinity College Dublin.


4 Ways to Fight Digital Burnout

Are you spending too much time on your devices? Learn how to spot the signs of screen fatigue and digital burnout.


Introduction

Social media use

Social media use is currently one of the most popular leisure activities among adolescents (e.g., [1–3]). Social media (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.) host virtual communities where users can create individual public and/or private profiles [4–6]. Users can access social media on different platforms (mobile or computer devices), for different activities (e.g., interacting with real-life friends, meeting others based on shared interest, chatting, mailing, sharing or creating pictures / videos, blogging, dating, playing games, gambling [7–9]).

Facebook is one of the most popular social media among 13–17 years old adolescents in the USA [2]. According to a recent report, 71% of teenage social media users access more than one social media and 24% of adolescents are “almost constantly” online due to the widespread use and popularity of smartphones [2]. Furthermore, there is an increasing interest to explore and assess the characteristics and prevalence of problematic/excessive use of social media (e.g., [4, 10–14]).

Problematic social media use

To date, there is no consensus among researchers regarding the definition of problematic social media use due to the conceptual confusion surrounding the classification of problematic internet use [15, 16]. Negative outcomes triggered by the excessive use of social media may have a detrimental effect on the personal, social, and/or professional lives of the users [8, 13, 17–20]. Lee, Cheung, and Thadani [21] argued that obsessive Facebook users had troubles in work, academic performance. and interpersonal relationships. For instance, Pantic and Damjanovic [22], Wegmann and Stodt [16], and Andreassen and Billieux [23] reported a significant positive correlation between depression symptoms and social media use, while Malik and Khan [24] found negative relationship between self-esteem and high levels of social media use.

Due to the lack of consistency in empirical studies, diagnosis of internet-related disorders has yet to be established based on the aforementioned theoretical constructs. Internet Use Disorder was suggested for consideration in the latest (fifth) edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5 [25]). However, only one internet-related disorder—Internet Gaming Disorder—was included in Section 3 of the DSM-5. Another problem is that various synonyms of problematic social media use exist in the literature with different diagnostic suggestions including (among others) Facebook dependence [26], Facebook addiction [10], social networking addiction [27], Twitter addiction [28], social media addiction [11], and Social Media Disorder [29].

Different theoretical models provide explanations for the development of problematic social media use (e.g., cognitive-behavioral, social skill, or socio-cognitive models [30]. These theoretical models have been developed from a clinical perspective, while the biopsychosocial model concerns behavioral addictions in general [14]. According to the biopsychosocial model [31], problematic social media use can be determined by a range of addiction symptoms including: mood modification (i.e., excessive social media use leading to specific changes in mood states), salience (i.e., total preoccupation with social media use), tolerance (i.e., increasing amounts of time using social media), withdrawal symptoms (i.e., negative feelings and psychological symptoms such as irritability, anxiety when social media use is restricted), conflict (i.e., interpersonal problems as a direct result of social media usage), and relapse (i.e., returning to excessive social media use after a period of abstinence).

Assessing problematic social media use

To obtain a reliable prevalence rate of problematic social media usage, it is important to use psychometrically valid measurement tools. Due to the problem of inconsistencies regarding the definition of problematic, excessive, or addictive social media use, there is also a lack of reliable and valid psychometric scales to assess the phenomenon of problematic social media use. More specifically, the existing assessment tools are based on different diagnostic suggestions such as problematic internet use (e.g., Internet Addiction Test [32–34], Internet Gaming Disorder [29]), or other aspects of addictive tendencies (e.g., withdrawal, loss of control, salience [35, 36]. In addition, some of the measurement tools focus only on specific social media (e.g., Facebook [14] such as the Facebook Addiction Symptoms Scale [37], the Facebook Addiction Scale [38], the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale [10], and the Facebook Intrusion Questionnaire [39]).

Although the most recent data show that Facebook is the most popular and frequently used social media among adolescents [2], empirical research has shown that adolescents use more than one social media frequently (e.g., [2]). Therefore, the assessment tools are unable to follow the ever-changing trends in the area of social media use. Considering the increased usage of various social media among adolescents [1–3, 5] the questionnaires should assess all available social media and the total range of activities on these social media instead of one specific social media such as Facebook [14].

Prevalence of problematic social media use

It is difficult to estimate the prevalence of problematic social media use due to the use of various assessment tools and the lack of a consensual definition of problematic social media use. Furthermore, recent research has demonstrated that problematic social media use has a higher prevalence among female users than males [11, 13, 40, 41]. Unfortunately, in studies that have assessed different aspects of problematic social media use, the gender distribution was usually frequently imbalanced in that women were typically over-represented [11, 12, 15, 26, 29, 37, 42–44], and may be explained by the higher willingness of females to participate in such studies.

Due to different theoretical frameworks and psychometric assessments, the prevalence of problematic social media use might be underestimated or overestimated. Previous studies have reported different prevalence rates relating to problematic social media use. For instance, Olowu and Seri [44] reported a prevalence rate of 2.8% of addicted social media use among college students, while Jafarkarimi and Sim [43] reported a prevalence rate of 47% being addicted to Facebook among a sample of college students. Explanations for the large difference in problematic social media use prevalence rates might be the non-representative (self-selected and typically small participant) samples and different cultural groups examined (e.g., Chinese, Australian, Nigerian college students, Dutch adolescents [12, 15, 26, 29, 37, 42–44]. Moreover, to date, there has only been one nationwide survey assessing problematic (ie., addictive) social media use [11] that examined the associations between problematic social media use, narcissism, and self-esteem, and between problematic use of social media, attention-deficit/hyperactivity, obsessive-compulsiveness, anxiety, and depression on cross-sectional convenience sample of 23,532 Norwegians (although the sample was not nationally representative).

Furthermore, no studies have examined the prevalence of problematic social media use utilizing a representative adolescent sample. Furthermore, only a few studies exist concerning problematic social media use among adolescents (e.g., [29]). Previous studies have reported an increased popularity of social media use among adolescents [1–4, 6] and the increased number of adolescent social media users could explain the higher prevalence of problematic usage in this group [4, 6]. Consequently, the aim of the present study was twofold:

  1. To test the psychometric properties of the Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale (BSMAS) using a nationally representative (Hungarian) adolescent sample.
  2. To assess the prevalence of problematic social media use in a nationally representative adolescent sample.

Social Media: Mental Illness or Addiction?

While you might say that FoMO is an element of obsessive-compulsive or anxiety disorder rather than addiction, typical addict behaviors do include a difficulty in controlling the use of a substance, and withdrawal from said substance can result in anxiety, cravings, and feeling uncomfortable or antsy without access to their substance of choice (Nauert, 2010). One part of being a social media addict is the inability to stop checking social media sites throughout the day. A study on college students showed that 45% admitted to social media use 6-8 hours a day (Wang, Chen, & Liang, 2011). So are we dealing with addiction or mental illness? I would say a little bit of both. The addiction causes the symptoms of mental illness.

In a study by Rosen and colleagues in 2013, the main question that the researchers wanted to answer was, “Is Facebook creating ‘iDisorders?’” In their study, they tested whether the use of technology-related anxieties would predict clinical symptoms of six personality disorders and three mood disorders. Having more Facebook friends predicted clinical symptoms of Bipolar Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and Histrionic Personality Disorder. Also, an interesting find was that the anxiety of not being able to check Facebook is associated with antisocial and narcissistic traits.

Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, have created a major shift in the way people communicate with others online. If you’ve had a social media account, since you first heard about it, then you can probably attest to the transformation of social media communication styles over the years. It’s not the same as it once was.

A few different ways that individuals create negative outcomes within social media include:

  • Communicating thoughts and emotions across the board without much thought of consequence
  • Saying things that they wouldn’t normally say to anyone face-to-face, such as bullying and body-shaming behavior
  • Posting the amazing things going on in their lives, when truly they are hiding behind emotional pain
  • Sharing political and religious views that may be offensive to others
  • Giving way too much personal information for all eyes to see when the information should be intended for one close friend or trusted family member
  • Posting pictures of delicious meals everywhere they eat – we call these people “foodies”
  • Narcissistic behavior as evidenced by the “selfie”

Now you may be wondering if you are a social media addict. There are several social media addiction quizzes online, but I found one that seemed rather reputable.

Dr. James Roberts (2015) from Baylor University developed six specific features (salience, tolerance, euphoria, withdrawal, relapse, and conflict) and corresponding questions that identify social media addiction. Take the quiz to understand where your FoMO falls.

We all use social media, and it’s a helpful communication tool. The key is to find a healthy balance that empowers you, not takes away from you.

Written by Dr. Sonja Bethune, PsyD, Core Faculty in the Division of General Education.

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Are You Addicted To Social Media? Expert Offers Six Questions to Ask Yourself. (2016). Media Communications | Baylor University. Retrieved 22 August 2017, from https://www.baylor.edu/mediacommunications/news.php?action=story&story=174059

Nauert, R. (2010, April 23). College students ‘addicted’ to social media, Study finds. Live Science. Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/9888-college-students-addicted-social-media-study-finds.html

Pew Research Center. (2017, January 12). Social media fact sheet. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/social-media/

Rosen, L., Whaling, K., Rab, S., Carrier, L., & Cheever, N. (2013). Is Facebook creating ‘iDisorders’? The link between clinical symptoms of psychiatric disorders and technology use, attitudes and anxiety. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(3), 1243-1254.

Roberts, J. A. (2015). Too much of a good thing: Are you addicted to your smartphone?. Austin, TX: Sentia Publishing.

Tarsha, A. A. (2016). The role of existential therapy in the prevention of social media-driven anxiety. Existential Analysis, 27(2), 382-388.

Wang, Q., Chen, W., & Liang, Y. (2011). The effects of social media on college students. Johnson & Wales University, Providence, RI.


Seek Support

The first step is getting to know what this problem is then recognizing that you may have it. As with most other types of addiction, this one is not an easy habit to break. It’s best to get the support of your friends and family.

Many trained experts can help you deal with this kind of problem. With the increasing body of research about the topic, these professionals will be well equipped to help.

Can't imagine life without social media? Time to find out about the negative impact of social media on you and your peers.

Loraine has been writing for magazines, newspapers, and websites for 15 years. She has a master's in applied media technology and a keen interest in digital media, social media studies, and cybersecurity.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our newsletter for tech tips, reviews, free ebooks, and exclusive deals!


Social media use can be positive for mental health and well-being

January 6, 2020—Mesfin Awoke Bekalu, research scientist in the Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, discusses a new study he co-authored on associations between social media use and mental health and well-being.

What is healthy vs. potentially problematic social media use?

Our study has brought preliminary evidence to answer this question. Using a nationally representative sample, we assessed the association of two dimensions of social media use—how much it’s routinely used and how emotionally connected users are to the platforms—with three health-related outcomes: social well-being, positive mental health, and self-rated health.

We found that routine social media use—for example, using social media as part of everyday routine and responding to content that others share—is positively associated with all three health outcomes. Emotional connection to social media—for example, checking apps excessively out of fear of missing out, being disappointed about or feeling disconnected from friends when not logged into social media—is negatively associated with all three outcomes.

In more general terms, these findings suggest that as long as we are mindful users, routine use may not in itself be a problem. Indeed, it could be beneficial.

For those with unhealthy social media use, behavioral interventions may help. For example, programs that develop “effortful control” skills—the ability to self-regulate behavior—have been widely shown to be useful in dealing with problematic Internet and social media use.

We’re used to hearing that social media use is harmful to mental health and well-being, particularly for young people. Did it surprise you to find that it can have positive effects?

The findings go against what some might expect, which is intriguing. We know that having a strong social network is associated with positive mental health and well-being. Routine social media use may compensate for diminishing face-to-face social interactions in people’s busy lives. Social media may provide individuals with a platform that overcomes barriers of distance and time, allowing them to connect and reconnect with others and thereby expand and strengthen their in-person networks and interactions. Indeed, there is some empirical evidence supporting this.

On the other hand, a growing body of research has demonstrated that social media use is negatively associated with mental health and well-being, particularly among young people—for example, it may contribute to increased risk of depression and anxiety symptoms.

Our findings suggest that the ways that people are using social media may have more of an impact on their mental health and well-being than just the frequency and duration of their use.

What disparities did you find in the ways that social media use benefits and harms certain populations? What concerns does this raise?

My co-authors Rachel McCloud, Vish Viswanath, and I found that the benefits and harms associated with social media use varied across demographic, socioeconomic, and racial population sub-groups. Specifically, while the benefits were generally associated with younger age, better education, and being white, the harms were associated with older age, less education, and being a racial minority. Indeed, these findings are consistent with the body of work on communication inequalities and health disparities that our lab, the Viswanath lab, has documented over the past 15 or so years. We know that education, income, race, and ethnicity influence people’s access to, and ability to act on, health information from media, including the Internet. The concern is that social media may perpetuate those differences.


New study links celebrity worship to addictive and problematic social media use

People who are obsessed with celebrities are more likely to engage in addictive use of social media, according to new research from Eötvös Loránd University and Pázmány Péter Catholic University. The findings have been published in the journal Psychology of Popular Media.

“In the past few decades, a celebrity-fan relationship has been considered a one-sided, delusional emotional bond. Recently, social networking sites opened an avenue for a more direct, reciprocal communication between celebrities and their fans,” the authors of the study told PsyPost.

“Previous research suggests that individuals who admire celebrities have poor social skills and are at a greater risk of engaging in compulsive behaviors. Drawing on these findings, we were interested in exploring the connection between celebrity worship and social networking sites use habits. We assumed that celebrity worshippers may be more prone to become addicted to social media and pursue adverse friending practices (e.g., promiscuous friending) on social networking sites.”

The researchers surveyed 437 Hungarian adolescents and adults between 14 and 63 years of age regarding their social media habits, celebrity worship, and other factors. As expected, they found a link between celebrity worship and problematic social media use. In other words, participants who agreed with statements such as “I often feel compelled to learn the personal habits of my favorite celebrity” also tended to agree with statements such as “I have become restless or troubled if I have been prohibited from using social media.”

“Our findings suggest that individuals with an excessive admiration towards a celebrity are more likely to experience symptoms of problematic social networking sites use than those who are not so dedicated fans of their favorite celebrity. This result might indicate that some fans embed their favorite celebrity in their virtual social network in an attempt to bridge the gap between the desired fame, celebrity life and their own lives, hence reducing the discrepancy between the admired celebrity and their own selves,” the authors of the study explained.

“This process might maintain the psychological absorption with the favorite celebrity and can enhance the risk of addiction, according to the Absorption-Addiction Model proposed by McCutcheon and colleagues (2002). Our findings highlight the importance of identifying risky social networking sites use patterns in individuals with a tendency to become fascinated by celebrities in order to prevent them from developing an obsessive, deleterious admiration towards a celebrity.”


Social media use increases depression and loneliness

The link between the social-media use, depression, and loneliness has been talked about for years, but a causal connection had never been proven. For the first time, Penn research based on experimental data connects Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram use to decreased well-being. Psychologist Melissa G. Hunt published her findings in the December Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.

Few prior studies have attempted to show that social media use harms users’ well-being, and those that have either put participants in unrealistic situations or were limited in scope, asking them to completely forego Facebook and relying on self-report data, for example, or conducting the work in a lab in as little time as an hour.

“We set out to do a much more comprehensive, rigorous study that was also more ecologically valid,” says Hunt, associate director of clinical training in Penn’s Psychology Department.

To that end, the research team, which included recent alumni Rachel Marx and Courtney Lipson and Penn senior Jordyn Young, designed their experiment to include the three platforms most popular with a cohort of undergraduates and then collected objective usage data automatically tracked by iPhones for active apps, not those running the background.

Each of 143 participants completed a survey to determine mood and well-being at the study’s start, plus shared shots of their iPhone battery screens to offer a week’s worth of baseline social-media data. Participants were then randomly assigned to a control group, which had users maintain their typical social-media behavior, or an experimental group that limited time on Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram to 10 minutes per platform per day.

For the next three weeks, participants shared iPhone battery screenshots to give the researchers weekly tallies for each individual. With those data in hand, Hunt then looked at seven outcome measures including fear of missing out, anxiety, depression, and loneliness.

“Here’s the bottom line,” she says. “Using less social media than you normally would leads to significant decreases in both depression and loneliness. These effects are particularly pronounced for folks who were more depressed when they came into the study.”

Hunt stresses that the findings do not suggest that 18- to 22-year-olds should stop using social media altogether. In fact, she built the study as she did to stay away from what she considers an unrealistic goal. The work does, however, speak to the idea of limiting screen time on these apps.

“It is a little ironic that reducing your use of social media actually makes you feel less lonely,” she says. But when she digs a little deeper, the findings make sense. “Some of the existing literature on social media suggests there’s an enormous amount of social comparison that happens. When you look at other people’s lives, particularly on Instagram, it’s easy to conclude that everyone else’s life is cooler or better than yours.”

Because this particular work only looked at Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, it’s not clear whether it applies broadly to other social media platforms. Hunt also hesitates to say that these findings would replicate for other age groups or in different settings. Those are questions she still hopes to answer, including in an upcoming study about the use of dating apps by college students.

Despite those caveats, and although the study didn’t determine the optimal time users should spend on these platforms or the best way to use them, Hunt says the findings do offer two related conclusions it couldn’t hurt any social-media user to follow.

For one, reduce opportunities for social comparison, she says. “When you’re not busy getting sucked into clickbait social media, you’re actually spending more time on things that are more likely to make you feel better about your life.” Secondly, she adds, because these tools are here to stay, it’s incumbent on society to figure out how to use them in a way that limits damaging effects. “In general, I would say, put your phone down and be with the people in your life.”

Melissa G. Hunt is the associate director of clinical training in the Department of Psychology in the School of Arts and Sciences at Penn.


Taking back control

How can we benefit from social networking sites without being consumed by them?Companies could redesign their sites to mitigate the risk of addiction. They could use opt-out default settings for features that encourage addiction and make it easier for people to self-regulate their usage. However, some claim that asking tech firms &ldquoto be less good at what they do feels like a ridiculous ask&rdquo. So government regulation may be needed, perhaps similar to that used with the tobacco industry.

Users could also consider whether personal reasons are making them vulnerable to problematic use. Factors that predict excessive use include an increased tendency to experience negative emotions, being unable to cope well with everyday problems, a need for self-promotion, loneliness and fear of missing out. These factors will, of course, not apply to everyone.

Finally, users could empower themselves. It is already possible to limit time on these sites using apps such as Freedom, Moment and StayFocusd. The majority of Facebook users have voluntarily taken a break from Facebook, though this can be hard.

&ldquoI am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul,&rdquo run the famous lines from Invictus. Sadly, future generations may find them incomprehensible.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)

Simon McCarthy-Jones is an Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology, Trinity College Dublin.


Excessive Social Media Use Comparable to Drug Addiction

Sherri Gordon is a published author and a bullying prevention expert.

Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Social media originated as a way for people to connect with family and friends, even if they were thousands of miles apart. But over the years, it has transformed. Now, social media is used in a variety of different ways and a lot more frequently. For instance, businesses, non-profit organizations, and even politicians use it as a way to reach a very targeted market.

Meanwhile, teens and young adults use social media as a virtual scrapbook to document every detail of their life as they are living it. There are even "influencers" with large social media followings, that use their following as a way to promote a product, service, or group through social media and gain support for it. Social media is even a valuable resource for and a means of connecting isolated populations with other parts of the world.

In many ways, social media has enriched our lives by connecting and inspiring people. But there is a dark side as well. Aside from all the negative posts on social media, the cyberbullying, and the FOMO (fear of missing out) that exists, recent studies indicate that excessive social media use not only leads to poor decision-making, but people who use social media incessantly often have attitudes, thoughts, and behaviors that mimic those of a drug addict.


Watch the video: Jade Morris General Paper Final Social Media (June 2022).


Comments:

  1. Chlodwig

    There is something in this. Thank you for your help in this matter, the simpler the better ...

  2. Duran

    I apologize, but in my opinion you are wrong. Write to me in PM, we will discuss.

  3. Balmoral

    Wonderful, very funny message



Write a message