Author: Charles Frank

Is Social Media Addictive? Heres What the Science Says The New York Times

what is social media addiction

Social media addiction is an unhealthy dependence on interactive platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Like most dependencies, social media addiction manifests as overuse and difficulty in abstaining. All participants completed a set of questionnaires that was constructed and launched through a web-based survey tool, Qualtrics (Qualtrics International Incorporation). The research protocol of this study followed those adopted in previous web-based surveys [29,52].

what is social media addiction

DThis analysis was conducted at the item level with a cutoff score of 4. Among the classification schemes, the polythetic scheme is more well-balanced across all 4 indices. The pros of social media are often centered on its ability to connect people and build relationships. Despite its downsides, mindful use of social media can benefit many and help people avoid the various effects of social media addiction. When social media use becomes a priority for a person, responsibilities are neglected and real-life relationships are ignored in favor of social media platforms.

When they see thin people online portrayed as the ideal of beauty, it might exacerbate their negative feelings. If she sees everyone else enjoying the party on someone else’s Instagram page, this can trigger FOMO, or fear of missing out. Creators of social media platforms consider these factors when creating their algorithms and systems for online interactions. They count on users continuing to come back for more to get those hits of dopamine.

Evaluation of Classification Schemes for Social Media Addiction

As social media is a major channel of interpersonal communication in the digital age, social media addiction has emerged as a novel mental health issue that has raised considerable concerns among researchers, health professionals, policy makers, mass media, and the general public. The effects of social media addiction and its negative repercussions are listed below. There’s no such thing as an official diagnosis of “social media addiction.” But social media overuse is increasingly commonplace today, and it may have some serious repercussions to your physical and mental health. When a person receives certain social media notifications, such as a like, retweet, or comment, the brain may increase dopamine levels.

what is social media addiction

Whether you have social media addiction or are just on your apps more than you need to be, the good news is there are ways you can help decrease your overall use. However, there are negative effects to consider when overusing social media. In some cases, social media can be a welcome distraction if you’re isolated due to work or an illness. The more you engage, the more your brain will tell you that this is an activity that can help reduce loneliness (which may not necessarily be the case, actually).

Heterogeneity of Prevalence of Social Media Addiction Across Multiple Classification Schemes: Latent Profile Analysis

These 2 schemes may be too conservative, such that a large proportion of individuals with probable social media addiction are excluded from further assessment or follow-ups. In contrast, despite having slightly lower sensitivity than the other schemes, the polythetic scheme appears to have a more balanced performance across all psychometric indicators. As precise case classification is crucial for appropriate referral to tailored intervention, a better understanding of how well a screening instrument function using different scoring methods becomes important.

  1. Facebook algorithms are also designed to keep the user on the platform, for example by calculating time periods when a user is most likely to leave and delivering notifications at that point.
  2. When they see thin people online portrayed as the ideal of beauty, it might exacerbate their negative feelings.
  3. Individuals with social media addiction may experience negative psychological and physical symptoms.
  4. As shown in this study, such discrepancies can be as large as 10% to 15% (eg, using polythetic vs strict monothetic schemes).

As shown in the middle panel of Table 6, the risk of probable depression or anxiety was about 3 to 9 times higher for the mood modification, withdrawal, and conflict criteria for both the UK and the US samples when a high cutoff of 4 was applied. The aim of this study is to examine the prevalence of social media addiction derived from 4 major classification schemes (strict monothetic, strict polythetic, monothetic, and polythetic), with latent profiles embedded in the empirical data adopted as the benchmark for comparison. The extent of matching between the classification of each scheme and the actual data pattern was evaluated using sensitivity and specificity analyses.

The latent profiles identified in the LPA were then mapped onto existing classification schemes using sensitivity and specificity analyses [60]. A total of 4 indices—sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value—were examined (the Evaluation of Classification Schemes for Social Media Addiction subsection and Figure 1). In addition, an index of overall consistency was reported to indicate the percentage of overlap in group membership between the latent profiles and high-versus-low-risk groups classified by a particular scheme. Validated measures of social media addiction have been widely used as screening tools for distinguishing individuals with and without the problem [22,23].

What to know about social media addiction

Both monothetic and polythetic formats have been adopted to yield prevalence estimates and to screen cases [24,25], because these schemes have long been used in case classifications of psychiatric disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) [17,26,27]. The classical monothetic classification is generally regarded as more conservative because a positive diagnosis requires the endorsement of all the listed criteria [28]. For polythetic classification, however, no single criterion is required to make a diagnosis. The polythetic classification is more liberal than the monothetic classification because a positive diagnosis requires the endorsement of more than half of the listed criteria rather than all; therefore, individuals with the same classification may have different clinical presentations. Polythetic classification is commonly used in a variety of clinical diagnoses, including gambling disorder and substance abuse [17,27].

CThe low-risk and at-risk groups were coded as 0, and the high-risk group was coded as 1. BThe low-risk and at-risk groups were coded as 0, and the high-risk group was coded as 1.

We are a law firm based near Seattle, WA comprised of lawyers who have spent their entire careers representing victims who have been harmed by dangerous products. We start to become more independent, and we care more about what our peers think. Social media platforms now attract people from all age groups and walks of life. Unfortunately, young people are often the most at risk of developing social media addiction. Pew Research found that over a third of U.S. teens say they spend too much time on social media, and the majority of teens who report using social media almost constantly say it would be hard to give up the platforms. In the past, Facebook has even admitted in internal documents that its social media app has negatively impacted 360 million users.

The Diamond Rehab Thailand was born out of a desire to help people recover from addiction in a safe, low-stress environment. Thus, as the feel-good dopamine wears off, you’ll go back to the source (in this case, social media) for more. While social media can seem like mindless and relaxing fun, it actually has a significant effect on your brain. Whether you use social media to connect with friends and loved ones, watch videos, or simply “kill time,” the popularity of this pastime has increased significantly over the last decade. While social media first started as a way to connect with friends and family, it’s since evolved into a coveted hobby used by all age groups. If you find yourself losing several minutes (or even hours) at a time after using social media, you’re not alone.

A 2020 systematic review suggests a link between social media use and the development of mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety. This may occur because increased social media use may lead to sleep problems, lack of exercise, and peer pressure. In a 2020 paper in Business Ethics Quarterly, the authors pointed out that those who design social media platforms benefit from people with social media addiction and may intentionally design these platforms to be addictive.

In a 2019 survey, 40% of individuals in the United States aged 18–22 years reported that they felt addicted to social media. The Social Media Victims Law Center (SMVLC) works to hold social media companies legally accountable for the harm they inflict on vulnerable users. SMVLC seeks to get social media companies to elevate consumer safety to the forefront of their economic analysis and design safer platforms that protect users from foreseeable harm.

For the UK sample, the risk of probable depression or anxiety was about 3 to 8 times higher in the high-risk group by various schemes than in the low-to-at-risk group. Similarly, for the US sample, the risk of having any of these mental health problems was about 3 to 15 times higher for the high-risk (vs no-to-low-risk) group identified by various schemes. Although social media addiction is not currently a diagnosable condition, researchers have constructed measures of social media addiction based on the diagnostic criteria for other behavioral addictions such as gambling disorder [16,17].