Due to the massive development of communication technologies, various aspects concerned with social sciences need to be redefined and renegotiated. The subject of psychology is one of these social sciences. The development of new sites of interaction has resulted in diverse elements manipulating the construction of social relations. This literature review is about social media addictions and its implications for future interventions, the physical consequences and its psychological effect on people. We shall also discuss the solutions to this issue. In this study, we shall give the comparative opinions about this issue of social media addiction as a psychological disorder.
Social media, Psychology, Social Network, Social Media Addiction
What is social media addiction and what are the implications for future interventions?
What are the physical and psychological consequences on people?
What are the solutions to social media addiction?
Social media addiction is referred by most scholars as a psychological condition which has affected many people all over the world (Ferraro & Blasi, 2006). Internet addiction is the major cause of this condition. Addiction signs of social media include low self-esteem, lack of sleep and solitude. These effects are caused by spending the most time in the social media and social networks. Some of the effective ways of solving early addictions to social media include spending worth time with family and friends. Social media addiction resources differ in various ways.
However most of the family support is necessary for helping the addict, mostly psychologists are believed to give great help.
In today’s world, social networking is an everyday life and for most people, computers, and internet enabled phones are essential on a daily basis. This has caused most of the users t
become internet abusers (Young, 2009). In addition, most social environs are equipped with WI-FI services and sometimes it is free. With the developed technology, people do not have to carry laptops to places with Wi-Fi or internet connection to access the internet, nowadays phones can provide this access. People can use the phone to do everything that a laptop can do. This has increased the rates of social media addiction up to 28% users globally (Young, 2009). In addition, 18% of internet users prefer connecting with their friends and families through the social media such as cell phones and desktops. They do not hang out with friends anymore.
However, according to Song et al. (2004), this number is too small compared to the total users of the social media in the world concluding that solitude leads to spending more time on the internet thus causing addiction. Song argues that the use of the internet is optional and most people who spend a lot of time on the internet do it majorly because they are already alone and idle.
According to Whang & Chang (2003), most people become more addicted to social media as it is very popular all over among elders, youths and sometimes teens; it is entertaining and easy to access. According to him, access to social media sites is for the purpose of connection with friends and families who are far off and to connect with old lost friends. Griffiths (2000) also argues that using the social media for such purposes cannot cause addiction at any cost. However, on the other hand, (Young, 2009) argues that gradual usage of social media for any purpose, be
it connecting with friends or work can cause addiction and that this usage sooner becomes a problem the moment it starts to interfere with the person’s daily activities.
Social Media Addiction
Pamaoukaghion (2005-2010) states that Social Media Addiction was initially regarded as an international psychological condition with the main course as the internet usage. As per Young (2009), usage of the social media can be linked to consumption of alcohol and other drinks where one gets addicted due to regular usage. The addiction to social media is majorly initiated by internet obsession. People started by exploring the internet and then began connecting to social sites and through that people moved to social media addiction from internet addiction. Addiction to social networks causes numerous problems such as with work, friends, and family. Pamaoukaghion (2005-2010) says that the most famous social media site is the Facebook which has the largest number of addiction. According to him, there are several intensities of social media addiction including emotional self-esteem and social problems or rather loneliness. Pamaoukaghion in his University of Athens study gives an example of a woman who lost her job due to her engagement in social networks during work hours. According to him, this was a sign of addiction.
Nevertheless, according to Griffiths (2000), social addiction does not cause low self-esteem but the case is vice versa that low self-esteem causes addition to social media. This is because people who are solitudes have unstable social exposure and their relations with others are not well developed. These kinds of people are regarded to have psychosocial disorders that might be caused by reasons such as pain, loss of beloved ones or depression
(Boyd, 2014). They thus prefer using the social media as a method of consolation. They find themselves using the social media during most of their free time as interacting physically with people is a problem to them. With time they form an addiction to the social media because it is the only ‘friend’ and fun thing that they can do leading to serious addictions. Such addiction for solitude people may develop and cause sleeping problems. According to Boyd (2014), such people spend most of the lonely moments especially night times chatting with strangers just to make themselves feel better and comforted.
Cheever (2009) outlines the symptoms that show that a person has the social media addiction disorder. These include losing sleep due spending much time on the social media networks, ignoring work, school, and other daily activities, one getting depressed after spending short time without accessing social networks and finally spending more than sixty minutes in the social media. According to him ignoring work and daily activities is a major symptom of addiction to social media networks. This person may start missing work, school and other important events and activities.
However, according to Hardie (2007), these symptoms and all this information are totally normal for a person’s daily living. Hardie finds it normal to show such signs and that it is not due to social media addiction. According to him, increased use of the social media is connected to high intensities of solitude life and low intensities of social engagement. This implies that people who suffer from social disconnection and emotional distress have an increased tendency of getting addicted to social media networks (O'Keeffe & Clarke-Pearson, 2011).
It might be a personality condition that interacting physically with other people socially is hard to them.
On the other hand, LaRose, & Eastin (2003) also contradicts with Cheever (2009) by claiming that most people who are social media addicts feel insecure when communicating with other people face to face. These people feel socially intimidated and thus prefer communicating via the social networks because they feel it is more comfortable and readily available.
According to research conducted by Cabral (2008) on college and high school students, most take social media addiction as a hobby and not a psychological condition as Pamaoukaghion (2005-2010) calls it. Most of them use it for fun and games and embrace the addiction by trying to balance with their studies. According to the research, students use social media and social networks as the easiest way of connecting friends. To them, most social networks are a new fashion to define them and to communicate with peers instead of using the school personal emails. In the study, 85% of the respondents answered that they used media sites as a hobby (Cabral, 2008). They suggested that people who are addicted to social media should not see it as a disorder but rather should control the behavior and set a limit gradually.
However, most of them knew that they were addicted to social media; they did not take it as a serious issue. To most of them, it does not cause any healthy issues to them. Out of ten addicted students who were interviewed only three were willing to fix their addiction to social media. Despite being social media addicts, the rest were not interested in fixing their
addiction. They cared so much on social engagements and their social sites.
According to Cheever (2007), solutions to the psychological condition of social media addiction include interacting and spending time with family and friends, avoiding places with free internet connection and also visiting a psychologist. In addition parents and guardians should be keen in noting any addictions in their children and especially teens whose rate of social media addiction is highly increasing every day (Boyd, 2014). Appropriate approaches should be taken to help such people reduce the addiction. Cheever emphases on being supportive to addicted people so that they can feel confident and stronger in controlling their addiction. Apart from spending the most time with family and friends, one can set a limit for themselves and reward themselves if they meet the goal. This is a motivating strategy that most people will adopt. Finally, addicts should try and stay offline and become mature by avoiding some social networks.
Conclusion & Summary
Addiction to social media and social networks is a psychological disorder which has affected most people in the world with internet addiction being the major cause. The symptoms of this disorder are easy to determine and recognize. The addicted people recognize the addiction first but most of them ignore as they do not see social addiction as a psychological disorder. Most addicts of this disorder are those that have issues with social engagement, social insecurities and those that think that it is a hobby when it is actually an addiction. Some of the solutions to this disorder are spending time with friends, family, engaging in sports and limiting yourself on internet usage. The recommendation to this literature
review study is for people to learn how to manage the usage of internet and reduce visiting social networks. Social media addictions are a phenomenon that is on the increase as technology continues to develop.
- Boyd, D. (2014). It's complicated: The social lives of networked teens. Yale University Press.
- Cabral, J. (2008). Is generation Y addicted to social media. Future of Children, 18, 125.
- Cheever, J. (2009). Signs of addition to online social networking. February Thursday, 2011, from Life 123 answers at the speed of life:
- http://www.life123.com/parenting/tweens teens/social-networking/online-social-networking.shtml
- Ferraro, G., Caci, B., D'amico, A., & Blasi, M. D. (2006). Internet addiction disorder: an Italian study. Cyber Psychology & Behavior, 10(2), 170-175.
Griffiths, M. (2000). Does Internet and computer" addiction" exist? Some case study evidence. Cyber Psychology and Behavior, 3(2), 211-218.
- Hardie, E., Tee, M. (2007)Excessive Internet Use: The role of personality, loneliness, and social support networks in internet networking.
- Australian Journal of Emerging Technologies and Society. Vol 5. No. 1 pp.34-47.
- Holbova, P. Academic procrastination on Facebook. Masaryk University, Czech Republic.
- LaRose, R., Lin, C. A., & Eastin, M. S. (2003). Unregulated Internet usage: Addiction, habit, or deficient self-regulation?. Media Psychology, 5(3), 225-253.
- O'Keeffe, G. S., & Clarke-Pearson, K. (2011). The impact of social media on children, adolescents, and families. Pediatrics, 127(4), 800-804.
Pamoukaghion, MA Veronica (2005-2010) Social Network Addiction-A scientific No Man;s Land? . Topics from Multidimensional Bio psychosocial Perspectives.
- Song, I., Larose, R., Eastin, M. S., & Lin, C. A. (2004). Internet gratifications and Internet addiction: On the uses and abuses of new media.
- Cyber Psychology & Behavior, 7(4), 384-394
- Whang, L. S. M., Lee, S., & Chang, G. (2003). Internet over-users' psychological profiles: behavior sampling analysis on internet addiction.
- Cyber Psychology & Behavior, 6(2), 143-150
- YOUNG, K. (1998). Internet
Addiction: The Emergence of a New Clinical Disorder CyberPsychology & Behavior, 1 (3), 237-244 DOI: 10.1089/cpb.1998.1.237
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