Social Networking Addiction – Is Excessive Use of the Internet and Social Media a Behavioural Addiction?

Posted on:October 22, 2021
Last Updated: October 22, 2021
Time to read: 7 minutes

Accessing the internet in locations other than at home or work has increased society’s connectivity. For many, the benefits outweigh the risks; however, as many as one-third of online users would like to reduce their time online or feel the need to go on a so-called ‘digital sabbatical’. [Ofcom, 2018]

  • In Western countries, 98% of 16 to 24-year olds are online, and adult internet users spend 1 day per week online. [Ofcom, 2018]
  • Of this time spent online, Facebook (the most popular social networking site [SNS]) commands approximately 20 minutes of every day, with up to 20% of adolescents using social media as a whole for at least 5 hours per day. [Scott et al., 2019]

So, is excessive use of the internet and social media a behavioural addiction? Symptoms of social media addiction have been reported to be similar to substance abuse disorders, i.e. social anxiety, depression and the exhibition of withdrawal symptoms. [Banyai et al., 2017]

Problematic social media use can have adverse outcomes on academic and work performance as well as interpersonal relationships.

We previously covered the similarity between substance addiction and internet addiction. 

Social or Antisocial Media? The Silence Before the Storm

References

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