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Psychology of Social Media: From Technology to Identity

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Psychology of Social Media: From Technology to Identity

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From a psychosocial viewpoint social networks can be defined as “digital spaces” allowing users to manage both their network of social relationships (organization, extension, exploration and comparison) and their social identity (description and definition). Moreover, social networks allow the creation of hybrid social networks, at the same time constituted by virtual connections and real connections giving rise to ‘interreality’, a new social space, more malleable and dynamic than preceding social networks. The hybrid nature - both virtual and real - that characterises the social networks leads them to have two faces, made explicit with the following three paradoxes: If it is possible to effectively use social networks to change our social identity (impression management) it is also true that external intervention can more easily modify the way in which the other members of the network receive our identity (reputation management);If in the social network it is easier to decide how and what features to emphasize within the social identity (personal branding), it is also true that following the traces left by different virtual identities it is easier for others to rebuild our real identity (privacy management). If the social networks, without making any distinction between strong bonds (close friends) and weak ones (acquaintances), enable us to manage with limited effort weak ties facilitating enlargement of the social network, at the same time the lack of difference may make us behave with weak ties alike with strong ties (disappearance of the division of social roles) with all the problems of this situation. In conclusion, if social networks are used by mature people responsibly they provide an excellent opportunity to interact socially, improve their interpersonal relationships, and even conduct business. On the contrary, when used in an irresponsible way by people who are too young they can cause problems and difficulties that in some cases even time cannot erase.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Giuseppe Riva, Brenda K. Wiederhold,
Pietro Cipresso (Eds.)
The Psychology
ofSocial
Networking:
Personal Experience inOnline Communities
Managing Editor: Aneta Przepiórka
Giuseppe Riva, Brenda K. Wiederhold, Pietro Cipresso
1 Psychology Of Social Media: From
Technology To Identity
Abstract: From a psychosocial viewpoint social networks can be defined as “digital
spaces” allowing users to manage both their network of social relationships
(organization, extension, exploration and comparison) and their social identity
(description and definition). Moreover, social networks allow the creation of hybrid
social networks, at the same time constituted by virtual connections and real
connections giving rise to ‘interreality’, a new social space, more malleable and
dynamic than preceding social networks.
The hybrid nature - both virtual and real - that characterises the social networks leads
them to have two faces, made explicit with the following three paradoxes:
If it is possible to effectively use social networks to change our social identity
(impression management) it is also true that external intervention can more easily
modify the way in which the other members of the network receive our identity
(reputation management);
If in the social network it is easier to decide how and what features to emphasize
within the social identity (personal branding), it is also true that following the traces
left by different virtual identities it is easier for others to rebuild our real identity
(privacy management).
3. If the social networks, without making any distinction between strong bonds (close
friends) and weak ones (acquaintances), enable us to manage with limited effort
weak ties facilitating enlargement of the social network, at the same time the lack of
difference may make us behave with weak ties alike with strong ties (disappearance
of the division of social roles) with all the problems of this situation.
In conclusion, if social networks are used by mature people responsibly they provide
an excellent opportunity to interact socially, improve their interpersonal relationships,
and even conduct business. On the contrary, when used in an irresponsible way by
people who are too young it can cause problems and difficulties that in some cases
even time cannot erase.
1.1 The social media sites as digital places
Today, everyone knows what Facebook is - a social network. But what is a social
network? There are three characteristics (Boyd & Ellison, 2007) to characterize a
social network from an operational point of view:
The opportunities offered by Social Networks  5
1. The presence of a “virtual space” (forum), in which a user can create and present
their own profile. The profile must be accessible, at least in partial form, to all
users of the space.
2. The possibility to create a list of other users (network) with which one can get in
touch and communicate.
3. The possibility to analyze the characteristics of the network, in particular, the
connections of other users.
Thanks to these characteristics social networks are different from previous media in
terms of two opportunities. The first is the ability to make visible and usable their
own social networks. In fact, through them one can identify personal, social and
professional opportunities that aren’t otherwise immediately apparent (Ellison, 2007).
The second one is impression management, the possibility to decide how to
present yourself to the people who make up the network (Krämer & Winter, 2008).
On the basis of these opportunities we can define the social network from a
psychosocial point of view (Riva, 2010; Riva & Galimberti, 1998) as a “digital space”
that allows users to manage both their social network (organization, extension,
exploration and comparison) and their social identity (description and definition).
1.2 The opportunities offered by Social Networks
Why should we use social networks? The answer to this question is not trivial.
As pointed out by American psychologists Prochaska and DiClemente (1982)
subjects only change if forced or if the change represents a significant opportunity
(affordance). More, research by American sociologist Everett Rogers underlines that
every technological innovation requires a long and complex process characterized by
different stages of adoption (Rogers, 2003):
1. Phase of awareness. Individuals discover the existence of a technological
innovation but lack of complete information about it. At this stage there are just
the “innovators” to adopt the technology, subjects with a high capacity to deal
with uncertainty combined with the expertise required to address the technical
and economic aspects;
2. Phase of interest. An interest for the innovation arises in individuals that leads
to information seeking. At this stage of adopting the technology there are only
“pioneers” (early adopters), subjects integrated into the social network where
they play the role of an opinion leader willing to accept the innovation if they see
an advantage;
3. Phase of evaluation. Individuals are able to understand the possible effects of
the innovation on their present situation and the future. At this stage, adopting
the technology is done by an “early majority”; subjects are often in leadership
6  Psychology Of Social Media: From Technology To Identity
positions who adopt a new idea only after having carefully considering the
advantages and disadvantages;
4. Phase of trial. Individuals begin trying the innovation to verify directly its utility.
At this stage, adopting the technology is done by the “late majority”, subjects
are normally skeptical, traditionally-minded with a low economic status,
approaching the innovation because of the social pressure of peers;
5. Phase of adoption. Individuals decide to make full use of the innovation. At this
stage, adopting the technology is done by the “laggards” - isolated, suspicious
individuals with reduced social relationships (only neighbors or relatives) that
are slow in making decisions and have limited resources.
In general, the model of Rogers points out that, regardless of the specific characteristics
of a technology, the concept of “opportunity” (affordance) is crucial in order to assess
the potential impact of the social network.
The concept of opportunity was originally introduced by Gibson, a cognitive
psychologist (Gibson, 1979): an opportunity is a resource that the environment “offers”
to a person who is able to seize it. According to Gibson, each object or environment
is characterized by a set of properties that support a particular type of action and not
others. Therefore, the opportunity may be considered as a kind of ‘invitation’ of the
environment to be used in a certain way. For example, a level and smooth ground
offers an opportunity to walk on it while this is not the case with a vertical wall.
In fact, according to Mantovani (1995) and Norman (1999), the relationship
between a subject and opportunity is the result of an interpretation related to the
context and culture, in which the person is a part. In practice, the individual may
choose based on their own goals the type of property more useful to them from those
that the social network has to offer. The level of utility depends not only on the type
of objective, the physical structure of the medium (direct affordance), meanings and
practices (mediated affordance) associated with the medium but also on the context
in which it is placed. However, it should be emphasized that the opportunities are not
all the same but vary in importance depending on the specific need which they refer
to. In this regard, one of the most interesting contributions to this discussion is the
analysis of the American psychologist Abraham Maslow (1987).
According to Maslow, the different needs that each of us experiences are not
isolated and self-contained, but they tend to be arranged in a hierarchy of importance
(see Figure 1.1):
1. Physiological needs: basic needs associated with survival.
2. Safety needs: ensure protection and tranquility to the individual.
3. Associative needs: the need to feel part of a group, to be loved and to love and
cooperate with others.
4. Needs for self-esteem: the need to be respected, appreciated and approved, to feel
competent and productive.
The opportunities offered by Social Networks  7
5. Needs for self-realisation: the need for realising one’s own identity and fulfilling
one’s own expectations as well as taking a satisfactory position in their own
group.
Figure 1.1 Maslows’s hierarchy of needs
Characterizing the hierarchy of needs is a fundamental property: in order to have a
desire to meet the present needs at the highest level of the scale, the individual must
first meet those needs located at lower levels. This means, for example, that I don’t feel
the desire to be part of a group unless I have solved problems related to my survival
beforehand.
In other words, if I’m on a certain step of the ladder of needs it will be the
achievement of that goal (satisfaction of that need) to push me into action, nothing
else (Inghilleri, Riva, & Riva, 2015). This means that the opportunity level is closely
related to the characteristics of the subject, and in particular, to the need that initiates
action.
At this point the question arises: to what degree does the social network meet
these needs? To answer this question let us examine a set of examples.
Alessandra is a person who likes to know everything that happens to the people
in her social network. As soon as she finds out that Paula has posted online a photo
of her evening with Andrea she rushes to look and comment on them with Silvana.
8  Psychology Of Social Media: From Technology To Identity
Paolo is the type of person who likes letting all of her friends know what she
is doing. Her Twitter page is updated every thirty minutes and full of messages
such as “... I have just arrived from Rome” and photos of the various monuments
photographed en route from the Piazza di Spagna to Termini railway station.
Marco is a manager of a large publishing company. He began posting on Twitter
for fun using a style somewhere between ironic and professional. He is now followed
by over hundred thousand users, making him one of the most popular Italians on the
social network. Each week, he checks his ranking position on TwitterCounter (http://
www.twittercounter.com) to see if he can get into the top one thousand most followed
Twitter users in the world.
Daniela is a director of an association that offers support to those who have
chronic alcohol addiction. Through her contact on social networks you can get help,
even anonymously, and advice for addressing the problem.
Not only do Alessandra, Paolo, Marco and Daniela all differ in their use of social
networking, but their reasons for using social networks also vary considerably.
However, referring to their experience we can say that social networks can help its
users meet the needs of the following categories:
1. Safety needs: In a social network the people I communicate with are just “friends”
and not strangers. I can choose who a “friend” is, control what they tell about
themselves and comment on it.
2. Associative needs: With these “friends” I can communicate and exchange ideas,
resource applications. If needed, I can even look for a soulmate.
3. Need to estimate: I can choose the “friends”, but others also can do it. Therefore,
if many chose me as a “friend” then “I am worthwhile”
4. Need for self-realization: I can display myself (who I am and what I do) as I want,
and I can use my skills to help some of my “friends” who listen to me.
Thanks to these possibilities, you can use social networks to meet two very different
needs (Figure 1.2): social support and self-expression.
In fact, through the social network the digital native can develop both their own
identity and their understanding of others (Riva, 2010). At the same time one can
look for support or offer it. Furthermore, the social network is able to accompany the
digital native in their own development. If a preteen uses the social network to stay
in touch with their friends, then they can also use it to find new friends, later create
professional contacts, and finally express themselves and fulfill their aspirations.
But the attraction towards social networks cannot be only explained by their ability
to offer opportunities for its users. A number of studies conducted by psychologists
of IULM and the Catholic University of Milan (Mauri, Cipresso, Balgera, Villamira,
& Riva, 2011; Mauri et al., 2010) have shown social networks to have the capacity to
produce the “optimal experience” defined as ‘flow’, capable of providing an intrinsic
reward to their users (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990, 1997). As Dan Pink (2009) recently
pointed out: the ability to be a rewarding experience, regardless of the reasons, is the
The opportunities offered by Social Networks  9
most effective form of motivation, the joy of the task becomes the main reward that
drives the person to repeat it.
Figure 1.2 The needs met by a social network (Riva, 2012)
The research carried out by Wilson and colleagues (2010) has also shown that unlike
other forms of mediated communication - the Internet, chat rooms and blogs, the
user’s personality traits are poorly correlated (explaining only 9% of the variance)
to the frequency of using the social networks. This confirms that the main reasons
pushing users to use social networks are, on the one hand, the possibility of finding
the relevant opportunities in them, and on the other - a chance to get the best
experience through them.
As such, it is possible to consider the social network as a social hybrid - the
“interreality” (Riva, Raspelli, Algeri, et al., 2010; Riva, Raspelli, Pallavicini, et al.,
2010; van Kokswijk, 2003) which allows the virtual to enter our real world and vice
versa, giving all of us a powerful tool to create and/or modify our social experience.
And thanks to the interreality we can use social networks either as a tool of support
for our social net (organisation and extension),as a tool to express our social identity
(description and definition) or as a tool to analyse the social identity of others
(exploration and comparison).
10  Psychology Of Social Media: From Technology To Identity
1.3 From Social Media to Identity and back: The paradoxes of
digital identities
The concept of “digital place” highlights how the social network is a hybrid of the
social space since it is comprised of virtual links and real connections. This allows
for the control and alteration of social experience and social identity in a manner
completely different from before. Indeed, the nature of social networks as both
providing opportunities and causing problems can be seen in three paradoxes
which characterize social relationships through social networks(Aditi, 2014; Billedo,
Kerkhof, & Finkenauer, 2015; Riva, 2012):
1. If it is possible to effectively use social networks to change our social identity
(impression management) it is also true that external intervention can more
easily modify the way in which the other members of the network receive our
identity (reputation management);
2. If in the social network it is easier to decide how and what features to emphasize
the social identity (personal branding) it is also true that by following the traces
left by different virtual identities it is easier for others to rebuild our real identity
(privacy management).
3. 3. If the social networks, without making any distinction between strong bonds
(close friends) and weak ones (acquaintances), enable us to manage with limited
effort weak ties facilitating enlargement of the social network, at the same time
the lack of difference may make us behave with weak ties alike with strong ties
(disappearance of the division of social roles) with all the problems of this case.
Let us examine the characteristics of these paradoxes in more detail.
1.3.1 The first paradox of the social network
One of the elements that characterize computer-mediated communication, and
therefore, communication within social networks, is the absence of the physical body
and the meanings that this brings. In face-to-face interaction the body is the subject.
From facial expressions to gesticulations, every gesture reflects the subject and is
observable to others within the vicinity. For example, I immediately understand that
my friend Andrea wants her coffee sweeter just by seeing her hand moving towards
the sugar bowl.
On the contrary, in social networks the physicality and immediacy of a real body
is replaced by a virtual body consisting of a number of partial images and context:
a disembodied head, a torso and legs in a bathing suit, and so on. In practice, the
subject turns to their partners for what they communicate. In other words, in the
social network the person can organize their presentation in a ‘strategic’ manner in
order to convey an accurate self-image (Krämer & Winter, 2008).
From Social Media to Identity and back: The paradoxes of digital identities  11
However, the rules of social networks also allow other members of our network to
be able to intervene in our social identity. And this can be done indirectly by posting
a comment on the bulletin board or indirectly through the use of tagging, a feature of
social networks with which you can associate a friend without their consentthrough
a picture they is on or a text note referring to them. This can lead to unexpected
changes in their social identity: the photo where I drink a bottle of vodka along with
other friends at a party can transform me from a good boy into an inveterate alcoholic
(Madden, 2012).
1.3.2 The second paradox of social networks
The majority of social network users don’t only have a Facebook profile. In many
cases, the same person can be on many different social networks - Facebook for daily
relationships, LinkedIn for professional ones, Twitter to convey thoughts and ideas in
real time, FourSquare to know where one’s close friends are, and so on. In practice,
participation in different social networks and the choice of what to post on each one
becomes an advanced form of social identity management that can be called “personal
branding” (Clark, 2013; Smith, 2009). Due to personal branding and the ability to
bring out within the various social network elements that characterize the network
itself, it becomes possible for users to promote themselves and their reputation within
these networks with effective results both at the relational and professional levels
(Wee & Brooks, 2010).
However, the ease with which social networks allow for the creation and sharing
of content has made alarge amount of data and personal information available
(Stutzman, 2006). This information ranges from personal data, tastes and favorite
activities to places that have been visited. The result is that following the traces left by
different virtual identities makes it easier for others to rebuild our real identity (Gross
& Acquisti, 2005). Indeed, one can keep track of the different identities employed for
various purposes, such as for business to evaluate a candidate in a job interview or
fraudulent one, or for criminal purposes to take on the personality of another, as in
identity theft. In many cases, simply entering a name and a last name into a search
engine or on a social network can produce information related to thethe person’s
tastes, relationships and activities.
1.3.3 The third paradox of social networks
Through our daily experience we have learned how social bonds are not all the
same (Haythornthwaite, 2002). In addition to a few ‘true’ friends you confide your
problems to (the ‘strong’ bonds), there are hundreds of friends and acquaintances
(the ‘weak’ bonds). It is clear that in everyday life the ‘strong’ bonds have a central
12  Psychology Of Social Media: From Technology To Identity
role in supporting the subject, promoting the development of social identity through
comparison and identification. However, if at individual level strong bonds are more
important because they are more relevant to the experience of the subject; at the
social level the opposite is true: the weak links are the bridges that allow us to get out
of the perimeter bounded by strong bonds, to find new opportunities and meet other
people (Granovetter, 1973; Silk et al., 2009).
In real life, however, we devote little time to the development of weak ties, with
most free time being dedicated to strong bonds. For this reason, in many cases the
attendance of weak bonds is linked to sporadic situations, a casual meeting, a random
phone call. On the contrary, weak bonds in social networks have the same weight as
strong bonds, within a social network a friend is the same as other friends. Moreover,
social networks allow you to know the features of a individual you have a weak bond
with, providing you with information and opportunities to improve the bond.
The lack of distinction between strong and weak bonds in social networks also
represents a potential problem (Bakshy, Rosenn, Marlow, & Adamic, 2012; Grabowicz,
Ramasco, Moro, Pujol, & Eguiluz, 2012). The relationship with weak bonds in real life
is usually controlled by roles: I teach my students, I’m a parent like the other parents
of my daughter’s friends, I’m a fan when I go to the stadium, and so on. Given that
each role always involves a description and a mode of behavior, I’m sure to behave
in the ricorrect manner simply by following these rules. The problem with social
networks is that there are some differences in roles with the members of the reference
network: I’m always either a teacher or a parent or a fan and so on. But if I forget it, the
problems begin. In other words, the lack of distinction between the friends of social
networks does not allow me to clearly separate the different contexts that I attend and
roles that take, with the risk of jeopardizing my reputation.
1.4 Conclusions
In summary, for the first time online social networks allow the creation of hybrid
social networks, constituted by both virtual connections and real connections giving
rise to ‘interreality’, a new social space, more malleable and dynamic than preceding
social networks.
The hybrid nature - both the virtual and real that characterises the social networks
leads them to have two faces, made explicit with three paradoxes that we have just
described. These paradoxes have both positive and negative effects; one can create
new opportunities and one can create new problems.
In conclusion, if social networks are used by mature people responsibly it is an
important opportunity to talk about, improve their interpersonal relationships and
even conduct business. On the contrary, when used in an irresponsible way by people
who are too young it can cause problems and difficulties that in some cases even time
cannot erase.
References  13
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social networking sites Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networks, 13(2), 173-177
... Bu kurama göre, bilgiye erişim, çevrimiçi kendini sunma ve eğlenme amaçlı kullanım, sosyal medya kullanımını sürdüren en önemli motivasyonlar olarak görünmektedir (17). Ayrıca, Maslow'un temel ihtiyaçlar hiyerarşisinde olduğu gibi, sosyal medyanın güvenlik, ilişki ve kendini gerçekleştirme ihtiyaçlarını karşılamak için kullanıldığı da tartışılmıştır (18). Bununla birlikte, PSMK ise MD, DEHB, Anksiyete Bozukluğu gibi psikiyatrik bozukluklar ve uyku sorunları, psikosomatik belirtiler, dürtüsellik, düşük akademik performans, sosyal ilişki sorunları ve öznel iyi oluşun azalması gibi psikiyatrik belirtilerle ilişkilendirilmiştir (19 -24). ...
... Kullanımlar ve doyumlar kuramına göre, en önemli sosyal medya kullanma motivasyonlarının bilgi arama (bilgiye erişme), kimlik oluşturma (kendini daha fazla gösterme, internette daha çok varolma) ve zaman geçirme (eğlenmek) olduğu bulunmuştur (17). Ayrıca, Maslow'un temel ihtiyaçlar hiyerarşisinde olduğu gibi, sosyal medya kullanımının kullanıcıya bilgi paylaşımı kontrolünü vererek güvenlik ih-tiyacını, sosyal bağlantılarını sağlayarak ilişki kurma ihtiyacını, beğenilme sağlayarak takdir edilme ihtiyacını, ve bireyin kendini istediği gibi sunmasına izin vererek kendini gerçekleştirme ihtiyacını karşıladığı ileri sürülmüştür (18). Günümüzde sosyal medyaların popülaritesi ve yüksek katılımcı sayıları şaşırtıcı değildir, çünkü sosyal medya siteleri bireylere ilişki kurma ve kendini ifade etme fırsatı sağlayıp, bireylerin psikolojik ve sosyal ihtiyaçlarına cevap vererek en temel insani gereksinimlerden yararlanmaktadır. ...
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OBJECTIVE: While Internet use makes life easier in many areas, the negative consequences associated with excessive and frequent Internet use increases. Meanwhile, research on the negative psychosocial consequences of frequent and uncontrolled use of social media, which constitutes most of the time spent on the Internet, also draws attention. The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between Internet Addiction (IA), Problematic Social Media Use (PSMU), depression, anxiety, and sociodemographic characteristics in a cross-sectional student population.MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 196 Medical Faculty students (62.2% female, mean age 21.33 ± 1.92 y) who completed the Social Media Disorder Scale (SMDS), the Internet Addiction Test (IAT), and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HAD) participated in our study.RESULTS: The results showed that %26.5 participants had moderate IA and PSMU scores (OR: 1.276, %95 CI: 1.187-1.372) and lack of regular sportive activity (OR: 3.003, %95 CI: 1.107-8.144) were risk factors for IA. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that IA was predicted independently by PSMU scores (%49 variances) and anxiety (%6 variances).CONCLUSIONS: The results of our study showed that excessive use of social media and anxiety were significantly associated with IA in young adults. In addition to the contribution of regular sports habits to physical health, better clarification of its relationship with important psychiatric problems such as anxiety and addiction may contribute to addiction prevention programs.
... Accordingly, humans use SNSs as an "inter-reality" realm, where they seek social support to extend their sphere as a social expression of identity. Also, elaborating and promoting their definition in a social context and as a tool for social exploration and analysis of others leads to a continuous need to be online and always connected (Hanna, 2011;Hendricks, 2016;Riva, 2016). Julian Rotter's social learning theory (1982) introduced a different scope of social roles and motivations other than Freud's psycho-analysis module; he suggested that children develop their behavioral-cognitive module under the effect of specific social interactions. ...
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The Social Networks Addiction (SNA) is an international scale testing social network addiction, yet it has never been validated in Palestinian society and within the Arabic language. This study was conducted to investigate the psychometric properties and the factorial structure of the SNA scale in Palestinian society within the Arabic language for students aged 16–20 (N = 727) of both genders. The results of exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) yielded four dimensions rather than the original six dimensions of the SNA scale; (1) Salience and tolerance, (2) Mood modification, (3) Withdrawal and conflict, (4) Relapse. The scale showed high validity and reliability in the Palestinian context and can be used to assess the addictive behavior among Palestinian youth. Study findings showed that 45.8% of the studied sample indicated a considerable addiction level for social media addiction within the uniquely Palestinian context. Further research is required to investigate preventive counter-addiction assessment in sustainable and larger-scale research to limit the long-term consequences of growing digital addiction phenomena.
... Moreover, online activities such as sharing photos, engaging in communities, and communicating with real life friends can be associated with lower degree of loneliness and less psychological distress [11,12]. These particular activities are also believed to be mediators of shaping and maintaining the user's sense of identity and belonging, safety and competence, satisfying basic psychological needs [13], as well as bringing higher psychosocial wellbeing, which apparently is the case particularly for young users [14][15][16]. ...
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Background Social media is an important and growing part of the lives of the vast majority of the global population, especially in the young. Although still a young and scarce subject, research has revealed that social media has addictive potential. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to explore the associations between problematic use of social media and mental distress, problematic gaming and gambling, within the Swedish general population. Methods Data from 2,118 respondents was collected through self-report questions on demographics and validated scales measuring addiction-like experiences of social media, problem gaming, problem gambling, and mental distress. Associations were analyzed in unadjusted analyses and–for variables not exceedingly inter-correlated–in adjusted logistic regression analyses. Results In adjusted analyses, problematic use of social media demonstrated a relationship with younger age, time using instant messaging services, and mental distress, but not with education level, occupational status, or with treatment needs for alcohol or drug problems. Behavioral addictions (internet, gaming and gambling) were substantially inter-correlated, and all were associated with problematic use of social media in unadjusted analyses. Conclusions Social media use is associated with other addictive behaviors and mental distress. While factors of causality remain to be studied, these insights can motivate healthcare professionals to assess social media habits, for example in individuals suffering from issues concerning gambling, gaming or mental health.
... Fogg (2009) argues that all people are motivated to feel pleasure instead of pain, to seek hope and avoid fear and to be socially accepted and avoid rejection. SNSs appeal to these motivations by allowing users to feel part of a larger community which provides them with social support and the opportunity for self-expression (Riva, Wiederhold and Cipresso, 2016). ...
Thesis
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As Social Networking Sites (SNSs) have become more integrated into the mod- ern way of life, daily usage of these platforms have increased. For some, in- creased usage has become problematic and potentially addictive. Technology insiders have suggested that a combination of the pull-to-refresh behaviour, akin to motion of slot machines, and partial reinforcement of SNS content is leading to increased usage online. This dissertation takes an exploratory approach to investigate how the the pull-to-refresh feature and partially re- warding nature of timeline content can have an impact on user behaviours which might contribute to addictive usage. An application named ‘Moments’ was developed and used in an empirical study to monitor user behaviours through psychoinformatic techniques on a simulated SNS timeline. Findings suggested that neither the pull-to-refresh feature, nor a partially rewarding schedule of timeline content had any significant impact on user refresh be- haviours compared to alternatives. However, general trends identified greater refresh behaviours from a combination of pull-to-refresh and continuous rein- forcement schedules, providing a good basis from which future research within this area can extend.
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Objective: The main purpose of this research was to find out the social media addiction levels of academicians and to reveal whether the scale used is a valid and reliable scale. In addition, it is another aim of the study to determine which variables differ in terms of social media addictions of academics whose social media addiction levels are determined. Methods: A total of 430 academicians, 199 of whom were females and 231 males, participated in this study. The validity and reliability of the scale were tested by performing exploratory and confirmatory factor analyzes and reliability analyzes on the data collected from the academicians reached by the online survey method. Then, the differences of the factors, whose validity and reliability were ensured by using parametric techniques, according to demographic variables were examined. Results: The exploratory factor analysis done on the data collected from academicians reached by online survey method, showed that the scale had four sub-factors called Virtual Tolerance (Slacking), Virtual Interaction, Virtual Communication, and Emotional State. Obtained sub-factors were subjected to confirmatory factor analysis and it was seen that the fit indices gave good results. Since the Cronbach's alpha value, which was used to measure the reliability of the scale, was also high, the scale used to measure the social media addiction levels of academicians was found to be valid and reliable. The differences of the factors that were found to be valid and reliable according to demographic variables were examined. Conclusions: The result of the analysis demonstrated that addiction levels of single academicians were more than that of the married academicians; young or old academicians’ social media addiction levels were more than that of middle-aged academicians. Clearly, this study revealed that as the academic title increases, social media addiction levels of academicians decreases.
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