Social networking sites cause stress that fuels social media addiction

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Social networking sites (SNS) such as Facebook and Instagram are behind so-called “technostress” among their users, according to a new study. Rather than logging out of SNS, users are becoming increasingly addicted to social media platforms.

“While it may seem counterintuitive, social media users continue to use the same platforms that stress them out rather than leave them, creating a blur between caused stress and compulsive use,” said the professor Monideepa Tarafdar, professor. of information systems and co-director of the Center for Technological Futures at Lancaster University Management School, said in a press release. Professor Tarafdar is a co-author of the study, which was published in Information Systems Review.

In this study, researchers assessed the online habits of 444 Facebook users using a three-wave survey panel. The panel consisted of the following concepts: social overload, model, disclosure, uncertainty, complexity and invasion. These constructs were captured at three different time intervals using three different surveys over a period of one year. Researchers measured social overload, pattern, disclosure, uncertainty, complexity, and invasion in the first survey (time t = 1), SNS distraction inside / outside the SNS , as well as the habit of using SNS in the second survey (t = 2), and dependence on SNS in the third survey (t = 3). This design reduced the likelihood of common method bias while separating the different constructs.

An “interesting phenomenon”

The results, after analysis, suggest that SNS stressors have a significant influence on distraction both within and outside the boundaries of the SNS. The researchers observed that the habit of using the SNS negatively affects the relationship between SNS stressors and distraction within the SNS. In addition, the results indicated that distraction within the SNS is associated with addiction to the SNS.

“We found that users who were more used to social media needed less effort to find another aspect of the platforms and therefore were more likely to stay in the SNS rather than log out when they did. needed to be entertained. The stronger the user’s SNS habit, the more likely they will continue to use it as a distractor as a coping behavior in response to stressors, and eventually develop SNS addiction ”, Professor Sven Laumer, one of the co-authors of this study, said in a statement. “Users go to different areas of the platform that they see as separate and that they use in different ways. With Facebook, there are features that take you to different worlds within the same platform. You can be in many different places from the same app, for example follow friends’ activities, post photos about daily activities, switch to a chat function or play games ”.

Professor Tarafdar concluded that “the idea of ​​using the same environment that causes stress as a means of dealing with this stress is new. It’s an interesting phenomenon that seems distinctive from social media technostress. “



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