Frequent social media use may not equate to addiction, according to a study from Strathclyde University.
The study asked 100 participants to locate specific social media apps on simulated smartphone screens as quickly and accurately as possible, while ignoring others. Participants varied in degree and type of social media use and engagement.
The purpose of this experiment was to determine whether users who reported using social media the most were more likely to direct their attention to the app through a process known as “attentional bias,” a perceived hallmark of addiction. was to evaluate
We also assessed whether this bias was associated with scores on established measures of social media engagement and ‘addiction’.
The findings did not indicate that users’ attention was directed towards social media apps over other apps such as the weather app. It was also not associated with self-reported or measurable levels of toxicity severity. This contrasts with other studies that have shown attentional biases associated with addictions such as gambling and alcohol.
This research Journal of Behavioral Addiction.
Dr. David Robertson, lecturer in psychology at Strathclyde and research partner, said: Studies have shown positive aspects of social media engagement, such as social connectedness and well-being, but negative mental health implications, such as higher levels of depression and anxiety associated with excessive use. The emphasis is on effective results. .
“Although the evidence supporting such negative associations is mixed, there is also growing debate about whether excessive levels of social media use should become clinically defined addictive behaviors.
“We found no evidence of attentional bias. People who check and post to their social media accounts frequently are more likely to pay attention to social media app icons than those who check and post infrequently.” There was not.
“More research is needed on the effects of social media use, both positive and negative, before any definitive conclusions can be reached about the psychological impact of engagement on these platforms. Frequent use of social media may not necessarily fit the traditional paradigm of addiction at this time.”