Posted by & filed under Motivation-Emotion, Psychological Disorders, Research Methods, Stress, Stress Coping - Health, Student Success.

Description: You have no doubt seen or heard references to growing concerns about ways in which increasing levels of anxiety and stress among young adults may be linked to screen time and social media. What you have not likely seen is much, if any research that looks specifically at the relationship (causal) between social media use and anxiety. So think for a moment about HOW social media use might be related to stress and anxiety and then choose whether you would prefer to read a brief, advertisement laden, media article referring to a research article on this topic and pointing to potentially addictive qualities of Facebook or the research article itself which looks at how Facebook users use the site as a part of distractive coping mechanisms as opposed to leaving the site when their access to the site raises their stress levels. (Hint: there are many more useful things to think about in the research article).

Source: Stress from Social Media Could Lead to Addiction, New Study, Joanna Whitehead, Independent.

Date: August 28, 2019


Article Link: or research article link:

The media article mentions something the research article discusses in more useful detail and that is that some individuals, when they find an item they are engaged with on social media site stressful leave the site while others diver deeper into the site rather than leave it. The researchers point out that past claims that social media site use can be addictive have not investigated just how the patterns of use of social media sites tie into use habits and coping strategies that together could start to look like addictive behavior patterns. This research into the details of technostress is exactly what we need to do more of if we are to get past the sorts of general “screen time and social media use is bad for you” claims and start to move toward becoming better informed about what is actually going in in social media use (and screen time). Oh, and reading the research is much more informative than reading many of the media articles reporting on the research.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What might an “addiction” to social media look like?
  2. How might patterns (habits) of social media use and distractive coping styles interact to produce something that could look like a social media addiction?
  3. Considering both the original research article and the media article that described its findings what else might people benefit from knowing about the actual research article that would better inform them about the nature of something like a social media addiction?

References (Read Further):

Tarafdar, M., Maier, C., Laumer, S., & Weitzel, T. (2019). Explaining the link between technostress and technology addiction for social networking sites: A study of distraction as a coping behavior. Information Systems Journal.

Blackwell, D., Leaman, C., Tramposch, R., Osborne, C., & Liss, M. (2017). Extraversion, neuroticism, attachment style and fear of missing out as predictors of social media use and addiction. Personality and Individual Differences, 116, 69-72.

Hawi, N. S., & Samaha, M. (2017). The relations among social media addiction, self-esteem, and life satisfaction in university students. Social Science Computer Review, 35(5), 576-586.

Andreassen, C. S., Pallesen, S., & Griffiths, M. D. (2017). The relationship between addictive use of social media, narcissism, and self-esteem: Findings from a large national survey. Addictive behaviors, 64, 287-293.

Andreassen, C. S., Torsheim, T., Brunborg, G. S., & Pallesen, S. (2012). Development of a Facebook addiction scale. Psychological reports, 110(2), 501-517.

Al-Menayes, J. J. (2015). Social media use, engagement and addiction as predictors of academic performance. International Journal of Psychological Studies, 7(4), 86-94.