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Try out PMC Free adult social network greece and tell us what you think. Learn More. Online social networking sites SNSs have gained increasing popularity in the last decade, with individuals engaging in SNSs to connect with others who share similar interests. The perceived need to be online may result in compulsive use of SNSs, which in extreme cases may result in symptoms and consequences traditionally associated with substance-related addictions.
In order to present new insights into online social networking and addiction, in this paper, 10 lessons learned concerning online social networking sites and addiction based on the insights derived from recent empirical research will be presented.
These are: i social networking and social media use are not the same; ii social networking is eclectic; iii social networking is a way of being; iv individuals can become addicted to using social networking sites; v Facebook addiction is only one example of SNS addiction; vi fear of missing out FOMO may be part of SNS addiction; vii smartphone addiction may be part of SNS addiction; viii nomophobia may be part of SNS addiction; ix there are sociodemographic differences in SNS addiction; and x there are methodological problems with research to date. These are discussed in turn. Recommendations for research and clinical applications are provided.
Inthere were 2. In the same year, Inthe average social media user spent 1. This suggests social media use has become an important leisure activity for many, allowing individuals to connect with one another online irrespective of time and space limitations. It is this kind of connecting or the self-perceived constant need to connect that has been viewed critically by media scholars. Following decades of researching technology-mediated and online behaviors, Turkle [ 7 ] claims overreliance on technology has led to an impoverishment of social skills, leaving individuals unable to engage in meaningful conversations because such skills are being sacrificed for constant connection, resulting in short-term attention and a decreased ability to retain information.
The perceived need to be online may lead to compulsive use of SNSs, which in extreme cases may result in symptoms and consequences traditionally associated with substance-related addictions. Since the publication of the first ever literature review of the empirical studies concerning SNS addiction in [ 3 ], the research field has moved forward at an increasingly rapid pace.
Social networking and social media use have often been used interchangeably in the scientific literature. However, they are not the same. Social media refers to the web 2. Accordingly, social media use includes a wide range of social applications, such as collaborative projects, weblogs, content communities, social networking sites, virtual game worlds, and virtual social worlds [ 9 ], each of which will be addressed below.
Collaborative projects can be shared and worked on tly and simultaneously using cloud-based computing. Two different types can be distinguished: Wikis allow for creating, removing and modifying online content e. Social bookmarking applications, on the other hand, allow for s of people to accumulate and appraise websites e. Taken together, collaborative projects may produce a superior end result in comparison to individual projects [ 9 ], which can be Free adult social network greece to the concept of collective intelligence, whereby the intelligence in the group is greater than the sum of its parts [ 10 ].
Blogs allow individuals to share personal online diaries and information sometimes in the form of images and videoswhich may or may not be commented upon by other internet users. Next, there are content communities and video-sharing sites e. Content may include videos, but also text e.
Virtual game worlds allow users Free adult social network greece create an online alter ego in the form of an avatar and to play with other players in large gaming universes and the next section covers gaming in more detail. Kaplan and Haenlein [ 9 ] differentiate these from virtual social worlds from virtual game worlds, whereby the former allow individuals to create online characters which live in an alternative virtual world that is similar to their real life environments on the one hand, but defies physical laws.
Arguably the best example of these virtual social worlds is Second Lifepopulated by human-like avatars, who engage in activities users engage in on an everyday basis, such as furnishing houses, going shopping, and meeting friends. Social networking is particularly focused on connecting people, which does not apply to a of the other social media applications outlined above. Engaging in social networking comprises a specific type of social media use, therefore they are not synonymous.
Consequently, studies that have examined social media addiction and social networking addiction may also be using the terms interchangeably, suggesting nosological imprecision. Despite social networking being one type of social media use as outlined in the sectionthe behavior is inherently eclectic because it includes a variety of apps and services that can be engaged in. For instance, social networking can be the use of traditional social networking sites, such as Facebook.
These can contain text and audiovisual content, whilst connecting to friends who often appear as real life friends and acquaintances given the main motivation of individuals to use SNSs such as Facebook is to maintain their connections [ 3 ]. Inthe most popular social networking site was Facebook with million active users [ 5 ]. Facebook is a very active network. Every minute,comments are posted;statuses are updated; andphotos are ed, whilst the average user spends approximately 20 min daily on the site [ 11 ].
Over the past few years, new networks have emerged that have gradually risen in popularity, particularly amongst younger generations. InInstagram had m active users [ 5 ]. Snapchat was launched in [ 13 ] as an SNS that allows users to message and connect with others using a smartphone and to send texts, videos, and make calls. Snapchat is different from other networks in that it has an inherently ephemeral nature, whereby any messages are automatically deleted shortly after the receiver has viewed them, allowing an increased experience of perceived privacy and safety online [ 14 ].
However, teenagers are especially aware of the transitory nature of Snapchat messages and therefore take screenshots and keep them stored on their mobile phones or in the cloud, simply to have proof of conversations and visuals spread on this medium. The privacy advantage of the medium is thereby countered. Snapchat had million users in [ 5 ].
The popularity of Snapchat —particularly among young users—suggests the SNS landscape is changing in this particular demographic, with users being more aware of potential privacy risks, enjoying the lack of social pressure on Snapchat as well as the increased amount of control over who is viewing their ephemeral messages.
However, it could also be the case that this may lead to the complete opposite by increasing the pressure to be online all the time because individuals risk missing the connecting thread in a continuing stream of messages within an online group.
This can lead to decreasing concentration during preparation tasks for school at home, and may lead to constant distraction because of the pressure to follow what is going on as well as the fear of missing out. These facts suggest the world of traditional SNS is changing. Social networking can be instant messaging.
The most popular messaging services to date are WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger with million active users each [ 5 ]. In addition to WhatsAppFacebook owns their own messaging system, which is arguably the best example of the convergence between traditional SNS use and messaging, and which functions as an app on smartphones separate from the actual Facebook application. Social networking can be microblogging. Microblogging is a form of more traditional blogging, which could be considered a personal online diary. A popular example of a microblogging site is Twitterwhich allows characters per Tweet only.
InTwitter had million active users [ 5 ], making it the most successful microblogging site to date. Twitter has become particularly used as political tool with examples including its important role in the Arab Spring anti-government protests [ 18 ], as well as extensive use by American President Donald Trump during and following his presidential campaign [ 19 ]. In addition to microblogging politics, research has also assessed the microblogging of health issues [ 20 ]. Social networking can be gaming. Gaming can arguably be considered an element of social networking if the gaming involves connecting with people i.
It has been argued that large-scale internet-enabled games i. And this mix is exactly what is evocative and hooks many people.
Not only do these games offer the possibility of communication, but they provide a basis for strong bonds between individuals when they unite through shared activities and goals, and have been shown to facilitate and increase intimacy and relationship quality in couples [ 25 ] and online gamers [ 2223 ]. Social networking can be online dating.
In that way, online dating sites can be considered social networking sites. These data suggest online dating is becoming increasingly popular, contributing to the appeal of online social networking sites for many users across the generations. This suggests the uses and gratifications perspective underlying Tinder use points more in the direction of other motives, such as physical and sexual aspirations and needs, rather than purely romance.
From a social networking addiction perspective, this may be similar to the literature on Internet addiction which often delineates between addictions to specific applications on the Internet e. In the present day and age, individuals have come to live increasingly mediated lives. Nowadays, social networking does not necessarily refer to what we do, but who we are and how we relate to one another.
Social networking can arguably be considered a way of being and relating, and this is supported by empirical research. A younger generation of scholars has grown up in a world that has been reliant on technology as integral part of their lives, making it impossible to imagine life without being connected. This has two important implications. In addition to this, teenagers Free adult social network greece appear to have subscribed to the cultural norm of continual online networking.
Interestingly, recent research has demonstrated that sharing information on social media increases life satisfaction and loneliness for younger adult users, whereas the opposite was true for older adult users [ 35 ], suggesting that social media use and social networking are used and perceived very differently across generations.
SNS use is also driven by a of other motivations. From a uses and gratifications perspective, these include information seeking i. According to this theory, social networking meets the needs of safety, association, estimation, and self-realization [ 42 ]. Safety needs are met by social networking being customizable with regards to privacy, allowing the users to control who to share information with. Accordingly, social networking taps into very fundamental human needs by offering the possibilities of social support and self-expression [ 42 ]. The next section considers this question. There is a growing scientific evidence base to suggest excessive SNS use may lead to symptoms traditionally associated with substance-related addictions [ 344 ].
These symptoms have been described as salience, mood modification, tolerance, withdrawal, relapse, and conflict with regards to behavioral addictions [ 45 ], and have been validated in the context of the Internet addiction components model [ 46 ]. For a small minority of individuals, their use of social networking sites may become the single most important activity that they engage in, leading to a preoccupation with SNS use salience. The activities on these sites are then being used in order to induce mood alterations, pleasurable feelings or a numbing effect mood modification.
Increased amounts of time and energy are required to be put into engaging with SNS activities in order to achieve the same feelings and state of mind that occurred in the initial phases of usage tolerance. When SNS use is discontinued, addicted individuals will experience negative psychological and sometimes physiological symptoms withdrawaloften leading to a reinstatement of the problematic behavior relapse.
Problems arise as a consequence of the engagement in the problematic behavior, leading to intrapsychic conflicts within the individual often including a subjective loss of control and interpersonal conflicts i. On the one hand, current behavioral addiction research tends to be correlational and confirmatory in nature and is often based on population studies rather than clinical samples in which psychological impairments are observed [ 47 ]. Additional methodological problems are outlined below Section 2. On the other hand, Free adult social network greece the present paper, the present authors do not discriminate between the label addiction, compulsion, problematic SNS use, or other similar labels used because these terms are being used interchangeably by authors in the field.
The question then arises as what it is that individuals become addicted to. Is it the technology or is it more what the technology allows them to do? It has been argued ly [ 3450 ] that the technology is but a medium or a tool that allows individuals to engage in particular behaviors, such as social networking and gaming, rather than being addictive per se. There are a s of models which offer explanations as to the development of SNS addiction [ 51 ]. According to the cognitive-behavioral model, excessive social networking is the consequence of maladaptive cognitions and is exacerbated through a of external issues, resulting in addictive use.
The social skill model suggests individuals use SNSs excessively as a consequence of low self-presentation skills and preference for online social interaction over face-to-face communication, resulting in addictive SNS use [ 51 ]. With respect to the socio-cognitive model, excessive social networking develops as a consequence of positive outcome expectations, Internet self-efficacy, and limited Internet self-regulation, leading to addictive SNS use [ 51 ]. It has furthermore been suggested that SNS use may become problematic when individuals use it in Free adult social network greece to cope with everyday problems and stressors, including loneliness and depression [ 52 ].
Moreover, it has been contended that excessive SNS users find it difficult to communicate face-to-face, and social media use offers a variety of immediate rewards, such as self-efficacy and satisfaction, resulting in continued and increased use, with the consequence of exacerbating problems, including neglecting offline relationships, and problems in professional contexts.
The resultant depressed moods are then dealt with by continued engagement in SNSs, leading to a vicious cycle of addiction [ 53 ]. Cross-cultural research including 10, adolescents from six European countries Greece, Spain, Poland, the Netherlands, Romania, and Iceland furthermore showed that using SNS for two or more hours a day was related to internalizing problems and decreased academic performance and activity [ 54 ].Free adult social network greece
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