Social Media Addiction

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Social Media Addiction:

Effects on Mental Well-being

By Wesley Poore

wpoore@unomaha.edu

The author is an undergraduate in the School of Communication, University of Nebraska at Omaha. This paper was written for a Social Media Metrics course in Spring, 2013.

Social Media Addiction:

Effects on Mental Well-being

This paper will focus on Internet addiction and the potential psychological issues it can create for college students. The Internet is changing the way we live but not always in a better way. The overuse or abuse of Internet can have negative influences on our lives and lead to maladaptive behaviors (Işıklar, 2011). This is more profound in the adolescent age group of people growing up with the internet (Fisoun, 2012). Students spend a lot of time on social media and the internet every day, especially since affordable smart phones have become available. While using media technology in moderation may not be a problem, excessive use can cause damage. Students who use internet six hours and more a day have [shown] psychiatric symptoms such as obsessive compulsive, interpersonal sensitivity, depression, anxiety (Işıklar, 2011). Not only has it been shown that addiction creates these problems, but according to Jang (2008) they used the internet when they were stressed, sad or depressed to cope. These are just a few examples of and therefore the purpose of this paper is to explore potential relationships between high social media and internet use and psychological issues that could develop. Table of Contents

Research Question 13-5
Research Question 25-7
Methodology7
Discussion/Future Research8-10
References11
Theory and Concepts
-Internet addiction
-Social Media
-Psychological issues
-Mobile internet addiction

RQ1: What is Internet addiction defined as and what are characteristics of it?

Internet Addiction or excessive internet use is characterized by excessive or poorly controlled preoccupations, urges, or behaviors regarding computer use and Internet access that lead to impairment or distress (Weinstein, 2010). Basically this means that when your use of the internet becomes so extreme that it impedes you from completing everyday tasks, such as school work or eating, then you may in fact be an addict.

Internet addiction has only been formally recognized as a condition in the UK as they think it can be more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol. Now, besides that, internet addiction is a relatively new, unrecognized disorder. This excessive internet use affects the fibers of the front part of your brain, which can impact a person’s emotions, self-control and decision-making abilities (Cheung, 2011). If a person cannot control the amount of time spent online, that can cause relationship, occupational and social problems.

The increasing reports on the psychologically addictive characteristics of Internet use have led to a growing concern amongst educators and psychologists about the impact of the Internet on children’s well-being (Işıklar, 2011). Among all the age-groups, adolescents (specifically college-aged students) are at the highest risk to become addicted to the internet. This segment of society has a strong drive to develop an identity and to develop meaningful relationships (Lin, 2011). They may come to rely on the internet to cope with depression or stress. Consequently, the more time that they spend on the internet makes the addiction worse and does not treat the depression/stress at all. It becomes a viscous cycle. A study in Taiwan also found that there was greater substance use, low connectedness to school and high family conflict were associated with adolescent internet addiction.

Within this segment of college-aged students, it was shown that this addiction is more likely to occur to those with insecure attachment. During this stage in their life, the development of freedom from their family and reliance of peers...
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