Uses And Gratifications And Sns Addiction
Earlier, the point was made that the gratifications of a Facebook addict may differ from those of a Twitter addict. This example highlights the need for SNS addiction researchers to consider the motivations behind the use of addictive SNS platforms. According to Papacharissi and Mendelson , online media serve as functional alternatives to interpersonal and mediated communication, providing options or complements for aspects of an individuals environment that are not as fulfilling . In certain circumstances, Internet users may lose control over use that was originally motivated by active consideration of the gratifications of online behaviour .
While the relationship between uses and gratifications and SNS addiction was previously recognised by Kuss and Griffiths , limited research has been performed in this area. One of the first empirical studies to examine the relationship between SNS addiction and uses and gratifications was performed by Wan . She studied use of the campus-based SNS Xiaonei.com amongst a sample of 335 Chinese college students. The results revealed that Xiaonei.com addiction was significantly associated with the motives of socialisation and relationship building. Similarly, another study based on a Greek sample of 1971 adolescents found that the motivations of seeking friendship, relationship maintenance, and escapism, along with impulsive use of the Internet, predicted more frequent SNS participation.
What Makes New Social Media Different
I grew up in the era of MSN messenger, chat rooms, message boards, and MySpace. I remember feeling heavily drawn to connecting with my friends online, often communicating more online than in person. But these online social platforms are fundamentally different from todays platforms.
Todays social platforms are more than a neutral space to communicate with friends. They are miniature broadcasting platforms.
I still remember a time before the Facebook like button. The button was introduced in 2009 and made the platform more than simply about commenting and sharing. In 2016, the reactions button came out, further allowing users to share their emotional reactions to your content.
The like button amplified the social comparison potential. In an article featuring an interview with Dr. Max Blumburg, be states:
youre making yourself vulnerable to the thoughts of others, so its not surprising that if it doesnt elicit the reaction youd hoped for your pride takes a hit. Were seeking approval from our peers and its not nice when we dont get it you want people to think your content is funny/interesting/likeable. If you have low self-esteem and you dont do well on social media, youre going to feel particularly bad.
We are all miniature media companies, in a sense. The responsibility to manage ones reputation online has skyrocketed since the development of these advanced technologies.
The Darker Side Of Social Media Your Identity
There is no doubt that your identity shapes how you want to be perceived online.
From having the perfect profile picture or writing that funny description, we are constantly shaped by how we think others see us.
This is especially a dangerous area for younger teens and adults where these issues can bring identity problems and can be detrimental to this subset group of individuals’ mental health.
In early research done by Danah Boyd, it was found that young users of Myspace would engage in a large amount of time editing and handling their profiles to manage how it would look to their audiences.
In some other research done by Strano in 2008, it was found that female adult users would most likely change their profile photos more often than other groups. These photos would also often emphasize friendship compared to any other type of photos as well.
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What Makes Porn So Addictive
The simple answer would be, porn works in similar ways to drugs. How the effect of a drug can differ from person to person, its the same with pornography. Like addictive substances, porn scenes are hyperstimulation, which leads to extremely high levels of dopamine secretion in your brain. This is highly unnatural. The more you indulge in an activity like this, the more your brain secrets dopamine. This messes up the dopamine reward system in your brain. As a result, your brain stops responding to other natural sources of pleasure.
As this becomes a habit, your brain slowly starts associating porn with dopamine. This is how the cravings begin. The moment you stop feeding your brain this content, the dopamine also stops and thats when things can get ugly. It can lead to various sexual dysfunctions and mental health disorders. Compulsive porn consumers have reported higher depressive symptoms, generally lower quality of life, and proper health compared to those who dont consume porn regularly. People who identified as engaging in compulsive sexual behaviors showed more reactivity in the brain compared with those who identified as non-compulsive. Thus, viewing pornography, especially when it becomes compulsive in nature, activates the same underlying brain networks as alcohol and other drugs.
Uses And Gratifications Of Snss
Commonly, when researchers choose to examine the motivations associated with particular forms of media, they do so by employing a uses and gratifications approach. Uses and gratifications theory states that one of the keys to understanding the popularity of mass media lies in the identification of the factors underlying its use . One of the first studies to examine the uses and gratifications of SNSs was performed by Raacke and Bonds-Raacke . After surveying a sample of university students from the USA, these authors reported that the primary motivations for Facebook and MySpace use was to form and maintain social connections. Since that time, numerous studies have reinforced the importance of relationship maintenance as a key reason for Facebook use . Indeed, Kuss and Griffiths argue that relationship maintenance is the main motivator for all SNS use.
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Does Social Media Isolate Us
It depends on how you use it.
Facebooks;mission is to Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. But is social media actually bringing us together?
As a sociologist, I took a look at the research. Here is what I found:
Social media use is correlated;with depression and low well-being.;Yes, this conclusion itself sounds depressing, but lets take a look at the data.
A 2016;study surveyed 1787 19-32-year-old men and women, finding social media use was was significantly associated with increased depression.
Another 2016;study found the following:
Taking a break from Facebook has positive effects on the two dimensions of well-being: our life satisfaction increases and our emotions become more positive.
Internet use is correlated with decreased loneliness among older adults.;So its more complicated than the above studies might suggest.
According to;this 2015 study looking at individuals 65 and older:
Higher levels of Internet use were significant predictors of higher levels of social support, reduced loneliness, and better life satisfaction and psychological well-being among older adults.
How;you use social media makes a difference. ;According to another 2016;study on the correlation between Facebook and well-being, the researchers found:
Specific uses of the site were associated with improvements in well-being.
So what made the difference?
Another 2016 study;found the same for Instagram:
Lets Dig A Bit Deeper Into The Behavioral And Cognitive Side Of Things
As we discover new information or read something of interest, our brain is rewarded with a small burst of dopamine. This pleasurable feeling is often associated with what could be guised as positive reinforcement.
This positive reinforcement has trained us to react to notifications by checking our phones, often in anticipation of something interesting.
More than often, we are disappointed to see something unrelated hit our phones, but that is enough to keep us curious to check the next notification that pops by.
This method of keeping us sticky to these applications follow a learning process called a variable schedule reinforcement .
In short and in this particular context, these reinforcements could both be a positive one or one that you werent interested in . However, in either case, this brings you constantly back on your phone without you realizing it.
Even if you disable your sounds, you still see a red bright notification on your application, which almost always prompts you to check it.
What makes it even more interesting is you never actually know when these notifications will pop up. This reinforcement of behavior makes us re-engage these applications out of almost necessity.
Controlling Your Social Media Use
As described throughout this article, social media can be an addiction, like any other substance. For those struggling with an addiction to social media, you are not alone.
This is a very common issue that can be treated through self-help activities, psychological treatments, counseling, support groups, in addition to writing and introspection.
If you are simply looking to prevent any issues, it could be helpful to be mindful of the way you are relating to social media. If you find you are constantly seeking likes and validation, perhaps taking a break might help you clear your head.
Finding hobbies or new activities to engage in could help build your sense of self, in addition to building an in-person peer group.
If you decide to return to social media use, it is important to set limits on how long you intend to spend on it, how often you intend to check it, and considering whether or not you are using it in a meaningful way to connect.
It could also be helpful to turn off your push-notifications, so you are not getting constant beeps or buzzes.
If you are still having difficulties, treatment may also be helpful. Internet addiction is becoming increasingly recognized and can now be formally diagnosed in the DSM.
Treatment looks different for each individual, based on their unique experiences. Based on my research into evidence for psychotherapeutic treatments, Cogitative-behavioral approaches seem to have the highest level of evidence supporting their effectiveness.
Why Porn Can Be Damaging
Its important a distinction is made between liking porn and compulsive porn addiction. It is not the concept of porn that is damaging in this scenario. What the porn industry has made of it is problematic and damaging. The industry leaves no opportunity to make money. But, the bigger problem is that it lacks censorship and the heaps of illegal content available. There are videos of sex/human trafficking victims, sexual abuse victims, videos of underage individuals, and much worse content. Being one of the leading media industries in todays world, they owe their viewers to start monitoring the content.
Another issue with pornographic content is the recurring theme of violence in such videos. The violent content that is popular in this form of media today, leaves a distorted image of what sex is. Especially in the mind pf young impressionable teens and adolescents. This is a legitimate concern as sexual violence rates grow globally every day.;
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Lets Be Honest Weve All Done This And Its Nothing To Be Ashamed About
However, it comes to show much influence Facebook has engineered into us without us realizing why we perform these actions. Often we keep these big social circles to not only maintain our social capital but also due to FOMO .
Again this points to how these websites create these psychological effects that motivate us to constantly check our feeds so we dont miss out on things, even if its about someone who we might not know particularly well.
This brings us to the last point around how social media has slowly shaped our identities and how we want to be perceived online.
Billions Have Been Spent Into All Of This To Make Sure You Stay On Their Applications For Long As Possible
Everything discussed has been engineered to keep you addicted.
From the like button to the feed layout, every feature that is available on the application will have served some kind of purpose.
Have you ever thought of why applications like Facebook update their layout so often?
Funny enough, the main reason is that we as humans, want constant new and stimulating information. This is why these designers for applications like Facebook constantly update their applications to keep your attention.
Although we are aware that social media addiction has become a real thing, many do not understand why it is.
Often enough, we feel like we are in control of our own lives, but if I asked you to ignore all social media applications for a month, would it be possible?
Maybe some could, but the majority would struggle, and youd almost get withdrawal symptoms doing so .
In my opinion, social media addiction is a real thing and needs to be managed carefully, especially with many of these tech giants continuously growing everyday.
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Social Media Apps Are ‘deliberately’ Addictive To Users
Social media companies are deliberately addicting users to their products for financial gain, Silicon Valley insiders have told the BBC’s Panorama programme.
“It’s as if they’re taking behavioural cocaine and just sprinkling it all over your interface and that’s the thing that keeps you like coming back and back and back”, said former Mozilla and Jawbone employee Aza Raskin.
“Behind every screen on your phone, there are generally like literally a thousand engineers that have worked on this thing to try to make it maximally addicting” he added.
In 2006 Mr Raskin, a leading technology engineer himself, designed infinite scroll, one of the features of many apps that is now seen as highly habit forming. At the time, he was working for Humanized – a computer user-interface consultancy.
Infinite scroll allows users to endlessly swipe down through content without clicking.
“If you don’t give your brain time to catch up with your impulses,” Mr Raskin said, “you just keep scrolling.”
He said the innovation kept users looking at their phones far longer than necessary.
Mr Raskin said he had not set out to addict people and now felt guilty about it.
But, he said, many designers were driven to create addictive app features by the business models of the big companies that employed them.
“In order to get the next round of funding, in order to get your stock price up, the amount of time that people spend on your app has to go up,” he said.
What Is Porn Addiction
In theory, porn addiction refers to a situation where a person cant stop viewing porn. Even if they want to stop, their mind and body push them towards consuming more and more pornography.;
It is a behavioural form of addiction that is characterised by the need to watch porn constantly. The individual here gets so involved in it that they become emotionally and physically dependent on pornography. To the point that it even starts to interfere in their daily life and relationships.;
However, despite the growing cases of porn addiction all over the world, porn addiction is yet to be officially recognised as a disorder by psychiatric associations all over the world. But, that does not mean it is not a legitimate problem. The uncontrollable compulsion to view porn can be just as harmful as any other behavioral addiction like gambling or shopping.;
Addiction not only affects the addicts life but also the lives of the people around them. Here are some of the major sides effects of porn addiction, just to name a few:
- Chronic loneliness
- Inability to form meaning relationships in the future
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Whats Happening In Your Brain
Although it seems harmless, recent evidence suggests that social media use activates the same reward centers in the brain triggered by addictions to chemical compounds.
Even though we are not consuming a chemical, compulsive social media use can be classified as an addiction. So if social media use can be classified as an addiction, what does it do to your brain?
Recent neurological research points to the importance of the brains reward-circuit. Meshi et al. used functional neuroimaging data to uncover the impact of Facebook use on the nucleus accumbens; the brains pleasure-center within the reward-circuitry:
reward-related activity in the left nucleus accumbens predicts Facebook use.
Also, they found gains in reputation to be the primary reward stimulus. The brains mechanism for processing self-relevant gains in reputation through Facebook use mirrors the reward circuitry activated through addiction to psychotropic substances.
According to Polk , addiction fundamentally results from a prediction error in the brain. When the nucleus accumbens is stimulated beyond an expectation, the ventral tegmental area releases dopamine, encouraging learning, as held by the Rescorla-Wagner model. Polk emphasizes the role of dopamine as a neurotransmitter associated with craving and reward expectation, putting individuals at risk of compulsive behaviors when reencountering a trigger associated with the potential reward.
What Makes Porn So Powerfully Addictive
The porn industry is one of the biggest industries today. They have built an empire that is only going to expand as time passes. Once you log on to the internet, the chances of you coming across porn unintentionally are higher than your chances of coming across current affairs news. This is because porn is everywhere. Be it in spam adverts, video streaming websites, or the hundreds of websites dedicated to pornography. You can easily access porn with the click of a button.
This privilege that the internet has bestowed upon us also comes with its own set of cons. One of the side effects of the growing porn industry is becoming more and more apparent lately. Its the problem of porn addiction. Irrespective of age and gender, people all over the world have fallen prey to this problem. As per experts, as time passes, its only going to get worse.;