Stressing Over Social Media May Be Causing New Addiction

If you’re feeling stressed over social media, then you might be addicted Social media users who find social media stressful are also more likely to be addicted to it,...

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If you’re feeling stressed over social media, then you might be addicted

Social media users who find social media stressful are also more likely to be addicted to it, according to a new study by researchers at two German universities.

The researchers found that people who experience stress when logging into social media sites are more likely to log in frequently, stay on the sites longer, and use social media as a coping mechanism. This contradicted their assumption that people who are stressed out by social media would prefer to log off the sites altogether.

“The stronger the user’s SNS (Social Networking Site) habit, the higher the likelihood they would keep using it as a means of diversion as a coping behavior in response to stressors, and possibly develop an addiction to the SNS,” Sven Laumer, one of the researchers, said. “Even when users are stressed from SNS use, they are using the same platforms to cope with that stress, diverting themselves through other activities on the SNS, and ultimately building compulsive and excessive behavior…As a result, they embed themselves in the social network environment rather than getting away from it, and addiction is formed.”

Social media addiction is a real and growing problem, especially among young people, the researchers said. They noted that using social media to cope with stress can make the problem worse, and users should seek counseling if they can’t break the habit on their own.

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