A new study has warned that social media such as Facebook may not only be addictive, it could also be associated with impulse control disorders, including substance abuse.
Research at the University at Albany led Julia Hormes evaluated the addictive nature of social media - specifically Facebook - in a sample of undergraduate students, 18 years or older. It was found that 10 per cent of users experience what Hormes' classified as 'disordered social networking use'.
Subjects of the study were categorised as meeting criteria for disordered social media use reported addiction-like behaviours including strong urges or cravings to browse the site, irritability when access was out of reach and an increase in use over a length of time.
The researchers noted that those who were struggling with social media addiction were more likely to report drinking problems. Moreover, the respondents who met criteria for disordered social networking use also tended to report problems with emotion regulation, including poor impulse control.
According to Julia Hormes, the social networking platform Facebook has several characteristics that may encourage the development of an addiction-like syndrome. The findings suggest that disordered online social networking may arise as part of other risk factors that increase susceptibility to both substance and non-substance addictions.
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