We all have a fascination with social media, whether we prefer Facebook, Instagram or one of the many other platforms that have taken over our digital lives. But is it possible to be predisposed to social media addiction? One new study suggests that this might actually be the case.
Recently, researchers from Binghamton University took a look at certain traits that people have and how they play a role in social media addiction (“A combination of personality traits might make you more addiction to social networks,” 2018).
“There has been plenty of research on how the interaction of certain personality traits affects addiction to things like alcohol and drugs,” said Binghamton University School of Management assistant professor of information systems Isaac Vaghefi. “We wanted to apply a similar framework to social networking addiction.”
Vaghefi and his team collected self-reported data from about 300 college-aged students and was able to link three specific traits — neuroticism, conscientiousness and agreeableness – to social media addiction.
Neuroticism and conscientiousness seemed to have direct negative and positive effects on the likelihood of developing a social network addiction. On the opposite end of the spectrum, having a higher amount of conscientiousness appeared to decrease the likelihood of developing a social network addiction. However, neuroticism seemed to moderate the effect of conscientiousness.
Handling Social Media Addiction
If you find yourself spending too much time on social media, there are a few ways you can easily cut back and step back into the real world. Setting boundaries and being mindful of them is an ideal first step (“How to Curb Your Social Media Addiction,” 2018).
“Start small, and define which aspects of social media are a problem,” Kat Glick, the director of quality and compliance at Talkspace, tells Inc.com. “Mindfulness is key to any behavioral modification.”
There are also small, yet effective steps you can take to wean yourself off of social media. For instance, disabling push notifications can reduce the urge to check social media apps on your phone. Rewarding yourself for staying offline can also be effective. Try engaging in a hobby you enjoy on your spare time instead, whether it’s exercising, reading or watching films. In the end, you’ll feel less obligated to stay tethered to what’s happening on the internet.
Inman, Skyler. “How to Curb Your Social Media Addiction.” Retrieved March 19, 2018, from https://www.inc.com/skyler-inman/ditch-your-social-media-addiction-with-these-five-tips.html.
“A combination of personality traits might make you more addicted to social networks.” Retrieved March 19, 2018, from https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/bu-aco030818.php.