Advertisement

Social Media Addiction in Geopolitically At-Risk Youth

  • Fayez Azez Mahamid
  • Denise Ziya Berte
Original Article

Abstract

The concept of an addictive process related to social media use, specifically for youth, has been explored in several venues including the attempt to identify factors of vulnerability in predicting excessive or maladaptive use of social media. While the focus has been on personal characteristics, there are also clear environmental stressors or situational variables that affect particular populations that might contribute to patterns of addictive social media use, such as limited social and recreational outlets, restricted movement, and access to in-person socialization with peers, as well as stress related to local geographic political conflict. The current study examines the concept of geopolitical vulnerability related to living in a militarized occupied area and patters of maladaptive addicted social media use in young adults. The sample included 744 students at An-Najah National University of Palestine all residing in the occupied West Bank of Palestine. The results indicate that the level of maladaptive use of social media is high with a vast majority of students scoring within the range of an addictive pattern of use (47%). These findings are qualified by the variables of gender, with males at highest risk, and level of study with bachelor level students exhibiting significantly more addictive behaviors than master’s level students in regard to social media. In a geopolitical area with high stress and few opportunities for leisure activities or open socialization, it is not difficult to imagine a heightened vulnerability to an addictive pattern of social media use given its continual availability, relative easy access, and contrived feeling of social satisfaction for youth. However, this virtual “fix” may come at a high price for developing adults who lack social skills for their challenging environments, are unable to discern reality from the fantasy of social media, and are creating habits that will be formative in their adulthood. Further investigation is needed to examine the specific risks of excessive social media use and structural societal changes needed to add protective factors to combat social media addiction in the upcoming generations in high stress areas.

Keywords

Social media addiction Palestine Geographical risk 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. No funding was received for this study.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of University’s Research Ethics Board and with the 1975 Helsinki Declaration.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants.

References

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics (2011). Children, Adolescents, and the Media Council on communication and Media. Retrieved from http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/132/5/958.
  2. American Society of Addiction Medicine (2016). Public policy statement: definition of Addiction. Retrieved from http://www.asam.org/resources/ difinition-of addiction.
  3. Bennet, I. (2013). Social media: the new addiction. Reuters Online. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/video/2013/02/17, video ID 241041887.
  4. Byun, S., Ruffini, C., Mills, J. E., Douglas, A. C., Niang, M., Stepchenkova, S., Lee, S. K., Loufli, O., Lee, J., Atallah, M., & Blantin, M. (2009). Internet addiction: meta-analysis of 1996–2006 qualitative research. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 12(2), 203–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cheng, C. & Li, A.Y. (2014). Internet addiction prevalence and quality of real life: a meta-analysis of 31 nations across seven world regions. Behavior and Social Networking 17(12)  https://doi.org/10.1089/cyber2014.0302.
  6. Correa, T., Hinsley, A., & du Zuniga, H. (2010). Who interacts on the web? The interaction of user’s personality and social media use. Computers in Human Behavior, 2(26), 247–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dill, K. (2013). Facebook: lurking, liking and self-satisfaction Psychology Today Retrievded from http://www.psyhologytoday.com.
  8. Duggan, M. & Brenner, J. (2013).The demographics of social media users. PEW Internet. Retrieved from http://pewinternet.org/Reports2013/socialmediausersaspx.
  9. Dunbar, R. I. M., Marriot, A., & Duncan, N. D. C. (1997). Human conversational behavior. Human Nature, 8, 231–246.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Hardie, E., & Tee, M. Y. (2007). Excessive internet use: the role of personality, loneliness, and social support networks in internet addiction. Australian Journal of Engineering Technology and Society, 5, 8–16.Google Scholar
  11. Hasrnujuj, E. (2016). Internet addiction and loneliness among students of University of Shkodra. European Scientific Journal, 12(29), 1857–7881.Google Scholar
  12. Kuss, D. J., & Griffiths, M. D. (2011). Online social networking and addiction: a review of the psychological literature. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 8, 43–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Moeller, S. (2010). ICMPA A day without media, Research Project University of MD, Phillip Merril College of Journalism. Retrieved from http://withoutmedia.worldpress.com.
  14. Naaman, M., Boase, J. & Lai, C. H. (2010). Is it really about me? Message content in social awareness streams Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported CooperativeWork, CSCW. 189–192.  https://doi.org/10.1145/1718918.1718953.
  15. Rutledge, P. B. (2016). The pressure of social media: should I disconnect? Psychology Today, 7/17/2016 edition.Google Scholar
  16. Shokri, O., Potenza, M. N., & Sanaepour, M. H. (2017). A preliminary study suggesting similar relationships between impulsivity and severity of problematic use in male and female Iranian collage students. International Journal of Mental Health Addiction, 15, 277–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Tamir, D. I., & Mitchell, J. P. (2012). Disclosing information about the self is intrinsically rewarding. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109(21), 8038–8043.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  18. Thompson, S. H., & Lougheed, E. (2012). Frazzled by Facebook? An exploratory study of gender differences in social media communication among undergraduate men and women. College Student Journal, 46, 23.Google Scholar
  19. Torres-Rodriguez, A., Griffiths, M. D., & Carbonell, X. (2017). The treatment of Internet gaming disorder: a brief overview of the PIPATIC program. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-017-9825-0.
  20. Van Rooij, A. J. (2011). Online Video Game Addiction. Exploring a new phenomenon [PhD Thesis]. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Erasmus University Rotterdam.Google Scholar
  21. Young, K. S. (2012). Internet addiction: the emergence of a new clinical disorder. CyberPsychology & Behavior Journal, 1(3), 237–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyAn-Najah National UniversityNablusPalestine
  2. 2.An-Najah Child InstituteAn-Najah National UniversityNablusPalestine

Personalised recommendations