Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

Living Edition
| Editors: Marc Gellman

Social Networking Sites

  • Carly M. GoldsteinEmail author
  • Anna Luke
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6439-6_101953-1



Social networking sites, sometimes characterized under the umbrella term social media, are virtual communities or networks that allow individuals, communities, and organizations to create and disseminate user-generated content including but not limited to pictures, videos, text, memes, and profile pages for individuals or groups; social media content has greater virality than other web-based content. By connecting a user’s profile (maintained by the social media organization) to other individuals or groups, social networks are formed. Well-known social media sites include Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. When social networking sites were first popularized, the average users were emerging adults, but now users represent a wide range of ages, races, and places of residence.


Social media encompasses all online platforms on which media content is uploaded, and social networking sites are...


Sedentary Behavior Social Networking Site Virtual Community Social Media Site Digital Health 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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References and Further Readings

  1. Balatsoukas, P., & Kennedy, C. M. (2015). The role of social network technologies in online health promotion: A narrative review of theoretical and empirical factors influencing intervention effectiveness. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 17(6), e141. doi:10.2196/jmir.3662.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Cheung, Y. T. D., Chan, C. H. H., Lai, C. K. J., Chan, W. F. V., Wang, M. P., Li, H. C. W., Chan, S. S. C., & Lam, T. H. (2015). Using whatsapp and facebook online social groups for smoking relapse prevention for recent quitters: A pilot pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 17(10), e238. doi:10.2196/jmir.4829.Google Scholar
  3. Dagan, N., & Beskin, D. (2015). Effects of social network exposure on nutritional learning: Development of an online educational platform. JMIR Serious Games, 3(2), e7. doi:10.2196/games.4002.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
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  7. Maher, C. A., Lewis, L. K., Ferrar, K., Marshall, S., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., & Vandelanotte, C. (2014). Are health behavior change interventions that use online social networks effective? A systematic review. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 16(2), e40. doi:10.2196/jmir.2952.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. Pagoto, S., Waring, M. E., May, C. N., Ding, E. Y., Kunz, W. H., Hayes, R., & Oleski, J. L. (2016). Adapting behavioral interventions for social media delivery. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 18(1), e24. doi:10.2196/jmir.5086.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  9. Pew Research Center. (2015a). Teens, social media and technology overview 2015. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/09/teens-social-media-.technology-2015/
  10. Pew Research Center. (2015b). The smartphone difference. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/01/us-smartphone-use-in-2015/
  11. Pew Research Center. (2015c). Technology device ownership: 2015. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/10/29/technology-device-ownership-2015/
  12. Seymour, B., Getman, R., Saraf, A., Zhang, L. H., & Kalenderian, E. (2015). When advocacy obscures accuracy online: Digital pandemics of public health misinformation through an antifluoride case study. American Journal of Public Health, 105(3), 517–523. doi:10.2105/ajph.2014.302437.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Weight Control and Diabetes Research CenterThe Miriam HospitalProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Warren Alpert Medical SchoolBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  3. 3.Kent State UniversityKentUSA