Addictive Potential of Social Media: A Cross Sectional Study in Portugal
Keywords:Behavior, Addictive, Internet, Internet Addiction Disorder, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Social Media
Introduction: The use of social media is an extremely popular activity, with an average time spent of two and a half hours daily. The number of users continues to rise, with 4.65 billion around the world in 2022, approximately 58.7% of the world population. A rising number of studies show that a minority of these persons will develop a behavioral addiction on social media. The aim of this study was to understand if the use of a specific social media platform predicts increased addictive potential.
Material and Methods: A cross-sectional sample of 300 persons (aged 18 years-old or older, 60.33% female), completed an online survey including sociodemographic questions, data regarding the use of social media and the Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale (BSMAS). Linear and logistic regression models were performed to determine the risk for each media platform.
Results: Instagram® use was a significant predictor of higher scores on the BSMAS (B 2.51; p < 0.0001; CI 1.33 - 3.69). The use of other platforms including Facebook® (B -0.31), Twitter® (B 1.38) and Pinterest® (B -0.15) was not found to predict a higher risk of social media addiction.
Conclusion: Instagram® scored a higher grade in BSMAS scale, with statistical significance, which could suggest a higher addictive potential. More research is needed to establish the direction of this relationship, since the cross-sectional study design does not allow inferences about directionality.
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