Are you addicted to social media?

First try to answer the following questions with a yes or a no. Try to be honest”

ONE, I use social media like Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram or Pinterest throughout the entire day.

TWO, I use social media when I am bored or alone.

THREE, I find myself using social media more and more.

FOUR, I’m afraid of missing out on something important when I am not on social media.

FIVE, My social media use has caused conflict with my friends, distracted me in class or while at work.

SIX. I have tried to cut back on my time on social media, but it didn’t last very long.

Have you finished answering? If you have how many times did you answer yes and how many times did you answer no? Now if you answered yes to three or more of the questions above then you might be addicted to social media and perhaps reconsider your use of social media.

This however is not a pop or online quiz that s number of us take for the hell of it and share on our FB timeline. This test was reported in 2016 and was said to reveal if one was addicted to social media. The test was developed by Dr. James Roberts — The Ben H. Williams Professor of Marketing in Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business — and was reported or featured in SCIENCE DAILY.COM last October 27, 2016.

Roberts is the author of the book “Too Much of a Good Thing: Are you Addicted to yourI Smartphone. Also, Roberts is internationally known for his research on the effects of technology — specifically smartphones — on stress levels and relationships. Aside from that he has also conducted research on Smart Phone addiction.

An Explanation of the test

It would seem that Roberts based or patterned his test on substance and behavioral addictions. According to Roberts, Substance and behavioral addictions is made up of six parts: (I) salience; (II) euphoria; (III) tolerance; (IV)conflict; (V) withdrawal symptoms; And (VI) relapse. The six questions and statements can be use to assess each part and ultimately help them make sense if the attachement to social media is an addiction.

A brief explanation of the term and the corresponding question in the quiz:

First, What is Salience?
It is your social media use deeply integrated into your daily life?
(I use social media like Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram or Pinterest throughout the entire day. )

Second, What is Euphoria?
Do you depend on social media use for excitement throughout the day?
(I use social media when I am bored or alone. )

Third, What is Tolerance?
Do you need to spend more time to get a “buzz” from social media?
(I find myself using social media more and more.)

Fourth, What is Withdrawal symptoms?
Do you get nervous when you are not on social media?
(I’m afraid of missing out on something important when I am not on social media. )

Fifth, What is Conflict?
Does your use of social media cause you trouble?
(My social media use has caused conflict with my friends, distracted me in class or while at work. )

Sixth, What is Relapse?
Have you tried to cut-back on your use of social media but failed?
(I have tried to cut back on my time on social media, but it didn’t last very long.)

Interpretation of the Test Results

Roberts said, “Our devotion to technology and social media has changed how we interact with others, and that’s not necessarily a good thing”.

Roberts believed that indeed technology — in this case digital technology has its advantages, However, The obsession with digital technology — ie smart? phones and others — and our life on social media can come to a cost to our real-life relationships.”

According to Roberts, If you gave three or more questions to the test, then you might need to re-assess your use of social media. Roberts’ quickly followed that with a statement that there is still hope. The advise Roberts gave was to find a sweet a balance between being digitally connected and make time for relationships and community.

Assessment of the test and its significance

The Roberts test of social media addiction is interesting because aside from it being a self-evaluative tool to assess ourselves, it show how digital technology and social media has affected our lives. Is our digital life affecting our real world life? How is it affecting it?

This opens up a wide array of things to look into from the difference of online and offline social behaviour to digital solitude versus the Hikikomori phenomenon — or an individual’s social withdrawal into the digital world, which was previously observed in Japan, where adolescents and young adults withdraw from social life for more than six months.

Perhaps beyond the initial fascination whether or not we are social media addicts. This test and this bit of news can actually push us to re-think and re-evaluate our social media use. Given that the psychological definition of addiction is still the following:

Addiction:

Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (e.g., alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (e.g., gambling, sex, shopping) that can be pleasurable but the continuation of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary responsibilities and concerns, such as work, relationships, or health. People who have developed an addiction may not be aware that their behavior is out of control and causing problems for themselves and others.
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Link

References:

Baylor University. “Are you addicted to social media? Six questions.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 October 2016. .
Date Accessed: March 23,2017 – https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161027115714.htm

What is addiction? Psychology Today. psychologytoday.com. Date Accessed: March 23,2017. https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/addiction

 

 

This post is supported by a writing grant from the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ). 

Juned Sonido is a blogger, infomation specialist; digital media, social media and on line reputation management specialist; He is currently a lecturer at the Science and Society Program of the UP College of Science and a Senior Media Consulant for the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) and a STC for the World Bank. He blogs at Baratillo Pamphlet a commentary and analysis blog.

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