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Social media addiction

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  • GS 2 || Governance || Human Development || Health

 Why in News?

  • Scientists have found a connection between excessive social media use and problems in decision-making.

 Michigan University’s Professor’s Findings:

  • “Around one-third of humans on the planet are using social media, and some of these people are displaying maladaptive, excessive use of these sites,” said Dar Meshi, an assistant professor at Michigan State University (MSU) in the US.
  • Published in the Journal of Behavior Addictions,
  • First of a kind to assess the connection between social media use and risky decision-making capabilities.
  • “Decision making is oftentimes compromised in individuals with substance use disorders. They sometimes fail to learn from their mistakes and continue down a path of negative outcomes,” Meshi said.
  • “While we didn’t test for the cause of poor decision-making, we tested for its correlation with problematic social media use,” he said.
  • There were 71 participants, who partook in the survey about their psychological dependence on popular social site Facebook, almost tantamount to its addiction.
  • Questions on the survey asked about users’ preoccupation with the platform, their feelings when unable to use it, attempts to quit and the impact that Facebook has had on their job or studies.
  • Participants were given Iowa Gambling Task, a common exercise used by psychologists to measure decision-making.
  • Users had to decipher the outcome patterns in decks of cards to choose the best possible deck in order to complete the test.

 Outcome:

  • The people who were addictive over the usage of Facebook they faltered miserably at completing the gambling task.
  • While those who are less active over the social media, did somehow good in the game.
  • The magnitude of usage of social media can be said in directly proportional to the decision making capabilities.
  • A flabbergasting outcome was that those people who take opioids, drugs and cocaine, they failed in the similar ways as the addicted people of social media did.
  • With so many people around the world using social media, it’s critical for us to understand its use,” Meshi said.
  • I believe that social media has tremendous benefits for individuals, but there’s also a dark side when people can’t pull themselves away. We need to better understand this drive so we can determine if excessive social media use should be considered an addiction,” he said.