Week 10 – Article 1: Facebook Addiction

This week in my Social Internet course, we are having a different type of class meeting. We were all given the task of finding two articles (not related to our research interests) but related to social media from 2014 and then tasked with writing a summary for our blog.

For my first article I chose The interplay of intrinsic need satisfaction and Facebook specific motives in explaining addictive behavior on Facebook by Philip Masur, Lenoard Reinecke, Marc Ziegele and Oliver Ouiring. This article is from the October, 2014 issue of Computers in Human Behavior (citation provided bellow).

Purpose / Goal: The goal of this paper was to gain a better understanding of addictive behavior on Social Networking Sites (SNS), specifically Facebook. The authors also wanted to develop a “psychometrically sound scale” to measure addictive behavior on SNS. Previous research in this area found addictive behavior to be related to seeking specific gratification through SNS platforms and also other researchers have investigated the relationship between offline well-being and obsessive behaviors. Based on the previous research, the current study aims to extend previous studies by looking at both offline need satisfaction and gratifications sought in the online context to better understand addictive behaviors on Facebook.

Method: In order to accomplish their goal, the authors conducted an online survey in Germany during July, 2012. This survey was given to a Socio- Scientific Panel ( a panel of German Internet users who volunteer to take online-surveys) which resulted in 806 participants, due to missing data or lacking a Facebook account the remaining 581 participants were used for the data analysis. The survey was comprised of the SNS ( Internet Addiction Scale ), Motives of Facebook Use and Intrinsic need satisfaction in daily life. Examples of these surveys include:

  1. SNS Addiction – the authors modified the Internet Addiction Scale to measure SNS addiction. The changed the question to be specific to only Facebook not all SNS – Ex: “ I often spent more time on Facebook then I intended”
  2. Motive of Fcebook – Based on prior research, the authors created a scale measuring motives for Facebook use: escapism, self-presentation, entertainment, information seeking, socializing, and meeting new people. Ex: “ I use Facebook to meet new people”.
  3. Intrinsic Need Satisfaction and daily life – was measured by using an adapted for of a 12-item scale developed by La Guardia, Ryan, Couchman, and Deci (2000). This scale consisted of three subscales measuring the need for autonomy, competence and relatedness. Ex: “In my daily life, I feel free to be who I am”.

Results: The first goal of creating a reliable SNS addiction measurement resulted in the authors creating of a new 18-item scale to measure the level of addictive behaviors on SNSs. The scale was based on the well validated Internet Addiction Scale. Although the authors made their new scale specific to Facebook only, it is likely this scale would work with any SNSs. The second purpose was to examine the relationship between intrinsic need satisfaction in daily life and specific motives of using SNS to explain SNS addiction. Concurrent with prior research, the authors found motive was a strong predictor of SNS addiction. Also, motives and self presentation promote SNS addictive behaviors. Similarly, escaping from ones daily life strongly predicts SNS addiction. These results indicate there are both benefits and risks associated with SNS use. Facebook serves as a way to “escape daily stress, demands and frustration” which can help an individual’s well-being however these same gratifications can lead to excessive and addictive behaviors on SNS


So what?! I think this article is useful to EVEYRONE not just researchers in this field. Anyone with a Facebook should be interested in these results! Understanding the authors conclusion is imperative to Facebook users due to the fine line between using Facebook and addictive SNS behaviors presented in the article. The authors find individuals use Facebook to escape daily stress but this can lead to SNS addictive behaviors. This article can help Facebook users draw a line between using Facebook to “escape” and using it to the point where it becomes excessive and addictive. On a personal level, I know I used Facebook to distract myself or to “cool down” after working on school work for a long time, which in terms of the article could be defined as “escaping” and therefore, I am glad I read this article and now know this could lead to more problematic SNS use.

I hope you all find this article as interesting as I did! Thoughts?


Reference for article above:

Masur, P. K., Reinecke, L., Ziegele, M., & Quiring, O. (2014). The interplay of intrinsic  need satisfaction and Facebook specific motives in explaining addictive behavior on Facebook. Computers in Human Behavior, 39, 376-386.


12 thoughts on “Week 10 – Article 1: Facebook Addiction

  1. I wonder what percentage of the population is addicted to some form of technology? It may be Facebook, Pinterest or video games, it can all be addicting. Also, the study is just looking at addictive behavior and not actual addiction? I’m wondering at what point does behavior that looks like addiction cross into the realm of actual addiction?


  2. I love your choice of article! While doing a research project for my other class, I actually looked into different scales of measuring Facebook usage (and secretly, I tested those scales on myself). I am apparently addicted to Facebook (so sad…). And I totally see this article’s point; I am using Facebook as an escape, or a way to get away from my work to the point that I think of checking Facebook as a reward to myself. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I also explored a form of digital addiction through SNS. It looked at how we are developing social media habits that are hard to break leading to addiction. This Facebook study adds a richer look at this issue. I used to use Facebook all the time, but have started to use it less and Twitter more. I have to monitor my computer time in general to avoid distraction addiction.

    Liked by 1 person

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