Social Media Dependence More Likely in People with Particular Personality Traits, Says Study

Social Media Dependence More Likely in People with Particular Personality Traits
Social Media Dependence Soft Skills

Social Media Dependence More Likely in People with Particular Personality Traits, Says Study

With the advent of technology, the communication between friends, family and loved ones has simplified. People are now able to communicate and exchange messages more easily. The platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have also added certain new words like Twitterati, Tweeps, Instagram Handle into our vocabulary. But the idea of simply exchanging messages and information via direct communication is no more valid.

People create account, update profile and picture, exchange messages and continue doing so unless they are trapped in the vicious cycle of likes and dislikes, comments, and more. This, in turn, tends to create unwarranted dependency on social media platforms. This unjustifiable dependency on social media platforms is so high that one can easily compare it to the addiction to illicit substances. This is because just like these illicit substances, the social media platforms also offer some sort of temporary pleasure to an individual. 

Study Reveals Connection Between Human Traits and Social Media Addiction

A study conducted by the researchers at the Binghamton University and its paper titled, “Personality Predictors of IT Addiction,” that was presented at the 51st Hawaii International Conference on Systems Science in Jan 2018 has revealed the connection between certain human traits and the likelihood of developing dependency on social media platforms. This study was conducted based on the self-reported information by 300 college students. It revealed that three behavioral traits – neuroticism, conscientiousness, and agreeability – created a strong urge in an individual to use social networking sites. It was also found that extraversion and openness had no role in an individual’s addiction to social networking sites.

The researchers studied neuroticism and conscientiousness separately and found that each of these traits had positive impact on an individual’s probability of using social media. Neuroticism, the extent to which an individual feels and experiences any negative emotions like stress and anxiousness, have negative impact on an individual when not using social media. Whereas, conscientiousness, defined as the nerve control and the urge to accomplish specified goals, have positive effects on an individual’s likelihood of developing social media addiction.

The researchers continued their study by studying the combined impact of the two traits. They found that neuroticism had moderating effect on conscientiousness in relation to the compulsion to use social media sites. This implies that even though certain people may continue to achieve their goals, the rising level of stress and anxiety may force them to reuse networking sites and, thus, develop addiction. It was also concluded from the research that addiction to social networking sites is not necessarily a result of irrational and reckless behavior, but also practical and well-meaning behavior.

“It’s more of a holistic approach to discover what kind of people are more likely to develop an addiction. Rather than just focusing on one personality trait, this allows you to look at an all-inclusive personality profile,” said Isaac Vaghefi, Binghamton University School of Management’s Assistant Professor of Information Systems.

Recovery Is Possible

There have been several studies conducted in the past identifying the relation between addictive substances and human behavior. Similarly, this study was conducted to identify the relationship between human traits and how they impact an individual’s likelihood to develop addiction to social media.

Addiction to drugs or social media sites is a mental health issue that needs to be cured. If you or someone you know is addicted to any form of substance or social media and needs help from an expert, advise them to seek immediate help as any sort of delay would only worsen their condition. For gaining a better understanding of these illnesses, Athena Foundation is the place to be. Offering you a multitude of courses based on your area of interest, Athena Foundation can help you master the skill. Call us today at +91 9599093700 or drop us a message at and our representative will contact you shortly.

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