A critical consideration of social networking sites’ addiction potential

Xavier Carbonell, Tayana Panova

Producció científica: Article en revista indexadaArticleAvaluat per experts

135 Cites (Scopus)


The evolution of the Internet and its applications has led to a notable increase in concern about social networking sites (SNSs). SNSs have had global mass appeal and their often frequent use–usually by young people–has triggered worries, discussions and studies on the topic of technological and social networking addictions. In addressing this issue, we have to ask to what extent technological and social networking addictions are of the same nature as substance addictions, and whether the consequences they lead to, if any, are severe enough to merit clinical attention. We can summarize our position on the topic by saying that SNSs are primarily used to increase social capital and that there is not currently enough empirical evidence on SNSs’ addiction potential to claim that SNS addition exists. Although SNSs can provoke certain negative consequences in a subset of their users or provide a platform for the expression of preexisting conditions, this is not sufficient support for their standalone addictive power. It is necessary to distinguish between true addictive disorders, the kind that fall under the category of substance addictions, and the negative side-effects of engaging with certain appealing activities like SNSs so that we do not undermine the severity of psychiatric disorders and the experience of the individuals suffering from them. We propose that psychoeducation, viewing SNS use in context to understand their gratifications and compensatory functions and revisiting the terminology on the subject are sufficient to address the problems that emerge from SNS usage.

Idioma originalAnglès
Pàgines (de-a)48-57
Nombre de pàgines10
RevistaAddiction Research and Theory
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 2 de gen. 2017


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