At the University of Strathclyde, a team of experts called into question the excessive use of social media platforms, challenging the notion that frequent use is a form of addiction.
Their findings were released online in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions.
According to the study, a hallmark process commonly used to assess and determine addictive behaviors is attentional bias.
In the study, involving 100 participants, they were instructed to take part in social media activity using a simulated smartphone screen. The participants also had access to other mobile applications. By taking attentional bias into consideration, researchers noticed that the social media users, or the participants, had not demonstrated such processes.
Based on their findings, excessive social media use did not necessarily indicate attentional bias among the participants.
“We did not find evidence of attentional bias. People who frequently checked and posted their social media accounts were no more likely to have their attention drawn to the icon of a social media app than those who check and post less often,” researchers concluded in their study.
“Our research indicates that frequent social media use may not, at present, necessarily fit into traditional addiction frameworks.”