Individual Addiction to Social Networking Sites

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The research model shows how social presence creates a sense of belonging for people it is a tool for escapism it helps individuals seek distraction from unpleasant realities it is a source of pleasure and it creates excitement within oneself. All of these emotions combined to create what we call social network sites addiction the more individual tends to feel a sense of belonging because of a certain tool in SNS, the higher becomes the attachment of this individual to that tool thus leading to addiction.

Research Model

Research Model and Hypothesis

Due to these research, I was capable of to have a better understanding of how the sense of belonging helps to shape peoples' behavior. However, studies have mainly considered the positive outcomes created by the sense of belonging, with few considering the potential negative consequences. Indeed, when users have a stronger sense of belonging to an SNS, they are more likely to use it frequently, which raises the possibility of becoming addicted. therefore, this study aims to extend other studies by searching the cause of SNS addiction from the perspective of belongingness theory.

investigation have stressed the major role of sense of belonging in the online environment (Lin, 2008; Lin et al., 2014; Zhao et al., 2012). Chai and Kim (2012) have found that sense of belonging positively influenced individuals' knowledge sharing behavior on SNSs. Lin in 2008 stated that sense of belonging predicted members' loyalty in online virtual communities. According to Chou, Lin, and Huang (2016) found that knowledge contribution behavior and online community citizenship behavior were positively impacted my sense of belonging in virtual communities. Lin et al. (2014) found that sense of belonging was a significant indicator of users' intention to continue using SNSs.

Hagerty, LynchSauer, Patusky, Bouwsema, and Collier (1992), defined sense of belonging as the experience of personal involvement in an environment that causes the people to feel like an important part of that environment. This feeling is generated by the effect of the external environment on the people, and the behavior of the individual's in the external environment is the result of this effect (An & Liu, 2014). A while after that more sense of belonging theories and studies have aroused widely in both physical and online virtual environments (Zhao, Lu, Wang, Chau, & Zhang, 2012). Based research, sense of belonging can be defined as an involvement in and perception of belonging to SNS communities (Chai & Kim, 2012). It reflects users' feelings of attachment to or identification with an SNS (Lin, Fan, & Chau, 2014) and provides a good description of the psychological state experienced by SNS users or their emotional responses to the online environment in the context of human-human interaction (Guo, Liu, & Liu, 2016).

According to (Baumeister & Leary, 1995) theory belongingness is regarded as a crucial way to understand the fundamental role of interpersonal relationships in human lives. this theory suggests that individuals have a strong need for belonging and therefore it encourages to make interpersonal contacts and satisfy their need to belong. Also, they state that when individuals fulfilled their sense of belonging can lead to positive emotions.

Belongingness Theory

(Ogara, chang and prybutok, 2014) states how important construct social presence is in the online environment because it implies direct or indirect human contact. Based on (Gefen & Straub, 2004). The concept of social presence has been applied to explain individuals' behavior and emotions in an online atmosphere (Han, Min, & Lee, 2016; Kim & Song, 2016). also, Choi explored the effect of social presence in mobile social network service and found that it contributed to users' enjoyment and intention to continue in 2016. Later on, in 2010 Shen, Yu, and Khalifa found that social presence was positively related to social identity and knowledge contribution behavior in online virtual communities. It was founded by Han et al in (2016) that social presence increased users' trust in the company and perception of the usefulness of information. Though the great efforts have been devoted to understanding social presence, most studies have focused on its positive effects. While limited research has investigated how social presence can result in negative consequences example like SNS addiction. In fact, individuals participating in SNS can communicate with others in a style that is similar to traditional communication (Cheung, Chiu, & Lee, 2011). When people perceive a high level of social presence through their personal interactions on an SNS, they tend to be deeply involved and engaged in the SNS which led individuals to become addicted to SNSs. Therefore, it is important to examine the link between social presence and SNS addiction.

Here the term social presence is described as the degree of salience of the other person in the interaction and the consequent salience of the interpersonal relationships (Short, Williams, & Christie, 1976). Short, Williams and Christie they didn't only explained the term social presence but also, they operationalized in terms of how warm, sociable, personal, and sensitive people perceive the mediated communication to be (Animesh, Pinsonneault, Yang, & Oh, 2011; Short et al., 1976). Social presence captures the feeling of being psychologically involved in an interaction with others in a mediated environment (Durlach & Slater, 2000; Schroeder, 2006).

According to (Cheung, chin, and lee 2011). Social presence increased user's trust in a perception of the usefulness of information. Although great efforts have been devoted to understanding social presence, most studies have focused on its positive effects. Scant research has investigated how social presence can result in negative consequences such as social network addiction. Addiction often derives from the processes of positive reinforcement and neural sensitization. SNSs which create the sense of belonging that fulfils a psychological void in individual's lives can be addictive. Han et al (2016). Inappropriate and excessive use of SNSs can have effects such as low frustration tolerance, decreased academic performance, depression and low self – esteem (Cheung and Wong, 2011)

Social Presence

Prior studies have shown enjoyment has significant effects on behavior. scholars have found that online shopping enjoyment leads consumers to browse more and stay longer on shopping websites (Ha & Lennon, 2010; Kim, Fiore, & Lee, 2007; Menon & Kahn, 2002; Perea y; Monsuwe et al., 2004). Choi found that enjoyment of a smartphone based social networking service increased users' intention to continue. Turel and Serenko stated that enjoyment not only contributed to high engagement it also facilitated the development of bad habits and addiction. The consequences of enjoyment have been addressed, the effects of different dimensions of enjoyment on SNS addiction have rarely been examined in previous studies, good things can turn them into bad things (Turel & Serenko, 2012) therefore, the present study investigates how the different dimensions of enjoyment influence SNS addiction.

(Holbrook, 1994) Enjoyment stems from the appreciation of an experience for its own sake. In our research context, enjoyment is derived from the fun and playfulness of using SNSs. It reflects users' perception of the potential entertainment value of participating in SNSs. Enjoyment is generally measured on three dimensions: escapism, pleasure, and arousal (Mathwick, Malhotra, & Rigdon, 2001; Menon & Kahn, 2002; Perea Monsuwe, Dellaert, & De Ruyter, 2004; Song, Fiore, & Park, 2007). According to (Wu & Holsapple, 2014) saying escapism comes from engaging in activities that are unpleasant realities, problems, and pressures, absorbing to the point of offering an escape from. It's said that pleasure is the extent to which a person feels happy, good, or satisfied while doing something according (De Wulf, Schillewaert, Muylle, & Rangarajan, 2006; Song et al., 2007) while arousal is the degree to which external sensory stimulation makes a person feels active, stimulated, or alerts (Wu & Holsapple, 2014).


Social Networking Factors

Defined by Daniel the term social refers to interacting with other people by sharing information's with them and receiving information from them (Daniel nation, 2017) minser describes networking as the process of developing and using your contacts to increase your business enhances your knowledge, expand your sphere of influence or serve your community (Ivan Minser 2012). While social networking sites as web-based services that allow individuals to construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system; articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection and view and traverse their list of connections made by others within the system (Boyd and Ellison, 2007) Social networking addiction is a phase sometimes used to refer to someone spending too much time using Facebook, twitter, Instagram and other forms of social media so much so that it interferes with another aspect of daily life (Leslie Walker, 2017)Social Networking Sites (SNSs) are virtual Attitude Affect Cognition Behavior and Social and Behavioral Sciences (2016) communities where users can create individual public profiles, interact with real-life friends, and meet other people based on shared interests. They are seen as a 'global consumer phenomenon' with an exponential rise in usage within the last few years.

Addiction of social networking and factors are explained by different authors and often known as psychological disorder around the world. Pamaoukaghion was the first who described social networking as a psychological disorder around the globe in 2010 and internet leading to social networking addiction saying When individual perceive a high level of social presence through their personal interactions on an SNS, they tend to be deeply involved and engaged in the SNSs

Social Networking Addiction

Usage of social networking addiction among adolescents' researchers has shown that there are differences between social networking usage between genders. It is stated that male use social networking sites for learning while females for communicating with their friends. According to jelicic et al in 2007 stated the females are more alert not to reveal their personal information on social networking sites compared to males. And in 2016 according to muller et al states that intense social networking users were more related to females while was more associated with addiction among intense social networking user. Whereas kuss and Griffiths in 2011 observed that males overall are riskier to be addicted to social networking games compared to females.

Social Networking Usage in Adolescents'

Further, teenagers are generally very much influenced by their peer groups. Because of the rapid growth in technology like cell phones, laptops, internet. In this 21st century, they have the access spending much of their time online and enjoy spending their free communicating with their friends. Males are more likely to spend online gaming and chatting, whereas for the females more likely to devote their time by posting pictures, chatting, and social networking on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so on.

The importance of social networking sites is increasing for outgoing purposes among adults, but teenagers are the most frequent users. Globally, teenagers and college students are spending long hours on social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, snap chat and other forms of social networking sites. This has resulted in a leading for addiction and affecting their school or work life. Parents are having less time to spend with their children as they are increasingly busy with jobs outside the home. The ability to play out of doors is virtually non-existent for children. Most of these teenagers spend their time alone watching television or using internet with very limited physical activity. According to McBride stated that College students are considered heavy users of Internet compared to the general population. Use of the Internet has become a part of college students' daily routine. College Internet users are twice as likely to use instant messaging on any given day compared to the average Internet user (2006). They are passing their time on social networking sites as young people can play online games chat with their friends online and network. Social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, WeChat, Instagram are more popular worldwide. Increased internet among teenagers results in less physical, psychological, and emotional outlets for encouragement necessary for development. The misappropriate of social networking sites by teenagers has become one of society's most insidious threats. It is not only harmful to a teenager but also adversely affects the family unit and society as a whole. When a teenager spends too much time on the Internet and wastes the time, their behavior patterns can be adversely altered as they spend less time on studies and responsibilities and become overcome with the desire to be online. There are many who forsake sleep, meals, and time with family and friends to be connected online. SNS as a time passing activity among teenagers and leading them to be addicted.


The Insignificance of Social Networking Sits Usage

YouTube, in general, represents a forum for online communication that is centered around sharing preference and popular culture. It was created on February 14, 2005, by the three former PayPal employees' chad Hurley, Steve Chen and jawed Karim.

YouTube allows users to upload, share as well as view videos mostly its uploaded most of the content on YouTube by individuals but for news such as CBS, the BBC and other organizations offer some of their material via YouTube, as part of the partnership program. Users who didn't register can only watch videos while registered users can upload an unlimited number of videos. According to the consortium in 2007 stated that YouTube as a repository of popular culture in the form of newscasts, television shows, movies or music videos that are of the current interest.


Instagram is intended to be used in real time, users can share with their friends and followers their experience as they happen. Instagram made it convenient for the users to instantly share a picture on several platforms all from one app, also by sharing a social network. In addition, users can share photos on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr so on. On the app itself, users can check a homepage of their friends' recent posts, check a newsfeed for follower activity, comment on and like any public pictures, on top of that, they can tag followers in both comments and photos. In particular, the hashtag trend is widely used in captions and comments among them. Instagram is also accessible on the web, but only with the viewing, commenting and liking functions to upload photos, users must use Instagram's mobile app.

It was established in 2010, the name was originally from the combination of instant camera and telegram. Starting with one million monthly users, by July 2011 the photo-sharing app found itself with 100 million uploaded and the same year on September 10 million users. Instagram is knowing as a mobile app that allows users to share, upload with friends and with the world through videos and photos. in many ways, from the start, Instagram's photo sharing platform has been unique. The users can choose a filter to customize the image and capture the moment perfectly once they take a photo. The main aim of the filters is to transform an average or unprofessional mobile photo into creative and professional looking image.


M.Alavia and Leidner stated twitter as an online social networking and microblogging service. Also enables users to spend and read ''tweets''- text messages limited to 140 characters. It allows users who registered to read and post tweets, but for those users, unregistered can only read them. Users can access Twitter through the website interface, SMS as well as mobile device app (M. Alavi & Leidner, 1999; Tehemar, 2014). Twitter speedily expanded worldwide recognition, with 2012 users registered through 500 million, 340 million who posts tweets per day. The facility also handled 1.6 billion search requests per day. Now Twitter is one of the ten most visited websites and has been described as the SMS of the internet.


Facebook helps users to communicate with friends, exchange messages and receive automatic notification when they update their profile. Facebook is an online social networking service. Users have to register before using the site, after that they can create a personal profit, add friends and so on. According to Liou et al states that Facebook as one of the social networking sites that offer people a medium to maintain and secure social connections and presents several functions for users to communicate with each other. In this way, users can increase their knowledge and communication skills through sharing photographs, links, news, and messages with their friends on Facebook and provide direct feedback by either pressing like or be writing a comment on their friend's posts (2015)


Types of Social Networking Sites

Overview of Social Networking Sites

This chapter presents the overview of social networking sites, types of SNS, the insignificant usage of SNS, review of relevant literature on social networking sites. The section includes an overview of social networking, social networking addiction as well as the factors leading an individual to become addicted.


Literature Reviews

introduces the background of social networking, Addiction of social networking sites, research aim. The following chapter is chapter two, talks about the literature review. It involves a brief introduction, social networking addiction and factors that lead people to be addicted. then the next chapter is Chapter Three, which discuss the methodology, research approach, questionnaire design, data collection method as well as data technique and method. Chapter Four includes the results we got from the questionnaire it consists of validity, correlation, reliability, Descriptive and Regression tables relating to questionnaire's data. Last but not least chapter five conclusions and recommendations it includes the conclusion and the recommendation of the paper.

The paper consists of five chapters. In Chapter One, a general introduction to the study. It

Structure of the thesis

Thesis Outline

In place of where in this 21st century has been more of a technological era and people from different age background have been interacting on social sites constantly throughout the day. This being said the aim of this paper is to find a better and efficient way for people to spend their valuable and precious time.

A) what are the factors contributing to people's addiction to social networking sites?

The following is my research;

The goal of this paper is to get a deep understanding of what leads people to be addicted to social networking sites. The purpose of this paper is also supported by research methodology as well as quantitative it will be based on questionnaires to be able to answer.

Research Aim

Addictive behavior is defined as follows a repetitive habit pattern that increases the risk of disease or associated personal and social problems or the behavior continues to occur despite volitional attempts to abstain or moderate use over the last decade example smoking, eating, gambling and relationship. Other addictive behaviors have become a part of our lives, such as internet addiction, excessive use of the internet. In all social networking sites is the most widely used social media channel and the term social networking sites addiction come to importance. Terms such as excessive use, addiction have often been used interchangeably to refer to the negative aspects of social networking sites usage. In particular. this is diagnosed as an addiction because it is categorized as cyber-relationship addiction.

Social networking addiction mainly a phrase used to refer to someone spending too much time using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, snap chat and other forms of social media so much so that it interferes with their daily life. On the other hand, the addition of using social networking has become an ethical dilemma some people are using social networking excessively that they even use it everywhere, every time during their work, study and their meal and so on moreover with the mobile application development that increased the portability of social network thus making users using it more frequently. Lack of privacy when using social network can be another issue such as scams and harassment that users often encountered.

Many researchers on SNS addiction has been done and there is a growing scientific evidence that states excessive SNS use may lead to addictions. These symptoms have been described as temper modification, tolerance, withdrawal, decline, and struggle with concerns to behavioral addictions and have been confirmed in the context of the Internet addiction components model, For a small pressure of individuals, their use of social networking sites may become the single most important activity that they involve in, leading to an obsession with SNS use, using these sites are to reduce mood alterations, pleasurable feelings or a numbing effect (temper modification). Increased amounts of time and energy are required to be put into engaging with SNS actions in order to get the same feelings and state of mind that occurred in the primary stages of usage (tolerance). When SNS use is discontinued, addicted persons will experience negative psychological and sometimes physiological symptoms (withdrawal), often leading to recall the problematic behavior (decline). Problems occur as a result of the engagement in the challenging behavior, as well as interpersonal conflicts such as problems with the immediate social environment including relationship problems as education being compromised and work also leading to conflicts within the individual often including a subjective loss of control. while the current behavioral addiction research tends to be correlational and negative in nature and is often based on population studies rather than scientific samples in which psychological impairments are observed. individuals use it in order to cope with everyday problems and stressors, including loneliness and depression. Moreover, it has been contended that excessive SNS users find it difficult to communicate face-to-face, and social media use offers a variety of immediate rewards, such as self-efficacy and satisfaction, resulting in continued and increased use, with the consequence of exacerbating problems, including neglecting offline relationships, and problems in professional contexts. The resultant depressed moods are then dealt with by continued engagement in SNSs, leading to a hurtful sequence of addiction. Using SNS for two or more hours a day was related to internalizing problems and decreased academic performance and activity.

Social Network Addiction

A social platform such as Facebook, twitter, and Instagram have attracted billions of users that have integrated these sites into their daily practices. There are hundreds of SNSs, with various technological affordances, supporting a wide range of interests and practices. While their key technological features are fairly consistent, the cultures that emerge around SNSs are varied. Most sites support the maintenance of pre-existing social networks, but others help strangers connect based on shared interests, political views, or activities. Some sites cater to diverse audiences. Sites also vary in the extent to which they incorporate new information and communication tools, such as mobile connectivity, and photo/video-sharing.

Social networking is defined as web-based services that allow people to create a public or semi-public profile within a limited system also articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection and view their list of connections and made by those within the system. It is the practice of expanding the number of one's business or social contacts by making connections through individuals, often through Facebook, Instagram, twitter, and snap chat. Social networking establishes interconnected online communities that help people make contacts.

Social Networking

The LinkedIn site was considered success. It was established in 2003 and took a more professional and business approach to social networking. Other sites focused on getting dates, having friends, and reuniting with old classmates, but LinkedIn focused on building business contacts and professionals. Also, it controls what a viewer may see based on whether they have a paid account, sites like myspace allow a user to choose whether they want their profile to be public or only friends. Facebook takes a different approach if they are friends or have mutual friends can view their profiles. Unless a profile owner has decided to reject permission to those in their network. In early 2004 was began as a Harvard only at the beginning if a user wanted to join they had to have their email address. As a Facebook began supporting other schools, they were required to have university email addresses associated with those institutions. Facebook came into the social networking scene a little bit later. And the main focus was to connect US college students. Facebook first started with Mark Zuckerberg's alma mater Harvard. At first, it was exclusive, over 19,500 Harvard students signed up in its first month after two years later it becomes open to the public it was no longer the campus-only. In 2008, Facebook exceeded Myspace and Friendster as the leading social networking site. It now has over 150 million members around the world.

Friendster was the modern social networking sites. The degree of separation a similar concept as Six Degrees but named it 'Circle of Friends'. it was basically a dating site. Soon Myspace followed suit in 2003, who replicated Friendster. It was launched after only 10 days of coding. It soon became more popular than Friendster. As it gave users more freedom than Friendster when it came to customization; with music, videos, and a trend online environment.

A few years later in 1997, AOL instant messenger and six degrees were launched. Instant messaging was created giving users the freedom to chat with their friends and form a profile. Six degrees even though it was the earliest social networking but did not gain the same success. The main idea theory to it was that people are separated by no more than six degrees from one another. It also allowed users to create the profile, make groups, search and invite friends. However, they encouraged members to invite more people to the site and had too many membership drives. Many individuals complained that the membership invitations were spam, filling up their websites with junk. In 2001 it was sold for $125 million and it was completely shut down the year after.

people always want to communicate with others people they used to visit them, want to see and the longer the distance the harder it was to communicate. The first social networking was established in was created in 1994 by the name GeoCities, he was among the first on the internet his intent was to allow users to create their own website, categorizing them into different 'cities' based on the site's content. was launched in 1995 to the public giving them the medium to interact with people who have the same hobbies to create their own content.

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Individual Addiction to Social Networking Sites. (2019, Dec 31). Retrieved May 18, 2024 , from

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