To tackle stress, social media users jump from one platform to another which may further lead to the risk of becoming more and more addicted to such platforms, says a new study co-conducted by Indian origin professor.
Social media platforms Facebook and Instagram are known to cause stress in users. Rather shutting down their devices, the users with technostress hop from one app to another or Social networking sites (SNS) which may lead to an increased likelihood of technology addiction as they use the various elements of the platform in a great timespan, says Monideepa Tarafdar, Professor at the Lancaster University.
"While it might seem counter-intuitive, social media users are continuing to use the same platforms that are causing them stress rather than switching off from them, creating a blurring between the stress caused and the compulsive use," Tarafdar said.
The study, published in the Information Systems Journal, looked into habitual profile of 444 Facebook users and they switched between chatting to friends, scanning news feeds and posting updates as each began to cause stress.
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According to researchers, the users who were triggered with stress by the social media giant Facebook were found to be seeking distraction and diversion within the Facebook same platform, instead of putting aside the device and performing a different activity
Even when users are distressed from the use of social networking sites, they proceed to use the same platforms to deal with that stress, diverting themselves through other activities on the platforms and finally building compulsive and excessive behaviour.
“As a result, they embed themselves in the social network environment rather than get away from it and thus an addiction is formed,” the researchers say.
The research team looked at various forms of technostress that interrupt personal life of users while making an attempt to adapt to their social networking site; to deviate to that of their friends; experience inordinate social demands and overmuch social information - thus facing continual changes and updates on the platforms.
"We found that those users who had a greater social media habit needed less effort to find another aspect of the platforms, and were thus more likely to stay within the SNS rather than switch off when they needed to divert themselves," said study researcher Sven Laumer.
By Sowmya Sangam