Social media stress leads to online addiction

London: Social media users tend to tackle stress from one platform by hopping on to another leading to the risk of becoming more and more addicted to such platforms, says a new study co-conducted by Indian-origin professor. Facebook and Instagram are known to cause stress in users. Faced with these technostress, users however refuse to shut down their device and instead shuttle between Social networking sites (SNS).

When faced with such stress, instead of switching off or using them less, people move from one aspect of the social media platforms to another, 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.

Researchers found that users were seeking distraction and diversion within the Facebook platform as a coping mechanism for stress caused by the same platform, rather than switching off and undertaking a different activity. Even when users are stressed from social networking sites use, they continue to use the same platforms to cope with that stress, diverting themselves through other activities on the platforms and ultimately building compulsive and excessive behaviour.