A new study shows that the combination of social anxiety and the need for social assurance by feeling part of a group increases the risk for excessive and uncontrolled use of Facebook, which can negatively affect school performance, work, and one’s health and well-being, as described in an article published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, a peer-reviewed journal. The article is available free on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking (www.liebertpub.com/cyber) website until November 7, 2015.
In “Hooked on Facebook: The Role of Social Anxiety and Need for Social Assurance in Problematic Use of Facebook (online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/cyber.2015.0002),” the authors present the results of a study in U.S. college students. Both social anxiety and the need for social assurance were positive predictors of problematic Facebook use, but the link between social anxiety and excessive use of Facebook was only significant for users who had medium to high levels of need for social assurance, defined as a strong desire to seek companionship and interact with others. The authors note that the combined social connections capability and messaging features of Facebook may offer an appealing social media environment for users with social anxiety.