Consequences of social media use
- Lead: Catalina Popoviciu
- Key Team: Cezar Giosan, PhD, Ioan Vraciu, Andrei Serban Zanfirescu, Daniel Cojocaru, Simona Seteanu
- Goal: To examine the effects of Social Media use on well-being
We were sold on this line of research after reading an interview with Sean Parker, Napster founder and first president of Facebook, in which he made the following statement about social media platforms in an interview for Slate magazine:
"The thought process was all about, ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?’ And that means that we need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever, and that’s going to get you to contribute more content, and that’s going to get you more likes and comments. It’s a social validation feedback loop. … You’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology. […] I think the inventors, creators—it’s me, it’s Mark [Zuckerberg], it’s Kevin Systrom at Instagram, it’s all of these people—understood this, consciously. And we did it anyway. […] God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains".
We are currently examining the mediating and moderating factors of the relationship between social media use and well-being, depression, or anxiety. We are also examining gender and age differences in these relationships, as well as the impact of social media on school performance. A sub-line of research constitutes the association between social media use and suicidal ideation.
We also are exploring the merits of a potential addition of a Social Media Addiction diagnosis to the future editions of the DSM as well as the validity of adapting addiction scales (e.g., for alcohol dependency) to social media.