The Conversation: Why it’s important to think about social media use as a form of dissociation, rather than addiction

The Conversation: Why it’s important to think about social media use as a form of dissociation, rather than addiction. “What if, instead of people becoming ‘addicted’ to social media – as users often characterize their excessive engagement – they’re actually dissociating, or becoming so engaged that they lose track of time? I’ve researched people’s social media use for four years as a Ph.D. student at the University of Washington, and my collaborators and I decided to design a study to test this theory.”

Opinion: Instagram is a cult by every measure. Here’s why you’re not going anywhere. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

San Diego Union-Tribune: Opinion: Instagram is a cult by every measure. Here’s why you’re not going anywhere.. “I’ve personally been on Instagram for about 11 years — starting at the age of 13 — and I now have a career that requires me to run numerous social media accounts. I’m somebody who’s unhappy with their weekly screen time, my tendency to ‘doom scroll’ and the way social media impacts my self-perception. I know my life would be better if I deleted it, but I don’t. And I won’t.”

University of Bath: Fears over technology ‘addictions’ and ‘disorders’ may be unjustified, shows research

University of Bath: Fears over technology ‘addictions’ and ‘disorders’ may be unjustified, shows research. “Questionnaires and scales measuring how we interact with smartphones, social media and gaming should not be used to demonstrate links with mental health and wellbeing, according to research from the Universities of Bath and Lancaster.”

TechCrunch: Amid growing concerns around app addiction, TikTok rolls out more screen tools

TechCrunch: Amid growing concerns around app addiction, TikTok rolls out more screen tools. “Its addictive nature has been the subject of numerous psychological studies and parents’ concerns, as TikTok becomes one of the most-used apps among children. In lieu of dialing back its digital dopamine dispenser, TikTok is today rolling out a new set of screen time features designed to put users in better control of their TikTok usage.”

Outage outrage: Facebook outage may reveal depth of social media dependency (PennState)

PennState: Outage outrage: Facebook outage may reveal depth of social media dependency. “In a study of user reactions to a six-hour Facebook outage in the fall of 2021, the researchers said that members of the site flooded rival Twitter with nearly a quarter million tweets about the outage, quickly making #facebookdown a top trending topic. While many comments reflected anger about the situation and others ridiculed Facebook, users also expressed a need to find other social media outlets, according to S. Shyam Sundar, James P. Jimirro Professor of Media Effects in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications and co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory at Penn State.”

The Guardian: US zoo fears teen gorilla’s exposure to phones is behind anti-social behavior

The Guardian: US zoo fears teen gorilla’s exposure to phones is behind anti-social behavior. “Amare, a 415-pound gorilla at Chicago’s Lincoln Park zoo, has been staring a little too frequently at the screens of cellphones from visitors who show him pictures and videos through the glass wall – including selfies, family photos, pet videos and even footage of Amare himself. He has apparently become so distracted as a result that last week, when another teenage gorilla rushed at him in a show of aggression, Amare did not appear to notice.”

Sydney Morning Herald: Feeling addicted to your phone since the pandemic? You’re not alone

Sydney Morning Herald: Feeling addicted to your phone since the pandemic? You’re not alone. “During Melbourne’s coronavirus lockdowns, Molly George’s phone was her window to the world. Working from home, cut off from friends and family, she treasured the connection she could maintain with loved ones online. But it came at a cost: the time the 28-year-old spent scrolling social media went up, and up, and up. During work, in bed, on the toilet – reaching for the phone every five minutes became a hard habit that, two years on, she’s still trying to break.”

KCRA: Bill would allow lawsuits against social media companies for addicting children

KCRA: Bill would allow lawsuits against social media companies for addicting children. “A new assembly bill being introduced in California would put big tech companies on the hook if children get addicted to the technology and experience side effects, like depression or even suicide. The bill would establish that companies running big social media platforms, like TikTok and Instagram, would have a duty not to addict children. Violating that duty could then open them up to facing lawsuits.”

PsyPost: Teens who are “addicted” to TikTok experience worse depression and anxiety, and in turn, reduced working memory capacity

PsyPost: Teens who are “addicted” to TikTok experience worse depression and anxiety, and in turn, reduced working memory capacity. “A study among teenage TikTok users found that those who showed addictive tendencies toward the platform performed worse when recalling number sequences. The findings, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, further suggested that this working memory deficit was in part due to increased depression and anxiety.”

The Star: Meta, Snap sued over social media ‘addicted’ girl’s suicide

The Star: Meta, Snap sued over social media ‘addicted’ girl’s suicide. “Meta Platforms Inc and Snap Inc are to blame for the suicide of an 11-year-old girl who was addicted to Instagram and Snapchat, the girl’s mother alleged in a lawsuit. The woman claims her daughter Selena Rodriguez struggled for two years with an ‘extreme addiction’ to Meta’s photo-sharing platform and Snap’s messaging app before taking her life last year.”

The Verge: Facebook reportedly is aware of the level of ‘problematic use’ among its users

The Verge: Facebook reportedly is aware of the level of ‘problematic use’ among its users. “Facebook’s own internal research found 1 in 8 of its users reported compulsive social media use that interfered with their sleep, work, and relationships— what the social media platform calls ‘problematic use’ but is more commonly known as ‘internet addiction,’ the Wall Street Journal reported. The social media platform had a team focused on user well-being, which suggested ways to curb problematic use, some of which were put into place. But the company shut down the team in 2019, according to the WSJ.”

Slate: Facebook Banned Me for Life Because I Help People Use It Less

Slate: Facebook Banned Me for Life Because I Help People Use It Less. “If someone built a tool that made Facebook less addictive—a tool that allowed users to benefit from Facebook’s positive features while limiting their exposure to its negative ones—how would Facebook respond? I know the answer, because I built the tool, and Facebook squashed it. This summer, Facebook sent me a cease-and-desist letter threatening legal action. It permanently disabled my Facebook and Instagram accounts. And it demanded that I agree to never again create tools that interact with Facebook or its other services.”

Laughing Squid: A Colorful Animated Short About the Inevitable Isolation That Comes With Digital Addiction

Laughing Squid: A Colorful Animated Short About the Inevitable Isolation That Comes With Digital Addiction. “‘Blip’ by Hannah Sun is a colorful 2D animation that zeroes in on the ever-growing issue of digital addiction, the increasing isolation that is the inevitable result of such an addiction, and a worldwide pandemic that left many people to fend for themselves while locked inside their homes.”