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Social media addiction: role of social media use characteristics and personality factors among medical undergraduates

Author: 
Dr. Niranjan Patel, Dr. Bhavin Kadavala, Dr. Nirav Chanpa, Dr. Deepak Tiwari and Dr. Vishal Patel
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Background: social media use is increasing at alarming rate among the young adults. Excessive social media use is leading to adverse psychological impact in young adults. Methods: This was a cross sectional study of 640 undergraduates over a period of twelve months. Social Media Disorder Scale (SMDS) was used to detect social media addiction and Big Five Inventory (BFI) was used to assess personality factors. Descriptive statistics, Chi square test and student’s t-test were used for analysis. Results: Prevalence of social media addiction was 9.76 %. More than 80% participants used more than one social media platform. Addiction rates were 33% among users who spent four hours or more daily on social media, 24% among those using social media since more than five years and those who spent more than 300 Rs/month on internet, 14.79% who reported ‘fear of missing out’ (FoMO), 27 % in those who reported regular substance use and used social media more during sleeping hours, and 20% among those who used social media at every place (home/hostel, college). Users with social media addiction had higher mean score in neuroticism and lower mean score in agreeableness and conscientiousness. There was no significant difference in mean scores of Extraversion and openness to experience among addicts and non addicts. Conclusion: Social media addiction is common in health professionals those who spent more time, money, using it since longer duration, reported FoMO and regular substance use. High neuroticism, and less agreeableness and conscientiousness are seen in social media addiction.

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