SOCIAL MEDIA DEPENDENCY

SOCIAL MEDIA DEPENDENCY: SOCIAL MEDIA PART 3

As mentioned in my earlier post [Social Media Part 2, March 2017], ‘social media addiction’ is now accepted by many social behavioral researchers, along with ‘internet addiction’ as more general category.  Internet addiction is now a listed behavioral disorder within the new DSM categories.  Kimberly Young is a key player in this area with a very interesting website (very lucrative also I suspect) at http://netaddiction.com/kimberly-young/.  A number of key figures in social/educational psychology have recently been looking at these issues, most famously Howard Gardner (one of the key figures in educational psychology) in his The App Generation (2013)—very good data-driven analysis.

We have a research group here at Chaminade University working on this subject with the goal of developing self-regulation/mindfulness strategies of higher education students (specifically folks like you at Chaminade).  Darren Iwamoto’s (Psych) research with CUH students indicates a major rise in students exhibiting high stress and anxiety levels—work which is reflected in similar studies globally.

Social media is at the center of this—go back and look again at the short video on this at https://youtu.be/HffWFd_6bJ0?t=1.

Our research group is looking at this issue within the framework of social media dependency as addiction has a number of not-useful stereotypes.  Social Media Dependency means that users need the social media interaction—without it they feel anxiety, stress, and other psychological and physiological (think dopamine) withdrawal symptoms.  As I note in the Social Media Powerpoints (5A-5C), this of course is the intent of the app makers, as they only make revenue if you are using the app.

We have working on a set of short Powerpoint training modules with the goal of sensitizing students (and others) about both the issues and also coping strategies.  We are using the ‘beta’ sets which I am sending out.  A number of them were designed specifically for a sit-down environment rather than the online, so you will have to look for supplemental support online.  YouTube has at least 1 million training videos on meditation (or so it seems) so there should be something out there that works for you.  These Learning Modules serve two functions: 1) they should help with mindfulness training, but 2) they are a key part of what we are specifically looking at in this class, the social impacts of the digital.

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