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J Psychiatr Res. 2018 Feb;97:84-88. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2017.11.014. Epub 2017 Dec 2.

Time distortion when users at-risk for social media addiction engage in non-social media tasks.

Author information

1
Decision Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, 3620 South McClintock Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90089-1061, USA; Information Systems & Decision Sciences, California State University, Fullerton, 800 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton, CA 92834, USA. Electronic address: oturel@fullerton.edu.
2
Medical Psychology Laboratory, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium 4, Place Van Gehuchten, 1020 Brussels, Belgium.
3
Decision Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, 3620 South McClintock Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90089-1061, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There is a growing concern over the addictiveness of Social Media use. Additional representative indicators of impaired control are needed in order to distinguish presumed social media addiction from normal use.

AIMS:

(1) To examine the existence of time distortion during non-social media use tasks that involve social media cues among those who may be considered at-risk for social media addiction. (2) To examine the usefulness of this distortion for at-risk vs. low/no-risk classification.

METHOD:

We used a task that prevented Facebook use and invoked Facebook reflections (survey on self-control strategies) and subsequently measured estimated vs. actual task completion time. We captured the level of addiction using the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale in the survey, and we used a common cutoff criterion to classify people as at-risk vs. low/no-risk of Facebook addiction.

RESULTS:

The at-risk group presented significant upward time estimate bias and the low/no-risk group presented significant downward time estimate bias. The bias was positively correlated with Facebook addiction scores. It was efficacious, especially when combined with self-reported estimates of extent of Facebook use, in classifying people to the two categories.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our study points to a novel, easy to obtain, and useful marker of at-risk for social media addiction, which may be considered for inclusion in diagnosis tools and procedures.

KEYWORDS:

Internet addiction; Social media addiction; Time distortion; Time perception

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