Social anxiety may cause excessive Facebook use

Washington :Social anxiety and the need to feel part of a group may drive excessive and uncontrolled use of Facebook, which in turn can negatively affect work, health and well-being, a new study suggests.

In the study, both social anxiety and the need for social assurance were positive predictors of problematic Facebook use, researchers said.

But the link between social anxiety and excessive use of Facebook was only significant for users who had medium to high levels of need for social assurance, defined as a strong desire to seek companionship and interact with others.

Researchers Roselyn Lee-Won from The Ohio State University, Leo Herzog from Hope College in Michigan, and Sung Gwan Park from Seoul National University, Korea note that the combined social connections capability and messaging features of Facebook may offer an appealing social media environment for users with social anxiety.

“Problematic Facebook use seems to result from multi-factorial causes and personality attributes,” said Brenda K Wiederhold, from the Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California and Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels, Belgium.

“More research into the synergistic nature of these factors and additional issues that should be included in a prediction model of this phenomenon may help aid in future assessment and prevention plans,” said Wiederhold.

The study was published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behaviour, and Social Networking.