The Links Between Social Media and Chronic Addiction


The general public has regularly studied the psychological and scientific reasons behind addictions to social media. However, new reports from Business Insider affirm that platforms like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter employ certain tactics to keep users hooked.

An Overview and Explanation of Social Media Addiction

The majority of people have at least one social media account and the use of technology has increased considerably over the past decade. Individuals and businesses alike often employ applications like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to connect with others personally and professionally. Although social media does have its upsides, addictions to the foregoing platforms are extremely common.

Of all social media platforms, Instagram is most popular. Push notifications, story alerts, interesting filters, and the ease of viewing material by simply scrolling down ones phone are all tricks employed by Instagram developers to keep users on the app.

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Sensor Tower analyst Randy Nelson provides additional details into the psychology behind Instagram’s many notifications:

Push notifications are the first line of this strategy. They address you directly and say, ‘Hey, come back to the app.’ It’s the most overt thing these apps do, and it’s integral to the process of re-engaging users.

Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Other Popular Apps

Like Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook also have their own strategies for increasing the time that users spend on their platforms.

In the case of Twitter, the “spinning wheel” which pops up when users refresh their timelines is a trick known as the “variable ratio schedule.” The idea is to increase anticipation and eagerness for a “reward” of new, more enthralling tweets.

Facebook also employs tricks reminiscent of those used by Instagram and Twitter. Firstly, the site track prior posts. Then, Facebook shows users what “friends” have posted in the ‘news feed.’

Source: Pixabay

Ultimately, Facebook keeps people on their app by securing their interest. This occurs in many forms, whether it’s by recommending people to add as friends or showing what users posted “X” amount of months or years ago.

While LinkedIn is not as popular as the aforementioned social media apps, developers still have their own tricks. The professional connections which drive users to LinkedIn greatly help with this matter.

The overall goal of social media developers is to keep users on the app for as long as possible. LinkedIn does this by recommending lists of people to connect with after users accept invitations.

The Future of Social Media

Knowledge of the psychology behind social media addiction is unlikely to adversely impact Twitter, Instagram, and other popular apps. As the world becomes more and more technology-based, the relevance and power of social media will continue to increase.