Social media comes in handy when people seek a way to de-stress or pass time, for instance while travelling to and fro work. However, for some forms such as Facebook, stressed users are at risk of developing a pathological dependence on it, a recent study has shown.

As part of the study by researchers from the Mental Health Research and Treatment Center at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) in Germany, an online survey was conducted on 309 Facebook users between the ages of 18 and 56. These participants were asked questions which helped the researchers deduce their stress levels as well as how much social support they received both offline and online.

Further, they were asked about the amount of time they spent on Facebook daily, and how they felt whenever they could not be online.

It was then revealed that the higher the stress level of the user, the deeper their engagement with the social networking site.

Explaining this, Julia Brailovskaia, one of the study’s authors, shared: “Our findings have shown that there is a positive relationship between the severity of daily stress, the intensity of Facebook engagement, and the tendency to develop a pathological addiction to the social networking site.

At the same time, this effect is reduced if users receive support by family and friends in real life. Individuals who don’t experience much support offline are most at risk of developing a Facebook addition.”

How do you spot Facebook/ social media addiction in your employees?

If you have ever noticed any of these signs in your employees, they may have an addiction: They spend more and more time on the site, even at their desk; or are preoccupied with Facebook all the time and feel uneasy when they can’t engage with people online.

ALSO READ: How HR teams can avoid a social media crisis



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This article was first published in Human Resources Online Bulletin and is reproduced with permission. Original article can be found at http://www.humanresourcesonline.net

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