Technology Addiction: How Social Network Sites Impact our Lives

Natalie Gerhart
Informing Science: The International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline  •  Volume 20  •  2017  •  pp. 179-194

The media and research have made significant noise about young people’s addictions to technology, however the American Psychological Association (APA) has reserved judgment on the clinical diagnosis of technology addiction. Research to understand technology addiction is important to the future of information systems development and behavioral usage understanding.

Addiction implies that there is a problem from which an IS client needs to try to recover, further implying a negative impact on life. Multiple defini-tions and outcomes of addictions have been studied in the information systems discipline, with virtually no focus on quality of life of the IS client.

This research employs a survey of students at a large southwestern United States university. Measures were adopted from previously validated sources. The final sample includes 413 usable responses analyzed using PLS.

This research broadens theoretical and practical understanding of SNS IS client perceptions by relating technology addiction to a broader impact on an individual’s life. By doing so, it provides guidance on society’s understanding of frequent technology use, as well as the development of new systems that are highly used.

This research indicates diminished impulse control, distraction, social influence and satisfaction are all highly correlated with technology addiction; specifically, 55% of the variance in addiction is explained by these four indicators. However, the model further shows addiction has no significant relationship with overall satisfaction of life, indicating that IS clients do not correlate the two ideas.

Heavy technology use may indicate a paradigm shift in how people inter-act, instead of a concern to be addressed by the APA.

Research needs to clearly define technology dependence, addiction, and overuse so that there is a strong understanding of what is meant. These findings help guide assumptions about the dark side of Information Technology.

While technology use is increasing, younger generations may find the use to be acceptable and less of a problem then older generations.

Future research should replicate these findings on other technology artifacts and other technology addiction definitions. In the future, there is also opportunity to delve deeper into the outcome variable of satisfaction with life.

addiction, satisfaction with life, social network sites, dependence
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