The uses and abuses of Facebook: A review of Facebook addiction

Tracii Ryan, Andrea Chester, John Reece, Sophia Xenos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

455 Citations (Scopus)


Background and aims: Recent research suggests that use of social networking sites can be addictive for some individuals. Due to the link between motivations for media use and the development of addiction, this systematic review examines Facebook-related uses and gratifications research and Facebook addiction research. Method: Searches of three large academic databases revealed 24 studies examining the uses and gratifications of Facebook, and nine studies of Facebook addiction. Results: Comparison of uses and gratifications research reveals that the most popular motives for Facebook use are relationship maintenance, passing time, entertainment, and companionship. These motivations may be related to Facebook addiction through use that is habitual, excessive, or motivated by a desire for mood alteration. Examination of Facebook addiction research indicates that Facebook use can become habitual or excessive, and some addicts use the site to escape from negative moods. However, examination of Facebook addiction measures highlights inconsistency in the field. Discussion: There is some evidence to support the argument that uses and gratifications of Facebook are linked with Facebook addiction. Furthermore, it appears as if the social skill model of addiction may explain Facebook addiction, but inconsistency in the measurement of this condition limits the ability to provide conclusive arguments. Conclusions: This paper recommends that further research be performed to establish the links between uses and gratifications and Facebook addiction. Furthermore, in order to enhance the construct validity of Facebook addiction, researchers should take a more systematic approach to assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-148
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Behavioral Addictions
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Facebook
  • addiction
  • social media
  • uses and gratifications
  • motivation
  • psychology

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