Who gets hooked on Facebook? An exploratory typology of problematic Facebook users

Tracii Ryan, John Reece, Andrea Chester, Sophia Xenos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Scholars have suggested that there are multiple pathways to problematic Facebook use, and each are linked to the types of activities that users engage in. However, these concepts have yet to be empirically explored. The present paper addresses this gap in the literature by presenting a pilot study based on a sample of 59 (50 females, 9 males) problematic Facebook users. Closed and open-ended data were collected using an online survey. Cluster analysis was then used to identify three types of problematic Facebook users: those with high engagement in social activities and browsing, those with low engagement in social activities but high engagement in browsing, and those with low engagement in both social activities and browsing, but moderate engagement in gaming. This paper presents an in depth discussion of the patterns of behavior identified within these clusters. In addition, four potential pathways to problematic Facebook use are proposed: online social enhancement, social monitoring, procrastination, and entertainment. This study contributes to the development of a much-needed theoretical framework of problematic Facebook use, and provides direction for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Number of pages25
JournalCyberpsychology: journal of psychosocial research in cyberspace
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • problematic Facebook use
  • social networking sites
  • addiction
  • internet
  • typologies

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