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

    19 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    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
    Volume10
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Keywords

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

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