Miglė Trumpickaitė1, Goda Zubkaitė1, Sigita Lesinskienė1,2
1Vilnius University Medical Faculty, Vilnius, Lithuania
2Vilnius University Medical Faculty Psychiatric Clinic, Vilnius, Lithuania
Introduction. Facebook, counting with 1,86 billion active monthly users, is the most popular social networking site in the world. Active Facebook use (communicating to others) and passive Facebook use (content consumption) might have different effects on individual’s well-being. Moreover, social network activity or passivity may play a role in Facebook addiction development.
Methods. In total, 1309 university students aged 17–31 filled in the questionnaire including Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale (BFAS) and questions regarding their online activity. Participants who did not use Facebook were excluded from the data set (n=7). Participants were divided into three groups according to social interaction: active Facebook users (AFU, N=411), passive Facebook users (PFU, N=847) and mixed Facebook users (MFU, N=33).
Results. 44.13% of the students claimed to use Facebook too often. According to answers on BFAS 3.76% of the students were addicted to Facebook. Problematic use of Facebook was more prevalent among passive Facebook users than active-users and mixed-users: 38.5% of PFU claimed themselves addicted to Facebook (vs. 24.6% and 27.3%, p<0.001), 4.1% of PFU were addicted to Facebook according to their BFAS results (vs. 2.9% and 3.0%, p>0.05), 48.5% of PFU said that they use Facebook too often (vs. 41.0% and 21.9%, p=0.001). There were no significant differences in social network activity regarding gender and study field. Only 1.2% of the students do not use Messenger or do it very rarely. 70.4% of the respondents never play games on Facebook. 1.6% of AFU, 0.6% of PFU and 6.3% of MFU seeked help because of problems arising from excessive use of Facebook (p<0.05).
Conclusion. There are significant differences in problematic Facebook use between active-users, passive-users and mixed users. Further research on excessive social network behaviour is needed to better understand the development of Facebook abuse.