Social Media and Video Game Addictions Are Linked — Here’s What You Need to Know

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Social Media and Video Game Addictions Are Linked — Here’s What You Need to Know

By Movieguide® Contributor

A new study exploring the relationship between poor social media use and poor use of video games found that addictive behavior in one area was linked to addictive behavior in the other.

“The prevalence of Problematic Facebook Use and Problematic Video Game Use was 28.3% and 13% respectively,” the study said. “Regarding the co-occurrence of the two problematic behaviors, 31.3% of participants faced a singular addictive behavior, either related to problematic Facebook or video games use, while 5% had both addictive behaviors simultaneously.”

“The co-occurrence of these disorders is strongly linked to male gender, problematic internet use, depression, and anxiety disorders,” the study continued. “These findings underscore the urgency of implementing tailored and effective awareness and prevention programs to address these emerging challenges.”

The high rates of problematic use revealed by this study highlight the addictive nature of both pastimes, which have wreaked havoc on the youth. While both industries refuse to take responsibility for the negative impact they have had on millions of lives, recent lawsuits against major video game and social media companies look to reduce their predatory addictive features.

As another way to protect children from its harmful effects, the U.S. surgeon general recommended Congress add a surgeon general’s warning to social media, informing users that use of the sites has not been proven to be safe for minors.

However, as neither the lawsuits nor the surgeon general’s recommendations have yet to make an impact on either industry, this study reinforced the need for parents to help their kids set healthy boundaries on their screen usage.

While consistent communication about screen usage is a great place for parents to start, the most impactful thing they can do is set a good example and refrain from overusing technology around their kids. Not only does putting down the phone help set a good example, but studies have shown it also leads to better parenting.

Movieguide® previously reported:

A recent study linked that when parents use their phone or computer around their kids to unwind it leads to worse parenting.  

Science Direct wrote, “This study examined caregivers’ psychological well-being, digital media use, and parenting practices, with a particular focus on specific aspects of media use.”

The study continued, “Caregivers (n = 549) with at least two children aged 5–18 participated in a multinational project examining family functioning and well-being amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents completed questionnaires assessing their psychological distress, media use habits, and parenting practices.” 

Science Direct concluded that there were “Comparisons of structural regression models revealed that operationalizing caregivers’ media use as a single general construct disregards important nuances in its relations to psychological distress and parenting. In a more detailed model, higher psychological distress was related to more screen time and media use for relaxation. Intrusions of media in interactions with family members and media use for relaxation were associated with lower-quality parenting.”

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