Connect with us


Flow Experiences on TikTok and Instagram Found to Have Mental Health Implications



According to new research that was published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, users of both TikTok and Instagram had greater experiences of “telepresence,” which refers to a user’s sense of immersion in the world developed by social media apps, had higher levels of depression and anxiety.

The “flow” experiences brought about by social media use were the focus of the study. Flow was first presented by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi during the 1970s to depict a mental state that happens when somebody is fully immersed in an activity. When someone is fully engaged in the content they are consuming while scrolling through their feed on social media, flow experiences may occur.

“My research interests include the relationship between smartphone and social media use and psychological well-being,” said study author James A. Roberts, the Ben H. Williams Professor of Marketing in the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University.

“Given these interests, I am very familiar with the different social media apps available. My personal experience with TikTok suggests that it is potentially highly addictive. The popularity of Instagram across a wide range of age groups (especially teens and young adults) and its recent ties to teen eating disorders drew my attention to it.”

The scientists enrolled members who lived in the US, were somewhere around 18 years of age, and had used TikTok and/or Instagram. 195 Instagram users (mean age 38) and 225 TikTok users (mean age = 37) were included in the sample. Objective measures of time spent via social media were gotten by having the participants check their phones for the specific measure of time spent on the applicable apps.

The Facebook Flow Questionnaire was modified by the researchers to assess flow experiences by substituting “TikTok” or “Instagram” for “Facebook.” The questionnaire assessed five different dimensions: focused attention, enjoyment, curiosity, telepresence, and time distortion. The members additionally finished measures of the fear of missing out (FOMO), social media addiction, anxiety, and depression.

The analysts viewed that as 24% of TikTok clients and 28% of Instagram clients would qualify as dependent as indicated by diagnostic criteria. Among the flow subscales, telepresence was found to have the highest correlation with social media addiction, mind wandering, FOMO, and anxiety and depression.

Those with a high level of telepresence agree with statements such as “Using [Tiktok/Instagram] often makes me forget where I am and what currently happens around me” and “While using [Tiktok/Instagram], the world generated by the sites I visit is more real for me than the real world.”

When compared to Instagram users, TikTok users reported higher levels of overall flow, enjoyment, and time distortion. “People become so engrossed while using TikTok that they will neglect other activities,” Roberts said.

The study might have a restriction since it didn’t explore how people use social media platforms in an unexpected way, like uninvolved versus active usage. Past research recommends that passive usage of social media, for example, purported “doom scrolling,” can bring down brain research prosperity. However, there is evidence from some studies that active use, such as interacting with others, can boost well-being.

“Research is still needed that strives to better understand why people use a particular social media,” Roberts said. “The reasons are many and likely impact the well-being of the user differently. And, how someone uses social media (actively or passively) has also been found to drive user experience.”

“I think social media may be, as Thoreau presciently stated nearly 170 years ago about mankind’s inventions, ‘They are but improved means to an unimproved end …’ These social media may provide an escape from everyday worries, although a suboptimal coping strategy,” the researcher added.


error: Content is protected !!