How Compulsive Use of Social Media Affects Performance: Insights from the UK by Purpose of Use

Vladlena Benson, Chris Hand, Richard Hartshorne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Positive outcomes of social networking use in both informal and non-educational settings have attracted significant research attention. These benefits include social capital formation, higher job performance and satisfaction, an increased sense of belonging, improved knowledge management skills, and enabling of life-long learning opportunities. Compulsive use of social networking, however, remains a major issue among the younger users, potentially leaving a long-lasting impact on the younger population. Concerns have been raised regarding links between the compulsive use of social media and individual academic, social and physical performance. This study explores the motivations for social networking use, their relations to compulsive use, and implications for academic, physical and social performance, in an effort to inform strategies for the appropriate adoption and utilisation of social networking technologies. The study employs a finite mixture approach to segmenting the sample, and results show that two distinct groups motivated by utilitarian and social objectives respectively drive compulsive use by British students. Unlike previous studies, the UK sample does not display differences in terms of age or gender. This finding highlights the trend of gender agnostic views of social platforms by developers. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications for practice and future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-563
Number of pages15
JournalBehaviour and Information Technology
Issue number6
Early online date26 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2019


  • Compulsive use; social media;


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