Young users' social media addiction: causes, consequences and preventions

Hosam Al-Samarraie, Kirfi-Aliyu Bello, Ahmed Ibrahim Alzahrani, Andrew Paul Smith, Chikezie Emele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
219 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Social media addiction has been an ongoing topic of debate for platform developers, well-being and mental health experts. There is a limited understanding of the factors leading to the addiction of young social media users, the consequences of experiencing addiction, and the measures/mechanisms used by parents and platform providers to limit/prevent problematic social media use amongst young users. This systematic review aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the literature concerning these issues.

Design/methodology/approach: The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews (PRISMA) protocol was used to evaluate and present the results. A total of 45 studies were screened and independently reviewed against predetermined criteria for eligibility.

Findings: The results revealed four categories of young users' addiction to social media networks (social, technological, behavioural and mental). Several prevention approaches directed at parents and platform providers were discussed.

Originality/value: This study offers important insights for health policy makers, platform providers, parents and researchers on designing interventions addressing social media addiction amongst young users. It also provides an in-depth understanding of the conceptualization of social media addiction and suggestions on possible actions to prevent it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2314-2343
Number of pages30
JournalInformation Technology & People
Issue number7
Early online date18 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

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  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Information Systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)


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