Interrelationships of the problem use of social networks by Belarusians with victimization, exposure to cyberbullying and manipulation
Keywords:social networks, problematic use, exposure to cyberbullying, victimization, exposure to manipula-tion
Purpose. To identify possible links between problematic use of social networks and victimization, exposure to cyberbullying and manipulation in the Belarusian society.
Methods. To assess the problematic use of social networks, the questionnaire «Dependence on social networks» was used, addiction to a smartphone – a short questionnaire CAC-16, a test for victimization, questionnaires on exposure to manipulation and cyberbullying were also used. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used for data processing.
Findings. Social networks have become widespread in modern reality. Excessive interest often leads to the formation of dependence on social networks associated with a number of manifestations of psychological distress. A set of mutually related phenomena – dependence on social networks and its adverse manifestations – is the basis of the construct «problematic use of social networks». The basis of the empirical study were the test results of 557 Russian-speaking Belarusian respondents. The article shows that the problematic use of social networks by both men and women is positively correlated with smartphone addiction and exposure to cyberbullying and negatively associated with age and exposure to manipulation, and in women it is also positively associated with victimization. The established correlations between the problematic use of social networks and exposure to cyberbullying confirm the results obtained abroad. The revealed inverse relationship between problematic social media use and exposure to manipulation is a new result. This relationship is due to similar relationships between the factors composing these constructs. The positive correlation of problematic use of social networks with victimization only in women differs from the fact that such a relationship has been established in foreign studies for both women and men. Such a connection is carried out by similar connections of most of the factors composing these complex constructs. The positive correlation between problematic social media use and exposure to cyberbullying and its negative association with exposure to manipulation suggests that exposure to manipulation is replaced by exposure to cyberbullying in problematic social media use.
Application field of research. The practical application of the study can be used in explanatory work on the prevention of addiction to social networks.
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