Deviant Behaviour on Social Media Should be Recognized as a Disorder – Expert

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Social networking sites might have made it easier for people to communicate with their friends or connect with random strangers from around the world.

However, researchers have been studying the effects of social media on people and a paper done by Dr Mubarak Rahamathulla from Flinders University aims to showcase these effects.

Apparently according to Dr Rahamathulla, Internet addiction that triggers deviant behaviour on social networking sites should be recognized as a disorder that needs treatment.

“Society doesn’t recognize the multidimensional, complex problems of individuals with Internet addiction disorder,” said Dr Rahamathulla. “Individuals with the condition will not be diagnosed or offered support and treatment, which causes enormous additional psychological strain, and can lead to problematic deviant behaviours in cyberspace.”

His research into general strain theory where negative experiences in life can result in deviance and problem behaviors finds a very high likelihood that people that have Internet addiction will vent their frustrations through problematic online behaviours.

Dr Rahamathulla says this can be expressed in anonymous ways in social media which creates social and psychological problems for other Internet social users.

He also found out in his study that adult respondents reported that their online sexual correspondence through social networking sites are adversely affecting their real-life relationships.

He is calling out for more research into intervention therapies and for recognition of this deviant behaviour as a clinical disorder. “There is no reliable data available to deeply analyse the nature of Internet addiction and its link with deviant and problem behaviours – particularly when its use is so entwined with day-to-day work and social life,” he said.

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