Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale

What is the Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale?

Social Media connected you and me thousands of miles apart in a tough situation like a pandemic, bridged a small scale entrepreneur in one corner of the world to showcase his/her product to the world market, helps to express your happiness & joy to your small world. On the other side, it connected us digitally but separated us physically from our family&friends. Nowadays, if you are a family of 4, and everyone with a smartphone, it does not look like a normal home anymore; it feels like 4 people on 4 different islands. We are completely stuck to the small screen in our hands.

Global data on social media addiction

Our younger generation is more connected to a smartphone, their normal habit of using social media is slowly moving towards the addictive stage. Social media is just as addictive as drugs, alcohol, and gambling. This type of addiction comes under the category of behavioral addiction. Researchers worldwide have developed various psychometric scales to assess social media addiction like SMAQ- Social Media Addiction Questionnaire, Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale. The Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale (BSMAS), a six-item self-report scale that is a brief and effective psychometric instrument for assessing at-risk social media addiction on the Internet.

7 clear signs of Social Media Addiction:

  1. You feel anxious and disturbed when you cannot access social media for some time. This is a sign of dependency and craving for an addictive habit between your important work.
  2. Social media usage is taking most of your time. Do you ever felt your working time has been dragged due to checking your FB or Insta feed?
  3. Urge to check your phone whenever you hear a notification sound.
  4. You post a picture on FB, then constantly checking for the no. of 'likes,' this instant reward works as a drug that releases a small amount of dopamine in your brain, and you instantly take your phone to check it.
  5. If using social media is the first and last thing in a day is yours's usual routine.
  6. If you measure life events by how upload-worthy they are, you miss living in the moment and concentrate more on capturing for a FB post.
  7. Finally, if your family feels you are distant these days, they miss spending time with you. Then you should really check-in for a social media addiction test.
symptoms of social media addiction

BSMAS- How it works?

Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale is developed from the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale with a simple modification of the term Facebook to Social media. It's a short survey used in psychological research that has been widely accepted by the psychology community. It's quick and something you can take yourself.

  • It is a 6 item scale designed to expose the difficulties an individual faces due to social media's excessive usage and assess the severity accordingly.
  • The six items of BSMAS are measured against 5 standard responses of “very rarely,” “rarely,” “sometimes,” “often,” “very often.”

Scoring and Interpretation of BSMAS:

The Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale is straightforward and short, with an accurate social media addiction assessment. The 6 items are measured against a 5 point Likert scale, 1 for “very rarely” to 5 for “very often.” Then scores of each item are added to get the overall score of the BSMAS. The total score of BSMAS ranges from 6-30.

According to researchers, when you score more than 3 for 4 items out of 6, it is definitely an addiction indicator.

Conclusion

A 2018 study found that teens who spend 5 hours per day using their phones were almost twice as likely to exhibit depressive symptoms than counterparts who dedicated only 1 hour on their phones. Social media had already filled each and every space of the internet, making the next generation addictive and prone to serious mental health issues like depression and other mental disorders. The digital era has given us some extraordinary development, but at the cost of damaging humanity's basic structure: “Health.” So being aware of what we are going through seriously helps in maintaining good life and inner harmony.

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