Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale

Blocksurvey blog author
Jan 22, 2024 · 2 mins read

Take the BSMAS Test

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.

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 (BSMAS) is a concise and effective tool for evaluating the extent of social media addiction. It consists of six items, each rated on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 ("very rarely") to 5 ("very often"). The items are designed to assess the degree of preoccupation with social media, including the amount of time spent thinking about or planning to use social media, urges to use it more, using social media to forget personal problems, unsuccessful attempts to cut down usage, feeling restless or troubled when prohibited from using it, and the negative impact of excessive use on job or studies.

The total score of the BSMAS ranges from 6 to 30, with higher scores indicating a greater risk of problematic social media use (PSMU). Research using the Item Response Theory (IRT) has shown that scores exceeding 26 out of 30 point to a higher risk of PSMU. This scale is particularly reliable for assessing average to high levels of the trait.

According to some studies, a score of 24 or higher on the BSMAS is considered the optimal clinical cut-off for diagnosing social media disorder (SMD), especially among adolescents. This cut-off point was determined based on the gold standards of clinical diagnosis and the estimated 12-month prevalence of SMD among Chinese adolescents was found to be 3.5%.

In terms of interpretive guidelines, it's generally believed that scoring more than 3 on at least 4 out of the 6 items could indicate an addiction to social media. This is based on the idea that higher scores in most of the criteria signify greater severity or frequency of the behaviours or feelings associated with social media addiction.

Moreover, the BSMAS has been validated and adapted for different cultural contexts and age groups, highlighting its relevance and applicability in various settings. The scale underscores the growing importance of understanding and addressing the psychological impacts of social media, especially among younger demographics

Know and try assessments relating to anxiety, and addiction by reaching our self-assessment template page.


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.

Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale FAQ

What is the Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale?

The Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale (BSMAS) is a self-report questionnaire designed to measure dependence on social media. It is a validated instrument for assessing the degree to which an individual is addicted to social media.

What does the Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale measure?

The Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale measures the individual’s dependence on various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube.

How long does it take to complete the Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale?

The BSMAS typically takes 10-15 minutes to complete.

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blog author description

Vimala Balamurugan

Vimala heads the Content and SEO Team at BlockSurvey. She is the curator of all the content that BlockSurvey puts out into the public domain. Blogging, music, and exploring new places around is how she spends most of her leisure time.


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