AN EXPLORATION OF USE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES AMONGST USERS WITH PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS
Manoj Kumar Sharma, Indu S Menon, P Marimuthu
Objective: Social Networking Sites (SNS) are gaining popularity across different cultures and age groups with its increasing role in the day-to-day life of its users. Objective of the present investigation is to study the SNS use and its relationship with online and real-life social capital, self-esteem and interpersonal relationships in normal and clinical population. Methods: The sample consisted of 93 participants of the age range 17-37 years, 63 participants from the general population and 30 from the clinical population with a diagnosis of any depressive or anxiety spectrum disorder. The tools used for this study are Basic Data Sheet, the Facebook Intensity Scale, Internet addiction Test, Internet Social Capital Scale. Results: The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and Sentence Completion Test Results show that Facebook use has a positive correlation with online bonding and bridging capital. A significantly higher percentage of participants from the clinical group met the criteria for problem use of the Internet. Compared to average users, problem users of the Internet are found to have higher mean scores for online bridging capital and conflicts in inter-personal relationships and lower mean scores for real life bonding capital and self-esteem. Conclusions: It necessitates an exploration of Facebook's use patterns in routine evaluation and management of clinical conditions and implies the need for further research to develop explanatory models and management strategies for problematic use of the Internet.