Internet Addiction and Excessive Social Networks Use: What About Facebook?

Eduardo Guedes1, 2, 3, Federica Sancassiani4, Mauro Giovani Carta4, Carlos Campos2, 5, Sergio Machado2, 6, *, Anna Lucia Spear King1, 2, Antonio Egidio Nardi1, 2
1 Grupo Delete - Detox Digital e uso consciente de Tecnologias, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2 Laboratory of Panic and Respiration, Institute of Psychiatry (IPUB), Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
3 College of Social Communication, Pontifícia Universidade Católica (PUC), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
4 Department of Public Health, Clinical and Molecular Medicine, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy
5 Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Health School, Porto, Portugal
6 Physical Activity Neuroscience, Physical Activity Postgraduate Program, Salgado de Oliveira University (UNIVERSO), Niterói, Brazil

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© Guedes et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access articles licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided that the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at Laboratory of Panic and Respiration, Institute of Psychiatry (IPUB), Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; E-mail:


Facebook is notably the most widely known and used social network worldwide. It has been described as a valuable tool for leisure and communication between people all over the world. However, healthy and conscience Facebook use is contrasted by excessive use and lack of control, creating an addiction with severely impacts the everyday life of many users, mainly youths. If Facebook use seems to be related to the need to belong, affiliate with others and for self-presentation, the beginning of excessive Facebook use and addiction could be associated to reward and gratification mechanisms as well as some personality traits. Studies from several countries indicate different Facebook addiction prevalence rates, mainly due to the use of a wide-range of evaluation instruments and to the lack of a clear and valid definition of this construct. Further investigations are needed to establish if excessive Facebook use can be considered as a specific online addiction disorder or an Internet addiction subtype.

Keywords: Excessive Use, Facebook, Internet Addiction, Social Networks.