Social Media Addiction Research Paper Research prompt: Is Social Media addiction? (If after reading the articles, and you believe you could think of a bett

Social Media Addiction Research Paper Research prompt: Is Social Media addiction? (If after reading the articles, and you believe you could think of a better prompt with these articles, let me know we can brainstorm together 🙂 )


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Argumentative Persuasive Research Paper

Task: Argue your side effectively on a debatable topic of your choice. I prefer if you choose a topic that is of interest to you, or to your future academic studies, or to a career path you have chosen, so that what you write for my class can then be used as sample work when you move on.

Since it’s a debatable topic you have to take a stand/ position – are you pro or con? Then explore the opposition’s arguments and prove that opposition wrong.

If you cannot come up with a topic, I have some debate topics with articles (but these articles are old), so I will expect you to get more recent articles from the library databases: ProQuest, Opposing Viewpoints, and or Kanopy) to add to your store of articles to be used as sources for your research.

Here are the 8 topics you may choose (but I truly admire if you come up with a topic of your own), but if you cannot come up with your own topic you may use one from the suggested list of debates. This is to make it easier for you):

Athletics benefits the academic environment
Technology’s impact on human relationships
Dress code impacts the learning environment
Impact of helicopter parenting
Oscars represent America’s diversity
What’s better? Trade School or College
Tuition free college benefits all
Wage increase benefits do not justify benefits for all

As you can see the above topics are debatable. Some may say it is beneficial and some may say it is not beneficial. You have to take a stand on whatever topic you choose.

Then come up with a list of Question (after accessing prior knowledge), read the articles to see if your questions are answered, if go online and look up the databases to find articles.

There are two rough drafts needed for this, but if these rough drafts are in bullet points, I am ok with that too.

Rough Draft 1: Argument

You will choose a debatable topic as your subject. You may argue either side of the issue. Define the topic in terms of your argument. Describe in detail the issues related to your topic that supports your claim. Present evidence that supports your claim.

Rough Draft #2: Refutation

You will argue the same topic/side as you did in RD #1. Imagine you have presented your paper to a committee. What might the opposition say to counter your ideas? Your goal is to prove this opposition wrong. Write it in a way that refutes any opposition to the argument you made in Rough Draft #1.

Final: Combined Argument and Refutation: For the final, you will edit Rough Draft #1 and 2 that you wrote earlier. Combine the body paragraphs of these two Rough Drafts to form your final (6-8 pages total). Be sure to transition between these paragraphs. The final will have an entirely new intro/conclusion as well as a thesis.

Summarize at least 3 arguments that the opposition to your proposed solution might make. Will they argue with your data? Do they see the issue differently? Do they think another solution would be better? Using academic tone, deconstruct the argument. Show why their arguments are wrong. Show why their data are skewed. Show that their conclusions are inaccurate.

1. Your thesis should: a) give the topic, b) state the side you are on c) tell why you are right and your opposition is wrong. This thesis is NEW.

2. Include a new intro strategy/new introductory paragraph for the final. This intro is NEW (not the same as in your Rough Drafts).

3. Edit and then cut and paste the BODY PARAGRAPHS from Rough Draft 1 into the final.

4. Include a transitional paragraph to join these two halves together for your reader. This paragraph is NEW

5. Edit and then cut and paste the BODY PARAGRAPHS from Rough Draft 2 into the second half of the final. These paragraphs should prove your opposition wrong. Will the opposition argue with your data? Do they see the issue differently? Do they use argumentative fallacies? Using academic tone, deconstruct the argument. Show why their arguments are wrong. Show why their data are skewed. Show that their conclusions are inaccurate. Remember, you must avoid argumentative fallacies when proving your side!

6. Conclude by summing up the weakness (eg) of the opposition and reaffirming the strength of your side. Your readers should put down the paper and believe your side is correct. This conclusion should be NEW.

7. When you combine your sources for Rough Draft 1 and 2, you will have a minimum of 5 sources and a maximum of 10 sources. The list of sources must be varied. However, you may not use: encyclopedias, Wikipedia, blogs, chatrooms, or discussion forums.

8. Following MLA citation guidelines, use parenthetical in text citations and include a works cited page in which you list the sources that you’ve used in your paper.

Research Paper Length

• 2,500 words/7-8 pages

Number of outside sources required

You must use a minimum of five sources in your research paper, and no more than ten sources total.
These sources can be:
• Books
• Articles from magazines, newspapers, and journals
• Reports from databases
• Reputable web sites
• Documentaries
And remember – you must correctly cite all sources used. Counter arguments and rebuttals must also be cited correctly in MLA 8.

Format Style
You are required to submit your research paper in MLA 8 format, which means in-text citations must be used in the body of your paper, and a Works Cited list must appear at the end of your paper.

It is strongly advised that you speak to a reference librarian when you embark on your research paper. It is advised that you may use sources found through the College Library, such as subscription databases, the library catalog (books), and electronic book databases. When using open web or non-library sources, make sure they are reliable, authoritative, objective, current, and accurate.


I will attach a youtube video link that explains how to make one for this assignment: Technology Addiction
April 20, 2018 – Volume 28, Issue 15
Is obsessive computer use a mental health disorder?​By
Susan Ladika
Some addiction specialists contend that the overuse of video games, social media or other online technology can
affect the brain in the same way drug or alcohol dependency does. But other experts question whether an obsessive
use of technology meets the clinical definition of addiction. They argue that overuse of technology typically stems
from an underlying condition, such as anxiety, depression or attention deficit disorder. Some industry insiders say
technology companies such as Facebook design their products to be addictive, which company executives deny.
Child advocates and some politicians want the government to do more to address the potential harm of technology
overuse, and countries such as South Korea and China have established government-sponsored treatment centers
for teens and young adults considered tech-addicted. The American Psychiatric Association has not linked
technology overuse with standard medical definitions of addiction but says internet gaming needs further study. The
National Institutes of Health, meanwhile, is funding a study on whether online gaming is addictive.
Go to top
After spending much of his childhood playing video games, Charlie Bracke realized that his constant gaming as an
adult was out of control: He says he had flunked out of three colleges, lost a girlfriend and washed out as a real
estate agent.
Twice, recalls the 29-year-old from Redmond, Wash., he tried to quit gaming. Then, one day as he contemplated
suicide, he says, his parents showed up unannounced and found him and his apartment a wreck.
They began calling treatment centers and help lines and found reSTART, a rehab center for internet, gaming and
virtual reality addiction based in Fall City, Wash. After more than a year in treatment, Bracke now has a full-time job
as a Costco merchandiser and is studying accounting. He attends 12-step support groups, meets with a therapist and
shares his story about battling technology addiction with others at reSTART.
Before he went to rehab, Bracke says, “I didn’t know how to deal with my feelings of failure. I was intentionally
medicating my emotions with gaming.”
Some addiction specialists say people like Bracke are addicted to technology, which they say can affect the brain in
the same way an over-dependence on alcohol or drugs does. Others say tech overuse is not an addiction in the
medical sense but rather is a manifestation of underlying conditions such as anxiety or depression.
The debate is occurring as several former technology industry insiders have accused software companies of
intentionally creating addictive products, although defenders of the companies say they should not be blamed for
making products that keep users engaged. Several parent groups and child development experts want the
government to address the potential negative effects of technology overuse, especially on young children.
Charlie Bracke, a
gamer from
Redmond, Wash.,
entered a rehab
center after he
realized his
addiction to online
video games was
out of control and
ruining his life.
Now, after more
than a year in
treatment, he has a
full-time job and is
accounting. As part
of his treatment,
Bracke attends
12-step support
groups, meets with
a therapist and
shares his story
about battling
addiction. (Courtesy
Charles Bracke)
There is “a fairly even split in the scientific community about whether tech addiction is a real thing,” said Michael
Bishop, a psychologist and director of Summerland Camps, which runs summer camps in North Carolina and
California for children with what Bishop calls “screen overuse” habits. Bishop says he prefers the term “habit” over an
“addiction,” because, “When teens think about their behavior as a habit, they are more empowered to change.”​1
Addiction occurs when something becomes all-consuming and has a negative impact on one’s life, such as interfering
with relationships, sleep patterns, work, hobbies or eating habits.
“Technology, like all other ‘rewards,’ can over-release dopamine [a neurotransmitter], overexcite and kill neurons,
leading to addiction,” said Robert Lustig, a University of California, San Francisco, emeritus professor of pediatric
endocrinology and author of ​The Hacking of the American Mind​, a book about what he says is a corporate scheme to
sell pleasure that is creating an international epidemic of addiction, depression and chronic disease. Technology is
“not a drug, but it might as well be,” Lustig said. “It works the same way…. It has the same results.”​2
But Michael Rich, an associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard University, says, “we don’t think the word ‘addict’ is
the correct word to use. There’s not a measurable physiological change when you’re using or withdrawing, unlike
alcohol, heroin or tobacco.”
The American Psychiatric Association (APA), a professional organization representing psychiatrists, academics and
researchers, did not define technology addiction as a diagnosable disorder in its latest edition of the ​Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5),​ published in 2013. However, the manual, used by health
professionals to make diagnoses and by insurance companies to determine medical coverage, did say that internet
gaming disorder needs further study.​3
But Dan Hewitt, a vice president of the Entertainment Software Association, a trade group of gaming software
companies, in Washington, says in an email interview that “legitimate science, objective research and common sense
all prove video games are not addictive. By misusing the word addiction, which is a medical term, society demeans
real compulsive behaviors, like alcoholism and drug abuse, which deserve treatment, compassion, and care.”
The World Health Organization (WHO), which held its fourth annual meeting on tech addiction in 2017, wrote that the
increased use of technology is associated “with documented cases of excessive use, which often has negative health
consequences.” In a growing number of countries and jurisdictions, said the WHO, “the problem has reached the
magnitude of a significant public health concern.”​4
Several former employees of companies such as Google and Facebook say tech companies intentionally created
technology designed to hook users in order to make money by selling their data. “We talk about addiction and we
tend to think, ‘Oh, this is just happening by accident,’” said Tristan Harris, a former design ethicist at Google who has
accused the companies of creating addictive software. “This is happening by design. There’s a whole bunch of
techniques that are deliberately used to keep the auto play [going] on YouTube to keep you watching the next
Some scientists and child advocates worry that children and young adults may be particularly susceptible to tech
addiction. Adolescents, says Lustig, are particularly vulnerable to almost every psychiatric disease — schizophrenia,
anxiety, addiction, depression — in part because their prefrontal cortex, which controls executive function and
decision-making, is the last part of the brain to fully develop. Thus, “teens exposed to addictive substances or
behaviors are more likely to become addicted” than adults, Lustig says.
According to an open letter to Apple by a group of concerned investors, the average American child receives his or
her first smartphone at age 10, and teens spend more than 4.5 hours per day on their smartphones, not counting time
spent texting and talking. Nearly 80 percent of teens said they check their phones at least every hour.​6
But Stanford University communications professor Byron Reeves said his research has found that some college
students turn their phones on and off 300 times in a 24-hour period. “And that’s just the average,” he said. “There are
a lot of people that are turning it on and off 500, 600, 700, 800 times a day. So it’s going on, going off for an average
of ten seconds.” Reeves said he worries that such habits could lead to shortened attention spans.​7
Regardless of what experts say about whether tech addiction exists, a January poll found that nearly half of parents
with children under 18 feared their kids were addicted to their mobile devices. About 20 percent of the parents said
they were extremely or very concerned that the devices were affecting their children’s mental health, and more than a
quarter said they considered themselves addicted to their devices.​8
The poll was sponsored by Common Sense Media, which advocates for safe technology and media use by children.
“We are not anti-tech,” said James P. Steyer, founder of the group. “We are into the appropriate and balanced use of
technology. We are calling out the industry for their excesses and their intentional effects to manipulate and addict.”​9
Another survey, of 400 parents published in March by ​Fast Company​ magazine, found that they were more
concerned about their children being harmed by tech addiction than about online bullying, data privacy or sexual
A smartphone “takes over a child’s daily consciousness,” a father of three from Chicago said in response to the
survey. Children who are naturally “voracious, inquisitive curiosity seekers slowly, invariably and inevitably become
…indifferent to discovery in favor of scrolling. Smartphones numb creativity, intellectual critical thought and social
The mother of a 1-year-old from New York City wrote: “I see myself reaching for my phone out of habit anytime I’m
the least bit bored or have a moment to spare. I hate this and yet can’t seem to stop myself. I figure at least my brain
patterns were formed without this influence and am terrified of what growing up with smartphones and tech will do to
my daughter.”​12
Rich, director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Boston Children’s Hospital, says the center has dealt with a
few hundred cases of children and young adults whose families were worried about their internet use. “Every case so
far has underlying psychological issues driving behavior,” such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder or anxiety,
he says. The center, which educates families on healthy media use, recently opened the Clinic for Interactive Media
and Internet Disorders to treat children with internet use issues.
Boys, according to Rich, who teaches social and behavioral sciences in addition to pediatrics, are more likely to
overindulge in gaming; girls to overuse social media. Gamers tend to have attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder,
while those who overuse social media tend to have anxiety, he says. The genders are evenly split, though, when it
comes to binging on information and viewing pornography, he says. Some politicians and religious leaders have
raised concerns about the excessive use of online pornography in recent years, especially violent porn.
Some tech insiders and politicians say the government should help to combat the potential for tech addiction. The
National Institutes of Health (NIH) is funding its first study on technology addiction — an examination of online
Several other countries recognize tech addiction as a disorder, and some have declared it a public health crisis. In
France, for instance, proposed legislation would require children under 16 to obtain parental approval to open
accounts on social media sites such as Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram. And the government plans to ban mobile
phone use at primary and junior high schools, starting this fall.​14
As researchers, technology company executives and parents examine tech addiction, here are some of the questions
they are asking:
Can technology use be addictive?
Addiction occurs when the brain recognizes substances or behaviors that create pleasure by releasing dopamine, a
chemical that passes information from one neuron to the next — signals that the brain associates with anticipation of
a reward. Being repeatedly exposed to the substance or behavior can make a person want more. Eventually, the
person builds up tolerance, needing more of the substance or activity to feel the pleasurable effect.​15
Some experts say the still-developing brains of children and young adults, in particular, can respond to technology
similarly to how they would respond to other addictive substances, such as drugs and alcohol. “From a central
nervous standpoint, there’s no difference,” says Lustig, at the University of Southern California. MRIs and PET scans
have found changes in the brains of those with internet addictions similar to those with other addictions, he says,
adding, “If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.”
Larry Rosen, a professor emeritus of psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills, also believes
technology can affect the brain. With addiction, the brain releases, besides dopamine, the mood-affecting
neurotransmitter serotonin. With anxiety, the brain releases hormones that react to stress by producing a surge of
energy and heightened mental focus. People can feel compelled to do an activity, such as check Facebook, to reduce
their anxiety, Rosen says. “We act like Pavlov’s dog when we get a notification on our phones,” he says. “Technology
can impact” anxiety or addiction, or both.
With technology, as with other types of addictions, he said, problems arise if a person requires more of the addictive
substance to feel the same level of satisfaction. And being away from the substance or activity can prompt
depression, stress or anxiety, typical symptoms of withdrawal.​16
The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, which operates drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers, defines teen
technology addiction as “frequent and obsessive technology-related behavior increasingly practiced despite negative
consequences to the user of the technology.” In addition, the foundation says, teen dependence on technology can
lead to consequences ranging from “mild annoyance when away from technology to feelings of isolation, extreme
anxiety and depression.”​17
Researchers in South Korea, one of several countries that recognize tech addiction as a disorder, have found that
teens obsessed with their smartphones or the internet experience changes in their brain chemistry similar to those
found in other types of addiction. Using a type of MRI that measures the brain’s chemical composition, researchers
examined 19 young men diagnosed as addicted to technology and compared them with 19 young men who were not.
The teens diagnosed with tech addiction had more neurotransmitter activity in the region of the brain tied to rewards,
mood regulation and control of inhibition and rated higher for depression, anxiety and impulsivity. The researchers
also found that the psychotherapy treatment known as cognitive behavioral therapy could help normalize the
chemical imbalance.​18
Christopher Whitlow, chief of neuroradiology at the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., said the
area of the brain where the imbalance was found — the anterior cingulate — has been found to play a role in
addictive behavior. “In that way, smartphone and internet addiction appears to have some similarities with addiction
to other things,” he said.​19
Max Wintermark, chief of neuroradiology at Stanford, said of the South Korean findings: “It’s a very small study, so
you have to take it with a grain of salt.” However, he added, “It’s the first study that I read about internet addiction, but
there are many studies that link alcohol, drug and other types of addiction to imbalances in various neurotransmitters
in the brain.”​20
However, professor of psychology Christopher Ferguson at Stetson University in DeLand, Fla., said, “Sometimes with
new technology you see these heightened claims of harm…. In my opinion, they’re not comparable to, say,
methamphetamine addiction or heroin addiction.” Technology “is a tool,” he adds. “It’s really about how you use it. It’s
not heroin. That’s not to say you can’t overdo it.”​21
Harvard’s Rich agrees that tech overuse is not a classic type of addiction. But, he says, computer applications “are
designed to continually grab and re-grab information and give us just enough frustration, followed by satisfaction, to
give us the little shots of dopamine we so crave. We need to learn how to develop self-regulation and encourage tech
companies to design more human-friendly apps.”
Michael Robb, director of research for Common Sense Media, acknowledges that it is impossible to gauge whether
tech addiction actually exists. “There is no way to measure it right now,” he says. “There’s no agreement on a
definition. There needs to be less ambiguity.” But for some kids, he says, their tech use “is so disruptive it causes
significant harm in other parts of their lives” such as sleep, school and social relationships.
Dean Eckles, a communications and technology professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said that
because nearly everyone uses technology and each person uses it in different ways, “it’s really hard to do purely
observational research into the effects of something like screen time or social media use.” Rather than dividing
participants into those with smartphones and those without, for example, researchers must compare differences in
use, while considering differences in race, income and parental education.​22
Even expert organizations are not sure technology addiction is real. While the APA has not said internet or social
media overuse is an addictive disorder, it has said internet gaming disorder needs to be studied further. The
organization cited studies indicating that when some individuals are engrossed in internet games, certain brain
pathways are triggered “in the same direct and intense way that a drug addict’s brain is affected by a particular
The WHO plans to list “gaming disorder” as a mental health disorder in its next edition of the International
Classification of Diseases (ICD), scheduled for release this year. The ICD sets international standards for reporting
health conditions and diseases.​24
Hewitt, of the Entertainment Software Association, said his organization rejects the WHO’s conclusion but supports
the APA’s call for more research into computer and video games. “Video game ‘addiction’ is a colloquial, loaded term
with no real scientific or medical definition or broad support,” he said. “And it is important to remember that video
game enthusiasm is often misinterpreted as ‘addiction.’”​25
Nancy Petry, a University of Connecticut professor of medicine, is leading the two-year, $416,000 NIH study that may
ultimately help determine whether online gaming is a disorder. “Tech addiction is a hot topic,” she said, “but we need
to clearly define and differentiate what constitutes a mental disorder that is causing major adverse consequences and
distinguish it from just a bad habit that people just wish they weren’t doing.”​26
Given the dearth of research on tech addiction, and the lack of a clear definition of the problem, experts are hoping
for more clarity and consensus in the coming years. The APA and WHO “don’t even agree on how to conceptualize
this thing,” says Stetson’s Ferguson.
Randomized, controlled trials are needed to determine the links between technology and its effects. “That’s where
longitudinal studies come in,” said Twenge, of San Diego State University.​100
Harvard’s Rich has helped to establish the Clinic for Interactive Media and Internet Disorders (CIMAID) in Boston,
which he hopes will pre…
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