Title

Why do People Record and Post Illegal Material? Excessive Social Media Use, Psychological Disorder, or Both?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-2015

Publication Source

Computers in Human Behavior

Volume

48

Inclusive pages

608–614

DOI

10.1016/j.chb.2015.02.030

Abstract

IIn this study, we examined the prevalence of recording and posting illegal material among 442 young adult undergraduates (aged 18–27) and the relationship between the frequency of this behavior, social media use, antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), and borderline personality disorder (BPD). Overall, 13% of the sample had posted illegal activity (underage drinking, lewd behavior, or other illegal activity) and 28% had recorded (or been present when someone else recorded) lewd or other illegal activity. Prevalence rates were higher among those who used social media excessively and those who met criteria for ASPD or BPD. However, in logistic regression analyses, only social media use and ASPD emerged as unique predictors of posting and recording illegal material. Thus, there appear to be at least two separate routes to recording and/or posting illegal material. One fairly innocuous route is the excessive use of social media, which may desensitize individuals and hinder their ability to apply appropriate filters. Another more ominous route is a pervasive psychological disorder (ASPD), which is associated with lifelong recklessness, impulsivity, and lack of empathy. For either route, education on the lifelong ramifications of digital media is imperative.

Keywords

Social networking; Young adults; Illegal activity; Personality disorders; Social media use

Disciplines

Psychology

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