5 ways to avoid addiction to social media. Do you reckon the term “penfriend?” When I was growing up, this is what I had heard about socializing with strangers. A few years later I heard about YouTube, Orkut, and Facebook. Fast forward to a decade and there were newer ways to stay in touch with friends, relatives, colleagues, and new people through Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest, WhatsApp, and more.
Initially, everything seemed lit but slowly the dim side came into view. Browsing through Instagram to spend some spare time grew slowly into a habit and then it transformed into an addiction.
5 ways to avoid addiction to social media definition according to Addiction Center refers to a type of behavioural addiction. It is the compulsive use of social media guided by an uncontrollable urge that impacts the quality of life and work.
So, let’s take a closer look at what is social media addiction and how can one deal with it further.
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Social media addiction research
Although The American Psychiatric Association doesn’t consider social media addiction as a mental disease, it still falls under the category of compulsive behaviour. In recent times, some social media addiction research has been conducted.
A study conducted in 2019 by Mohammad Dalvi-Esfahani, et al. showed that openness, loneliness, and depression were the most prominent predictors of social media addiction.
Another qualitative market research conducted by Stacy Grau, et al. explored social media addiction among millennials. The social media addiction theory used by researchers in this study is the consumption continuum.
Further, research conducted on 6,500 US kids aged 12-15 years old inferred that more than three-hour use of social media daily puts the kids at risk of developing mental health issues.
Anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem are the most severe effect of social media addiction among teenagers. The other risk factors included with social media addiction among teenagers include facing cyber bullies, being subjected to cyber crimes, and facing privacy concerns.
When considering social media addiction in India, 40% of Indian parents admitted that their teenage kids are addicted to social media overuse according to a report by LocalCircles. However, in the US, about 70% of teens are addicted to social media.
General symptoms of social media addiction
Although the symptoms can vary from person to person and among different age groups, some common symptoms include the following.
- Mood changes upon browsing social media.
- Emotional or cognitive dependence on social media.
- Craving when unable to access social media.
- Progressive tolerance.
- Facing interpersonal or professional problems due to its usage.
- Social media usage during break periods.
Ten questions about Social Media Addiction
Social media addiction is the chaff that comes with the internet. There are a few questions you need to know to understand its influence better over you. If you answer these questions affirmatively, you need to make sure that you soon find a solution to these issues. Here’s what you should ask yourself about social media addiction.
- How long have I been online on social media?
- What is the duration I use social media daily?
- When searching social media, what is it that I search for most?
- Do I just scroll through everything that comes in front of my eyes?
- Once I see something on social media, do I keep thinking about it?
- What kind of emotions does a post evoke in me?
- Do I know how to deal with the emotions that come to me?
- How do I counter to verify the information I see on social media?
- Do I blindly believe in the information I read on social media?
- If you like something how do you respond to it?
Is there a treatment for social media addiction
Do you know anyone who is experiencing the above symptoms or you are facing them yourself? If you want to help yourself or someone known to you, then here are a few tips to overcome the addiction to social media.
- Go off the grid – Take a short time off and vanish in a remote location probably surrounded by mountains, forests, and gushing streams. This would help you undergo digital detox of every kind and probably break your addiction.
- Set daily usage limits – Instagram and other social media apps come with a daily usage duration reminder feature. You can either use the in-built feature of your favourite app or use some time management app to help you set a daily limit of half an hour or so. This way you can self-monitor yourself or your teen kid to overcome your addiction. Be strict about your time limits and adhere to them seriously to cope with social media addiction better.
- Pick a new hobby – You can increase spending time offline either with your friends or family or take up a new hobby. This will help you keep your mind off your device and would also benefit your mind and health. You can also try walking or running outdoors to prevent yourself from falling into your addiction.
- Take help from people around – If you are alone and not able to cope with your social media browsing habits better then feel free to take help from your family, friends, and colleagues to stop you from picking up your device again and again.
- Try CBT – In case the above-mentioned tips did not help you or your dear one much, then you could try taking help from professionals.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a common line of professional treatment that helps to overcome negative thoughts and false beliefs. It can also prove effective in controlling the urge to log in and browse through social media apps.
Social media addiction conclusion
So now you know that social media addiction is real even though it is not yet classified under any classical disorder. But the good news is that one can deal with it very easily and even overcome it with the help of some easy tips.
Quotes for social media addiction
Some famous quotes on social media addiction are:
1. Social media not only kills your time but also makes your attention deficit.
– Neeraj Agnihotri
2. Ensure you are happy in real life and not just on social media.
– PK Kasirim
3. Social media simply creates an illusion of connectivity.
– Malay Shah
4. Nowadays many people are unhappy as they feel their life is much less than what others are projecting on social media.
– Germany Kent
5. Do you use your smartphone or is it your smartphone using you?
– Denzel Washington
Refer to this post for more information on mental health issues
What is the main cause of social media addiction?
Amongst the most widely-recognised causes of addiction to social media are low self-esteem, personal dissatisfaction, depression and hyperactivity, and even lack of affection, a deficiency that adolescents frequently try to replace with famous likes.
How social media addiction affects students?
Mostly among teenagers social media addiction has become a serious problem. This causes low self-esteem and eating disorders by comparing to other people. The effects that are caused by social media are cyberbullying, a decrease in productivity, fatigue and stress, and other mental health-related issues.