How Can I Help My Teen With Social Media Addiction
Help them with effective coping mechanisms when used as a way to cope with sadness, social media can quickly negatively affect a teen and leave them feeling even more empty, or envious, or frustrated. Effective coping mechanisms should help a teen overcome or adapt to their troubles, rather than providing escapism. Hobbies that help a teen improve themselves mentally or physically, meditation and spiritual activities, long walks alone or time spent with a therapist these are methods that help a person effectively cope with issues by becoming outlets for stress and helping them find a healthy perspective with which to tackle their problems.
Manage their screen time the internet should be used as a tool, with online media as a source of entertainment or information. But when online media becomes what your teen preoccupies themselves with at almost every hour of the day, they become simply unable to think about, or focus, on anything else. How is a person expected to do anything in the real world when their hands and thoughts are on screens and online? As intertwined as our lives have become with the internet, many teens struggle to balance that with the responsibilities and challenges of living. Managing a teens screen time and encouraging them to do so on their own, for their own health and future, is critical.
What Makes Social Media Addictive
There are a few explanations for why people become addicted to social media. One theory is associated with the network effect of smartphones and the fear of missing out .
The idea behind the network effect is that the value of a product or service increases when the number of users increases. In the case of smartphones, many people want to have one because almost everybody has one.3
Social media is most frequently accessed through smartphones, so its not surprising their usage is closely related. The mobile nature of smartphones has contributed to excessive checking habits. Many people avoid missing the latest news or trends because they dont want to miss anything. This is referred to as FOMO.4
Another theory involves dopamine. Its a neurotransmitter that gets released when people engage in pleasurable activities like having sex or eating chocolate. It’s the same brain chemical that explains why people get addicted to certain drugs.
Smartphones can contribute to a virtually unlimited supply of social media stimuli. A positive stimulusa like, laughing faces, or positive comments on pictures from peerscan trigger dopamine release. It may not be as intense as a drugs effect, but it still reinforces continuous social media usage.5, 6
How To Get Rid Of Social Media Addiction
So, how do you take back the reins of your life and curb your time on social media ? Here are some steps to get started.
1. Think About Why Youd Like to Be on Social Media
Everything we do in life is about intention: why do you want to do something? What will it bring you? The same goes for social media use. It may be silly to ask this question when thinking about a Facebook or Instagram account, but if you want to truly control your social media , asking this question may truly be eye-opening.
Do you want to just keep in touch with friends, or do you want to promote your business? Getting to the crux of why youre online will help you clearly mark your time on social media effectively and eliminate everything else.
2. Be Meticulous About Who You Follow and what you post and share
Attention is your greatest currency.
Everything that you click on or like becomes a thread in the tapestry of what comes back to you on social media newsfeeds. You want to create the kind of information spread that works for you, your needs, and your time. So, often, we impulsively follow people who may not be serving our best interests.
Give yourself permission to clean those contacts out every once in a while! Its okay to disagree with someone. Instead of plummeting into a rabbit hole of social media thread arguments, unfollow anyone who you dont connect with. Its much better for your mental health and helps you get rid of social media addiction.
3. Curb the Time You Spend Online
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What Can I Do To Prevent Social Media Addiction
Social media, being now readily available to anyone with modern communicative technologies, has inherently made it possible for communication without limitations of distance, language, or even areas of cell phone service. Popular platforms, such as Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook provide billions of people worldwide with connection to anyone, with little intervention as to how much time or how the time is used on the platform.
Why Is Social Media Addictive
Social media affects mental health through the reward pathway in the brain.3 When we perceive something with excitement, we activate dopamine production in the brain, which triggers serotonin. This cascade of neurotransmitters is what creates the euphoric rush upon receiving positive feedback.3
There is evidence to support benefits for the brain when social media is used in moderation. Research has found a connection between a large social media network and increased grey matter density.4 Grey matter density contributes toward the ability to perform tasks.4 Accordingly, the ability to recognize faces and heightened memory is generally found for those with larger social media networks.4,5
On the other hand, there are negative effects that may ultimately become substantial if gone unchecked. Increased desire to be on social media and experience of withdrawal when not engaged creates stress on the body. As anxiety increases, so does cortisol, which overtime becomes toxic in your immune system.
Another concern is that it reduces attention span.5 With so many options of what to view, write, or engage with, it can become increasingly challenging to remain focused. For those who feel a responsibility to be aware of what is going on in the world or are particularly drawn to bad news, the potential for doomscrolling also increases.
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Social Media Addiction And Substance Abuse
A University of Albany study discovered that excessive social media use is not only addictive but also can be associated with substance abuse disorder. Researcher Julia Hormes found that 10 percent of her research subjects experienced disordered social networking use.
These same individuals were also more likely to report alcohol overuse and impulse control problems. The research suggests that disordered online social networking may arise as part of a cluster of risk factors that increase susceptibility to addictions, Hormes wrote.
Social media addiction also has the same characteristics as substance abuse addictions. Two studies by Mark D. Griffiths, one in 2005 and another in 2013, found that six core components characterized addictive behavior. These are:
- Concealing the addictive behavior
“We must hold social media platforms accountable for the national experiment they’re conducting on our children for profit.”
President Joe Biden, 2022 State of the Union Address
What Is Considered Social Media Addiction
- 1. Preoccupation with social media: feeling a constant need to check for new updates and notifications, even when it is not convenient or appropriate to do so.
- 2. Withdrawal symptoms when not using social media: feeling anxious or irritable when unable to access social media platforms, or feeling restless and fidgety when trying to stay off them for a period of time.
- 3. Unsuccessful attempts to cut back on social media use: despite trying to set limits on how much time is spent on social media, or even trying to give it up completely, the individual is unable to stick to these goals.
- 4. sacrificing important activities in order to use social media: neglecting work, school, or family obligations in order to spend more time on social media platforms.
- 5. using social media in dangerous or risky situations: continuing to use social media despite knowing that it could lead to negative consequences, such as getting in a car accident while texting.
- 6. Lying about social media use: hiding how much time is actually spent on social media or the extent of ones online activity from others.
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How To Stop Your Social Media Addiction
This article is about social media addiction.
We will get there
But to find our way, we have to first talk about Joanna Jdrzejczyk .
Joanna Jdrzejczyk is one of the most decorated women MMA fighters in the history of the sport. Before she dominated the womens strawweight division, she won over 60 Thai boxing matches. Shes landed the most significant strikes in UFC championship history , plus the highest significant strike differential in UFC championship history .
In the UFC, striking analyst Jack Slack compared her to Chuck Liddell, but she undoubtedly has a better technical striking game than Liddell.
On November 4, 2017, Ms. Jdrzejczyk went into Madison Square Garden for UFC 217 to make history. If she won against the challenger, Rose Namajunas, shed tie Ronda Rouseys record for six title defense.
Ms. Namajunas, the massive underdog, stopped history in its tracks. She KOed the undefeated Jdrzejczyk, and became the new UFC womens strawweight champion.
Ms. Namajunas later revealed two prongs to her strategy:
One: be willing to strike with Joanna.
Everyone tries to take her down. Rose didnt. She stood and traded, and showed she was just as good in the stand-up game.
Two: social media. Or, the lack thereof.
Consequences Of Social Media Addiction
Does someone who is spending too much time on social media have an addiction? The answer is no. Many people over-use social media, with the main consequence that they neglect other responsibilities and waste a lot of time that they could be doing other things.
However, while this is a negative consequence, it does not qualify as an âaddictionâ. Addiction involves negative consequences that go beyond merely âwasting too much timeâ on social media. Instead, social media addiction implies more serious consequences on quality of life and mental health, including but not limited to:
The next time you log off, take stock of your feelings. If youâre left feeling worse than you did when you logged on, it might be time to reassess how much you use social media and whether or not it is extending from just a bad habit to real problematic use and even addiction.
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Shocking Truths About Social Media Addiction
As technology becomes more and more integrated in our lives, the struggle against social media addiction has become increasingly more prevalent. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat have mastered the art of user experience, enticing people of all ages to stay on their apps a little bit longer and longer each visit. Consequently, social media addiction can occur when people can’t resist looking at their phone to catch up with the latest posts or religiously upload content to their social media profiles. The constant, overbearing desire to stay updated on people’s status’s can be as devastating an addiction as drug dependance. Here’s five shocking yet true facts about social media addiction.
How To Get Help For Problematic Social Media Use
An online therapist directory is a great place to review multiple therapists to find someone with the expertise youre looking for. Carefully review the therapists profiles, then once you have found several potential matches, call each one and ask whatever questions you find appropriate.
You might want to ask questions like:
- Do you take my insurance, or do I have to pay out of pocket?
- Have you worked with others who have had social media problems?
- What are the general treatment outcomes and timeline for individuals coming in with this condition?
- Are there any additional support groups or resources I should consider to supplement counseling services?
From there, schedule an appointment and assess the fit. If there seems to be a mismatch after multiple sessions, then proceed to the next therapist on your list. While it is not recommended to continually switch therapists upon engaging in treatment, the match is also critical and will impact treatment outcomes.
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How We Build And Break Habits
Charles Duhigg, the author of The Power Of Habit says heres a simple neurological loop at the core of every habit that consists of three parts: a cue, a routine and a reward.
Simply put, understanding your own habits is a matter of identifying the parts of this loop. Once you understand the loop for a certain habit, you can start to change your behavior.
Duhigg uses his example of buying cookies to describe this neurological loop:
Lets say this habit has caused you to gain exactly 8 pounds, and that your wife has made a few pointed comments. Youve tried to force yourself to stop you even went so far as to put a post-it on your computer that reads NO MORE COOKIES.
But every afternoon you manage to ignore that note, get up, wander towards the cafeteria, buy a cookie and, while chatting with colleagues around the cash register, eat it. It feels good, and then it feels bad. Tomorrow, you promise yourself, youll muster the willpower to resist. Tomorrow will be different. But tomorrow, the habit takes hold again.
Before Mr. Duhigg broke down these concepts in his book, Claude Hopkins, author of My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising, used it to create demand around toothpaste.
There were times when Id catch myself entering the loop, identifying the trigger or the cue, watching myself execute the routine, and enjoying that hit of dopamine totally aware of what was happening, yet unable to do anything about it.
Dont Compare Yourself To Others:
One of the biggest triggers for social media addiction is comparing yourself to others. When you see other peoples lives on social media, its easy to compare yourself to them. However, its important to remember that what you see on social media is not always an accurate representation of reality. People only post the best parts of their lives on social media, and they often edit or filter their photos. So dont compare your life to what you see on social media. Its not a fair comparison. For instance, if you see a friends vacation photos on social media, dont compare your life to theirs. They may have only posted the highlights of their trip, and you dont know what their everyday life is really like.
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Benefits Of Making Use Of Social Media
1. Social Media Fosters Communication as it has notably taken over Text message as the most popular resort of sending a message across to a person, especially a person whom you are not friends with or is a complete stranger.
How long does it take to break an addiction to social media?
2. Social Media helps us in Social networking as it is the easiest way for us to increase our network and make new friends especially for introverts. This is so because Social Media will provide you with the necessary platforms to interact, communicate, and bond with strangers.
3. Social Media does not only increase our network, but also increases our visibility necessary to build a large audience for ourselves or our business brand.
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4. Social Media gives us access to information, as in most workplace or School, Social Media particularly WhatsApp is the medium for passing information to students, so therefore by being active on Social Media you will have speedy access to information.
5. Social Media aids learning through the online resources, materials, Articles, Research Work, and contents which enables us to read and learn, not to mention the virtual interactive platforms where we participate in Webinars and Online classes.
If you are in this later category, its important to note that there are lots of disadvantages of such addiction to Social Media.
The Strategy Was To Ghost Joanna
Pat Barry, Ms. Namajunas fiance and training partner said:
We knew Johanna was checking her Instagram everyday. It would drive her crazy post anything or be seen anywhere. She had no idea what looked like. She didnt see training.
The strategy going into this fight was to ghost Joanna. That was a big part of this game plan was to ghost her no matter what she says, no matter what she does.
We knew that it was going to come in levels. She was going to say this, then shes going to say this, then shes going to say this and then shes going to talk about your dog.
Its going to get bigger and bigger an bigger and bigger. We even knew shes going to touch you. Shes going to push you, she going to touch you and when she does dont move.
Dont react, give her nothing.
Give her nothing and it worked.
Could this strategy really have been powerful enough to affect Ms. Jdrzejczyks performance the night of the fight? If youve seen her unrelenting mind games against her competitors before fights in real life and on social media I think youd agree the answer is yes.
If you disagree, try this: Put down your phone. Close your computer. And try sitting for five minutes, doing absolutely nothing.
This discomfort is one of the most powerful, persistent feelings we feel on a day-to-day basis, and like the addicts we are, we turn to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. to get that dopamine hit and make it go away.
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Diagnosis Of Social Media Addiction
Clinical practice classifies social media addiction as an impulse-control disorder and it meets the criteria laid down for pathological behaviors such as gaming disorder, chronic gambling, sex addiction, workaholism, etc.
Although it is not formally recognized as a mental health disorder, screening tools like Social Media Addiction Scale 12 are used for detecting excessive social media use and addiction.