You Experience Withdrawal Symptoms
One of the most major indicators of social media addiction is withdrawal. People who have an addiction experience unpleasant physical and emotional symptoms when they do not engage in the substance or activity they are addicted to.
Social media addiction is no different. If you stop using social media for a period of time or you cannot access the internet, you may experience symptoms such as anger, anxiety, or agitation. Other withdrawal symptoms include intense feelings of boredom and increased urges to use social media. 7
Why Is It So Hard To Focus At Work
If your ability to focus at work is suffering, it can hamper your professional life in a lot of ways. Not only can this lead to mistakes, but it can also stop you from moving up the corporate ladder.
Before you find out ways on how to focus at work, you have to know whats causing your inability to concentrate in the first place.
Is it something minor, or are you struggling with a mental health condition? Weve rounded up the most common reasons why people cant focus at work below:
- PTSD and emotional shock
There are tons of reasons why your focus is running low, so dont worry if you cant exactly pinpoint whats causing your lack of concentration on any task at hand.
The truth is, everyone experiences bad days. So unless youre an airplane pilot and your task for the day isnt life or death, take a break for a few minutes and use this time to refocus your brain.
Because theres no chance of shutting out the world while youre busy, the decision to stay focused at work is in your hands. Its about finding the right techniques, knowing your priorities, and sticking to them.
Harmful Physical Effects Of Social Networking Addiction
The influence of too much time spent in front of the computer screen cannot be underestimated.According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the maximum screen time, including TVs and computers, should not exceed 2 hours a day. There are a number of physical issues that can develop as a result of constant online activity. The main problems include:
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What Can Contribute To The Development Of Social Media Addiction Among Children
During their years of formation, children are especially impressionable, and they take in all the information around them like sponges, which makes them an easy target. Social media websites are created to play on human emotions, and one of the biggest buttons they push is the fear of missing out. No human being wants to feel isolated from the rest of the society, and social networking websites make sure that this doesn’t happen. They create an illusion of being constantly present and acknowledged by the peers, thus making a person feel safe and adequate.
A lot of children and teenagers suffer from self-esteem issues, thus looking into social media for approval and attention. It’s especially relevant in situations when children don’t receive enough support and communication from their parents or offline friends. The article Why Social Media Is So Addictive by Tom Lowery provides the information that over 80 % of posts on the social networking websites are about the poster. In such a way, these types of websites are the great sources of social validation for children and adults. However, it is a vicious circle because online interactions are usually quite superficial, and they drive a child even further away from the people in their real lives.
Ically Schedule Each Day
Meticulously planning each day is the best way to approach deep work and one of the best strategies on how to stay focused at work. It imposes time limits, creating a healthy pressure of time.
One of the main reasons why most people lose focus during a workday is because of a lack of a structured plan or schedule.
Newport acknowledges that not every day will go exactly as planned. But recommends that you schedule every minute of your day regardless.
The time-blocking approach will hold you accountable by allocating specific periods for specific types of work. Dividing your workday into blocks and assigning activities to each one allows you to prioritize whats most important.
There are different time-boxing methods such as Day-theming. Day-theming is dedicating each day of the week to a specific theme instead of switching between different types of work or areas of responsibility throughout the day. This strategy is not about scheduling a perfect day. Its really about giving structure to your workday by forcing you to be more intentional with your time.
When you schedule each workday youll be more control of time because youll know exactly what you want to accomplish and when.
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Recognizing A Social Media Addiction
Although many people habitually use social media, very few are genuinely addicted. To determine if someone is at risk of developing an addiction to social media, ask these six questions:
- Do they spend a lot of time thinking about social media or planning to use social media?
- Do they feel urges to use social media more and more?
- Do they use social media to forget about personal problems?
- Do they often try to reduce use of social media without success?
- Do they become restless or troubled if unable to use social media?
- Do they use social media so much that it has had a negative impact on their job or studies?
A yes to more than three of these questions may indicate the presence of a social media addiction.
A digital detox, a period of time during which someone significantly reduces the time spent using electronic devices such a smartphones or computers, could be a wise precaution. This can include simple steps, such as turning off sound notifications and only checking social media sites once an hour. Other changes can include having periods in the day where there is self-imposed non-screen time, such as during meal times, or leaving the phone in a separate room at night so as not to disturb sleep. This allows for a restored focus on social interaction in the physical world and reduces dependency on networking sites.
How To Overcome Social Media Addiction
When we think about addiction, we often think about drug and alcohol use. However, research is clear that individuals can get a similar high from using the internet, including social media.
Scrolling through social media and browsing the internet are popular activities that most of us engage in without any problem or issue. However, there is a small percentage of users that become addicted to social media sites and engage in excessive or compulsive use.
In its true definition, internet or social media addiction is characterized by being overly concerned about social media, feeling compelled to access the internet or log on to our social media accounts, and spending so much time scrolling that it impairs other areas of our life such as school, employment, leisure activities, and relationships.
Internet Use, Social Media, and the Brain
Due to the effect that social media and internet use has on the brain, these activities can be both physically and psychologically addictive. More specifically, when an individual gets a notification such as a like, breaking news, or an update on a sports score, the brain receives a rush of dopamine which causes us to feel pleasure. Social media and the internet provide immediate access to information and endless amount of instant rewards in the form of attention from others for fairly minimal effort.
Signs and Symptoms of Internet and Social Media Addiction
Losing Track of Time
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Turn Off Your Notifications
When you stop notifications from disturbing your normal routine, you might find it easier to concentrate on your daily tasks and not get distracted so easily. Notifications are a constant reminder that something is happening in the online world and you might feel like you’re missing out. So to quell your FOMO, turn off your notifications. The bonus is, when you do come around to checking your social media, you may have a build up of more notifications which will make it more exciting and will make the experience more rewarding.
What Is Social Media
The term social media refers to any website or mobile application that allows users to create and share content, communicate with one another, and participate in social networking. The first social networking platforms were created in the late 1990s, with the most popular sites appearing on the internet in the early to mid-2000s.
Some of the most popular social media platforms today include Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter. Different platforms operate in unique ways, with their own features, interface designs, and social etiquette. For example, Instagram is a primarily picture-based platform, while Twitter users must compose their content within a constraint of 280 characters or less.
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Create Physical Distance Between You And Your Devices
Do you sleep with your smartphone next to your bed? Arianna Huffington, author of Thrive and founder of ThriveGlobal.com, says that when shes ready for bed, she escorts all her devices out of her room and shuts the door. This habit allows her to get a good nights sleep and focus on mindfulness, without the incessantly flashing notifications light or the buzz of a 2 a.m. text.
If its during the day, Potter suggests keeping your phone in an inconvenient location. I have a client who drives with her phone in the trunk of her car to avoid distraction, she says. We are creatures of convenience, so create distance and make it a chore to retrieve your phone.
Heres exactly , according to science.
Negative Impact Of Smartphone Dependency On The Individual Level
Here are a few of the many available studies documenting the negative effects of technology dependency on our mental health:
- Anxiety and Confusion A study from MIT found that students who were asked to give up their phones for just 24 hours suffered from anxiety and confusion without their mobiles.
- Withdrawal symptoms A study from the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication that found that some young people suffered from withdrawal symptoms when separated from their phones.
- Increase of suicide rates in young people A study that linked the increase of suicide rates in young people to an increase in the use of social media and mobile phones. The correlation was evident, although causation was not shown in this study. In the article, a fair case is made to accept the possibility of causation at face level, however.
- Social Media Brain Chemistry: Differences in brain structure, neurotransmitters and brain function* If you prefer something a little more concrete, a study presented at the Radiological Society of North America conference found differences in brain structure and brain function in teens who were thought to be addicted to smartphones .
*Differences, not necessarily negative differences. The point here, being: we should know if and if so how and to what extent our brains are being impacted on a physical level.
BankMyCell did a great job of analyzing a compilation of a fair amount of studies. In the infographic they share here, they show some of the highlights.
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Come Back To The Real World
It can seem like the digital world is all there is to life. Time to unplug! By making more of an effort to live in the moment youll rediscover how good life is offline.
So, if its someones birthday give them a call instead or even better, try and meet up. Get the members of your group-chat together for lunch at the weekend. Go for coffee with a co-worker during your lunch break instead of sitting on your phone. Youll quickly realize that its much more rewarding!
When we post a photo or a status update, we quickly lose focus on our experience and begin to think about how people will react to it instead. One of the best ways to become unplugged is to reflect on our experiences in different ways. Keep a scrapbook of your favorite photos or write a journal with your thoughts this way youll treasure the moment instead of worrying about what other people think!
Negative Consequences Of Social Media Addiction
Social media addiction is associated with low self-esteem
Risky amounts of social media are becoming increasingly associated with lower self-esteem. A study was conducted of 827 university students who were asked to complete a questionnaire including the Social Media Disorder Scale along with the Single Item Self-Esteem Scale . 18% of the participants were disordered social media users and had significantly lower levels of self-esteem than their less active counterparts. The study hypothesized this to be attributed to individuals compensating for real-life social relations and boredom through social media. They also noted that gathering âlikesâ may also be damaging to self-esteem as it is a form of seeking validation.
Social media addiction is associated with poor sleep hygiene
Those with addictions often engage with social media at unhealthy times. Of these unhealthy times, nocturnal use seems to be the most detrimental according to a study on problematic sleep due to social media . The study conducted cross-sectional surveys on full-time workers and students and found those with a compulsive need to check social media had more difficulty sleeping due to increased anxiety, recurrent thoughts, and excessive mental occupation.
Social media addiction is associated with loneliness
Social media addiction is associated with relationship problems
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Review Your Friends And Follow Lists
How many followers do you have on your accounts? How many do you follow?
One of the answers to why is social media so addictive is that people form an online community, and we feel as being a part of it.
But, it is essential to realize that these communities arent anything but a waste of time most of the time. Here are some questions that you can ask yourself that will help you review your lists:
- Do you know these people in real life?
- Do they add positive value to your life?
If even one of the answers to these questions is no, press delete, unfriend, etc., and take a step towards supplying your social media addiction help.
How To Use Social Media Safely
Among the wake-up calls to mitigate public network additions is when you begin experiencing frustrations on the number of chatting apps on your phone. At this point, to salvage your wellbeing, here are a few tips for consideration.
Learn to live in the Moment
Even though the urge to post fun activities online becomes pressing with time, allow yourself to give in occasionally. However, never let these urges overshadow the actual feeling of living these moments and enjoying real-time experiences.
Follow Feeds that Brings you Gratification
This will help ensure that the extent of exposure is only to people and things that generate positive vibes while you are online. Furthermore, you will get essential takeaways, which can be applied in different situations, such as conflict resolution.
Avoid Making Comparisons with Online Personas
When scrolling through peoples content, always keep in mind that what they share only depicts a small portion of their lives. Hence, comparing yourself to their online lives will create a feeling of inadequacy, leading to unhealthy obsessions while you continue stalking them.
Always Filter your Content Before Posting
Learn to post content that best fits all social groups in society. This will prevent creating online chaos while maintaining the status quo and passing your message effectively.
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Get Your Work Station Organized
Too much stuff within arms reach or atop your desk can prove to be really distracting. To stay focused at work, only have the things you need neatly piled on your desk put the rest away properly, like in a desk drawer or shelves. Have an area for food and drinks, your bag or purse, and other personal items. But have them within reach so you can just grab a drink without losing focus on what youre doing.
Take a look at these 15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done for inspiration.
Stay Away From Your Devices
Commonly, social media addiction goes hand in hand with nomophobia or phone addiction. To prevent developing several addictions, put a distance between you and your mobile devices.
An excellent way to avoid using your phone is to use it only for verbal communication. Need to send an email? Use your computer.
Need to set an alarm? Get an actual alarm clock. Relying on your phone less will prevent you from needing it more.
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How To Have A Stress
Something I’ve personally found helpful with creating better boundaries around my own social media use is implementing “cut-off” times for my phone. Starting around 9 p.m., I won’t check social media and I won’t look at it again until after 7:30 or 8 a.m. the next day. While I’m not totally avoiding using it, I feel like this time frame helps me feel much more centered and positive, not reactive and distracted.
Ending Social Media Addiction: 5 Basic Steps
Although I now call myself a marketing and innovation philosopher, I have a background in psychology. I spent years doing the research for my own book, to fight my own smartphone addiction . I continued learning and doing research about the issues, as well as coaching people around me.
From all this, I have devised the following five-step plan to specifically help in fighting social media addiction and smartphone overuse.
These are the basic steps to ending smartphone addiction. In the next section I offer you my five advanced steps, to go even beyond that.
Here are a few I recommend:
Now, after taking these basic steps, you might be ready to take it to the next level.
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