Helping Teens With Social Media Addiction At Paradigm
Here at Paradigm Treatment, the first and most primary function of teen social media addiction treatment is to reduce the amount of time that teens spend on social media. By restricting the amount of time teens spend interacting online, we help them prioritize real social interaction with their peers. Not only is this healthier, but this way, theyre more likely to develop a better sense of self. On top of this, we believe that it is important for teens who struggle with social media addiction to spend more time out in the fresh air. Our locations are all built near beautiful nature spots, from beaches to parks and hiking routes.
Getting Used to An Offline World At Paradigm, therapists simultaneously begin working with teens to evaluate and address the underlying reasons, triggers, and beliefs connected to their overuse of social media. As teens begin to make the connection between their overuse of social media and things like strained relationships, trouble at school, and a constant feeling of being distracted and anxious, our therapists can help teens cope with the potential causes of their addiction.
What Is Social Media Addiction
Its a little bit tricky to answer this question in a straight-forward fashion. Although it might seem pretty obvious, and we all have an intuitive understanding of what it means to be addicted to social media.
But please allow me to take you a little bit deeper than this surface level. What is addiction at all? And in the case of social media or digital technology overuse should we even call it addiction, or is it wiser and more helpful to call it something else?
Let me show you a few quotes to make you see why its a little bit more diffuse than just giving you the definition.
The relationships between digital media use and mental health have been investigated by various researchers predominantly psychologists,
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition does not include diagnoses for problematic internet use, problematic social media use, and gaming disorder , whereas the eleventh revision of the International Classification of Diseases recognises gaming disorder.
Experts are still debating how and when to diagnose these conditions. The use of the term addiction to refer to these phenomena and diagnoses has also been questioned.
As you can see: its hard to talk coherently and clearly about addiction to digital technology or social media specifically, for two main reasons:
Recognizing A Social Media Addiction: Smartphone Addiction Tests
The second thing we can do is to assess if we or the person that we think is at risk, might actually have a serious problem.
Heres a quick, global assessment you can take right away, from the US Addiction Center website:
If youre worried that someone may be at risk of developing an addiction to social media, ask yourself these six questions:
- Does he/she spend a lot of time thinking about social media or planning to use social media?
- Does he/she feel urges to use social media more and more?
- Does he/she use social media to forget about personal problems?
- Does he/she often try to reduce use of social media without success?
- Does he/she become restless or troubled if unable to use social media?
- Does he/she use social media so much that it has had a negative impact on his/her job or studies?
If you answered yes to more than three of these questions, then you may have or be developing a social media addiction.
- If you want to take a more sound and slightly more conclusive test, you might want to check out this Nomophobia test based on research from Iowa State University, or:
- This test by Dr. David Greenfield, at the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction.
Both of these tests have a scientific basis and are simple to use. Answer the questions and tally up your scores to get a decent indication of whether you or someone you care about indeed has a serious addiction to technology, their smartphone, and/or social media.
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What Are The Causes Of Social Media Addiction
To answer this question, I think it might be interesting to again look a little bit deeper. What causes addiction at all?
There are two videos Id like to share with you that I find to make our understanding of addiction and its causes clearer. This also makes our understanding of the allure of social apps and of social media addiction much deeper.
The first is this famed TED-talk by Johann Hari about addiction, where he explains how his research has led him to believe that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, but connection:
The old-school ideas about punishing addicts for their behavior are rooted in old, politically and morally colored thinking, which have muddied the scientific understanding of the problem for maybe as much as centuries.
Now, whats extra interesting ofcourse, in the context of social media addiction, is the problem that social media essentially function to give us a sense of connection. The question is is it the right kind of connection were getting, and is it a healthy way for humans to connect at all?
The second insight I want to share is the understanding I stumbled upon in this episode of the Tim Ferriss show with guest Gabor Maté:
In which renowned Canadian physician Maté explains his definition of addiction, as:
By that definition, Dr. Maté states, all of us in the West could be said to be addicted to sugar, bread, sitting down and social media as much as what most of us would define as a heroine-addict is addicted to heroine.
Find Treatment For Social Media Addiction Today
Social media overuse can often be a sign of an underlying condition, such as a mental health disorder or substance use disorder.
Call our helpline today to learn more about social media addiction and to find treatment thats right for you or a loved one in your life.
Written by the Addiction Resource Editorial Staff
Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.
These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.
- Addictive BehaviorsThe relationship between addictive use of social media, narcissism, and self-esteem: Findings from a large national survey
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Dont Have Your Phone By You Whilst You Sleep
It is not difficult to see how our phones wreak havoc with our sleep schedules. 45% of people choose to scroll through social media instead of sleep.
To combat this, place your phone on the other side of the room. If the phone is out of reach, we will be less tempted to check it. It is often an automatic reaction to reach for your phone and scroll through social media in bed. If you have to get out of bed to enable this, you will think about why you want your phone, and chances are that this will help you cut down on how much you use it at night.
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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Remove Your Phone From Your Morning Routine
Likewise, do not reach for your phone the moment you get out of bed. For a lot of us, the first thing we do in the morning is to check our phone. Avoid this! Not only does this exhibit an unhealthy dependency on our phones, the sudden huge quantity of content which will hit you as you scroll is too much for our tired mind to handle. This will overwhelm and distract us, and negatively impact our ability to focus for the day. Try not to touch it until you are at least settled into the day.
Check In With Friends And Family Offline
You can never really know whats going on with someone from their Instagram feed. Instead of assuming that youre all up to date with what your friends or family are up to, why not shoot them a text or give them a call? Even if you can’t hang out in person safely, you can stay connected without tapping through Instagram Stories. Need to spice up your Zoom happy hour? Try turning it into a weekly game night. Long phone calls may have fallen out of fashion, but theres nothing more rewarding than really connecting with someone in more than bitesize chunks.
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Experiment #: Complete Removal Of Social Sites For 30 Days
My first experiment was a complete removal of all social aspects from my routine: no Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, or LinkedIn for 30 days. Leading up to it, I raised objectionsbut I need Facebook for my work!, my brain sputtered, in a testament to the addictive power of the apps.
I logged out of each site and deleted all the apps from my phone. Then, I used Freedom, a website blocking tool, to restrict the social sites from my browser and phone. Finally, I had my partner take over my phone and install parental restrictions on browser sites with a password unknown to me.
The Results. Once I decided to go all-in, it was surprisingly easier to do than expected. There was a relief in being offline and deciding, once and for all, to do it. Heres what I learned:
After the experiment was over, I went back to allowing myself unlimited social media access and continued to track my usage using RescueTime. With a fresh perspective after a month away, I was able to more clearly see a pattern emerge around how I used the various sites, both for better and for worse. My key finding was the marked difference in my behaviors across devices: My laptop wasnt the biggest culprit for addictive behavior: when I was at my desk, working, I spent the majority of my time actually working. My phone was the biggest culprit for addictive behavior.
Questions Help Reveal If Youre Addicted To Social Media
NOTTINGHAM, England Are you addicted to social media? Ask yourself these six simple questions:
- Do you spend a lot of time, when youre not online, thinking about social media or planning to use social media?
- Do you feel urges to use social media more and more over time?
- Do you use social media to forget about personal problems?
- Do you often try to reduce your use of social media, without success?
- Do you become restless or troubled if you are unable to use social media?
- Do you use social media so much that it has had a negative impact on your job, relationship or studies?
If you answered yes to a few of these questions, its likely that you are a fairly standard, habitual social media user. Like most of us, you would probably benefit from a digital detox, a strategy to force you to reduce the amount of time spent on social media. This can be achieved through a few basic steps such as turning off the sound function on your phone, only allowing yourself to check your phone every hour or so, and dedicating periods in the day as self-imposed no-screen time.
However, if you answered yes to most or all of these questions, then you may have or be developing an actual addiction to using social media. Like any psychological disorder or condition, the only way to confirm this is through a formal diagnosis from a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist.
Steps we should take
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Negative Impact Of Smartphone Dependency On The Societal Or Group Level
Harder to research and substantially prove is the positive or negative effect of digital technology usage on the societal level.
What we can say is that these technologies have most probably facilitated the further political polarization in many societies worldwide, and the proliferation of fake news. Connected to these are the use of digital technology for unethical persuasion in the political and business arenas.
Its also reasonable to say that social media and Big Tech in general have played a role in the incitement of violence and even ethnic cleansing in the case of the Rohingya in Myanmar and other cases. Watch the above video for more insights.
Finally, the way that technological capabilities and the ownership of tech companies are distributed across the world, exacerbates already rising levels of inequality across and within societies.
All of these can logically be expected to exacerbate the negative effects on the individual levels, much rather than soften them.
Purge Your Friends And Follow Lists
Its difficult to purge your friends and follow lists because social media makes us feel connected. People have this sense of not wanting to miss out, Potter says. We think that if we make the connection, we might need them at some point.
Nevertheless, theres no harm in going through your social media contact lists and hitting the delete button, especially after youve asked yourself these three questions:
Do you know them in real life? Do they add positive value to your life? Are they a trigger?
If youve answered NO, NO and YES, hitting the delete, unfriend, or unfollow button can help make a difference to your long-term health and well-being.
Heres how to .
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The Loneliness Pandemic: Finding Balance And Staying Connected
Do you know about the increasingly deadly affliction all societies are facing right now? Im not talking about Covid-19. Im talking about Loneliness. A study of 308,849 people found that loneliness increased the chances of all-cause mortality by 50%. This is a greater risk factor than obesity.
Be it as it may that many if not all of us are now in danger of serious digital overload, stress, burnout and all other negative consequences of using digital technology and social media too much were still human, and we need to stay connected to feel good and thrive.
Make time to connect with people, and if you cant be together any other way, use the technological tools we have at hand today to stay in touch.
To that, you might find the following hierarchy of modes of communication useful:
Needless to say plan and spend more time on 1 & 2 than you would on 3 & 4, and so on.
Stay connected my friends, use technology to your advantage and maintain a healthy body and mind. To that stay connected to your Purpose, to your People, and to your True Self. Its the only way to start building towards a better and happier You, and a better and happier World.
Start Participating In Public Activities
The last option is through participation in a community group.
Such groups usually focus on solving different issues related to health, life, and family.
The members of these communities are very similar in terms of their problems.
The only difference is that they only talk about their problems in front of each other.
Thus, you will be able to find the most suitable solution for your social media addiction once you join a community group.
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Social Media Detox Tools
If you need a little help detoxing from social media here are a few free tools you can use:
- StayFocusd Chrome Extension This is the perfect tool if you use Google Chrome as your web browser and want to remove the temptation of checking Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- Instead of helping you do a full detox, this extension works to your Facebook usage more sane by removing the News Feed and replacing it with a quote.
- OurPact Block social media apps from your phone! Originally created for parents to control their kids phone usage, but its also good for adults who cant stop themselves.
If you find your life revolving around being on social media, you may just find that taking a break and putting some rules in place will greatly impact your relationships, improve time management abilities, and productivity levels for the better.
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