Other Dangers Of Addictive Use Of Social Networks
Social media has opened windows to a world of possibilities, it has removed geographic barriers and given us unique opportunities to create near-instant connections with others, Croarkin said.
But physical interactions have also decreased.
Paradoxically, social media can also diminish other important forms of face-to-face communication, reducing opportunities for close bonding, increasing feelings of loneliness in some people, and potentially contributing to conditions such as depression and other emotional problems, Croarkin added. .
They can also create a universe parallel to our real life.
We tend to believe that what we see is real, that all likes represent how people really feel, and that current affairs reflect what most people believe, Prinstein said. All of these are false, but many people, especially children and adolescents, change the way they think and act based on what they see online.
The networks can also quietly break the self-esteem of some people, such as adolescents, who are some of the most affected by their excessive use.
According to research by parent company Facebook, Instagram can have a negative impact on the mental health and body image of teenagers, especially girls.
Facebook has aggressively dismissed the reports, calling many of the claims misleading and arguing that its apps do more good than harm.
It is not about eliminating or removing from your life a social network, a drug, sex, but to make good use of them, he said.
Other Mental Health Resources
If you are struggling with other mental health issues or are looking for a specialist near you, use the Psychology Today therapist directory here to find a practitioner who specializes in your area of concern.
If you require a lower-cost option, you can check out BetterHelp.com. It is one of the most flexible forms of online counseling. Their main benefit is lower costs, high accessibility through their mobile app, and the ability to switch counselors quickly and easily, until you find the right fit.
*As an affiliate partner with Better Help, I receive a referral fee if you purchase products or services through the links provided.
As always, it is important to be critical when seeking help, since the quality of counselors are not consistent. If you are not feeling supported, it may be helpful to seek out another practitioner. I wrote an article on things to consider here.
Social Media: The Socially Acceptable Addiction
The Internet is like a bottle of wine. With it, you can lift your mood, appear more confident than you really are perhaps do things you wouldnt normally. A key difference: we dont let children consume alcohol. It makes sense alcohol can be addictive, and acts as a depressant in the long run. On top of this, alcohol consumption can have a detrimental effect on childhood development. Why then are children allowed such free reign on the internet, despite the mounting research into the negative impact of social media addiction?
Trigger Warning // addiction, depression, suicid
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Why We Are Addicted To Social Media: The Psychology Of Likes
Written by Steve Rose
On the go? Listen to the audio version of the article here:
Is social media this generations heroin? Are we raising a generation of social media junkies, dropping in and out of the real world, always chasing that next like-button high?
Ive dug into the research to answer the question of why we are addicted to likes on social media, and this is what Ive found:
Likes on social media are addictive because they affect your brain, similar to taking chemical substances. Likes symbolize a gain in reputation, causing you to constantly compare yourself to your peers.
Lets look at the research in more depth.
Also, if you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, you can check out my resource page for suggestions on how to find help.
Limiting Teens Social Media Use To Prevent Addiction
Parents can have a crucial role in preventing addiction by limiting their teens use of social media. A 2020 study says, Encouraging parents to be proactively involved in limiting childrens and teens use of smartphones and social media may be helpful, given that social media use appears to become problematic when it surpasses one to two hours daily.
The study suggests that while parental controls work well when reducing media use by children, open discussions are more effective with adolescents. Modeling responsible smartphone use also is a good tactic for parents who want their teen to use their smartphones responsibly.
Responsible use also might include setting boundaries around phone use. According to Ecole Global, creating boundaries might consist of turning off social media platform notifications, deleting unnecessary social media apps, and creating a physical distance between the phone and the individual.
Parents can let their teens know that they will be monitoring their social media accounts for unacceptable behavior, checking them as often as once a week, the Mayo Clinic suggests. Examples of inappropriate behavior include gossiping, spreading rumors, cyberbullying, or doing anything to humiliate another or injure their reputation.
If you believe your child has already been harmed by the effects of social media, please contact us for a free case evaluation.
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Access To Valuable Credible Information And Resources
Social media is particularly valuable in times where face-to-face interaction isnt safe, and to people who live in remote areas, are unable to engage with others due to social anxiety, or who are part of a marginalized, disenfranchised group. However, these positive aspects can benefit anyone who uses these platforms.
- Negative Aspects of Social Media
Social medias positive aspects may seem promising, but these platforms may have a long-term on your mental health. In addition, many people engage in dangerous or hateful activities on social media, contributing to feelings of depression, anxiety, and isolation.
Some of the most negative aspects of social media include the following.
Dominant Characteristics Of Social Media Addiction In Teens
Paradigm Malibu explains that social media addiction most often entails two distinct characteristics of addiction: the extensive amount of time spent on social media and the underlying reasons why theyre engaged online.
A teen with a social media addiction has an overwhelming desire to participate in the virtual world. The teen will feel internal pressure to check their updates, add new statuses, post a photo, or engage in other online activity. A teen addicted to social media will prefer the virtual connections and relationships to those in real life. As the teenage years are a pivotal time for social growth in teens, this desire can be harmful as the teen may not develop healthy or appropriate social skills.
Another common characteristic of teens addicted to social media is the desire to create an attractive and likable virtual view of their life. A teen may spend more time taking photos of their fun activity then they actually spend participating in and enjoying it. A teen may become so consumed with taking photos of themselves on the beach, at a concert, etc. that they actually miss enjoying the beach or concert.
While the teenage experience is full of pressures and stresses about being good enough it is even more so for a teen with a social media addiction. The constant pressure to gain likes and comments hinders their ability to find their true identity in an authentic way.
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Are You Addicted To Social Media
Smartphones, Snapchat, Instagram, and other social media technology help you stay connected. Youre born with the drive to connect with others. Its good for your physical health and psychological well-being.
But what if you find yourself becoming too connected to social media?
Theres growing evidence to suggest that some individuals can develop a dependency on social media thats not unlike an addiction to alcohol or drugs, says Paul G. Simeone, Ph.D., Vice President and Medical Director of Behavioral Health at Lee Health. Their overdependence on social media has led to symptoms typically associated with substance-use disorder.
In fact, there are now therapeutic programs in psychiatric hospitals and behavioral health clinics across the U.S. dedicated to treating social media addiction as another compulsive disorder.
A 2019 survey found that 40 percent of U.S. online users aged 18 to 22 years reported feeling addicted to social media. Five percent of respondents from that age group admitted the statement I am addicted to social media described them completely.
The findings correlate with another study that reported 4.1 percent of boys and 3.6 percent of girls who are intense social media users display internet addiction.
Simeone cautions that because social media technology is new, research is just emerging that people may form addictions to social media.
Signs You May Be Addicted To Social Media
While many people use social media habitually, addiction is not nearly as common. If you think you may be addicted to social media, consider the following signs:
- Having urges to use social media that you cant control
- Using social media to forget about personal problems
- Negative impacts of social media use on your work or personal life
- Using social media during other activities, like driving, eating, or spending time with loved ones
- Finding it difficult to stop or reduce your social media use
- Becoming reliant on social media to cope with your problems or feel happy and satisfied
- Thinking about social media constantly and needing to log on at every opportunity
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Depression Anxiety And Isolation
Face-to-face interaction is very important for our mental wellbeing. Consistently prioritizing social media and digital interaction over seeing other people can exacerbate mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.
High social media usage may also increase feelings of loneliness and isolation, while less digital interaction lowers these feelings and improves your overall mental health.
It Has Become A Habit To Check Our Phone Regularly To See What’s New You Can Check Your Notifications Once A Day To Reduce Your Social Media Usage
Representational Image. Pixabay
Most of us are addicted to social media today. Whether you use it to connect with friends and relatives or for watching videos, social media is the go to thing for each one of us. Binging Netflix or scrolling on Facebook, in a world dominated by technology and smart devices, losing minutes and hours is something very common these days.
These websites and apps are eating away most of our time, so much so that it has now turned into an addiction. Social media addiction can quickly eat away at the precious time that could be spent developing skills, enjoying time with loved ones, or exploring the outside world. Studies have shown that it can also cause mental health issues like low self-esteem, feeling of loneliness, depression, and anxiety.
Are you someone, struggling with these problems? Here are some of the ways to deal with it:
Have a social media free day: At least once or twice a week, celebrate a Social Media Free day. It may be on a Saturday/Sunday or whichever day you feel is suitable for you.
Check your notifications once a day: Over time, we get used to the little Instagram, Whatsapp, or Facebook icon appearing on our screen. It has become a habit to check our phone regularly to see whats new. You can check your notifications, once a day to reduce your social media usage.
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All Leisure Time Is Spent Online
It is normal to spend time online. However, if to do that, you are refusing to attend outdoor activities, meeting with friends, and such, you may want to look into ways on how to manage social media addiction.
MentalUP is one of the most productive ways to utilize your childrens spare time. It has many educational and entertaining games, and it allows you to track your childrens progress. You can also set time limits, which will make it easier to supervise.
Social Media Use Impacts Your Relationships
People with a social media addiction often ignore their in-person relationships in favor of digital interaction. If you have an addiction, you might interrupt conversations to check your phone, withdraw from your family and friends, and experience issues in these relationships related to your social media use. You may also find it difficult to engage in in-person conversations without constantly checking your phone.
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Teen Social Media Addiction: A Cause Or A Symptom
Research shows that teenagers use of social media goes hand in hand with increased teen depression and lower levels of life satisfaction. The frequency of a teens use of social media has a clear correlation to how they feel. A CNN study of 13-year-olds and their relationship with social media, called #Being13, found that participants who checked social media 50 to 100 times a day were 37 percent more distressed than those who checked just a few times a day. Those who checked more than 100 times a day were 47 percent more distressed on average.
But is social media a catalyst for depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues? Or, is teen social media addiction a symptom of a mental health disorder? Experts agree that it can go both ways.
There could be many reasons a teenager would become depressed, anxious, or experience social phobias while using social media. In addition, there are just as many reasons why social media is enticing to a teen with an existing mental health issue, Kristin says. Most teens have difficulty regulating and expressing emotions, and also have a huge susceptibility to peer pressure. This puts them at risk for experiencing anxiety or depression as a result of social media, or for existing mental health issues to get worse.
The Pros Of Social Media
One of the significant benefits of social media is that it offers a faster way to connect with more people. So whether youre live-streaming an exercise class or chatting with a friend via a messaging app, social media gives you more ways to communicate and connect with others.
Social media also offers ways for like-minded people to find one another and build relationships. For example, there are hobby groups on Facebook and popular hashtags for niche topics on Twitter that help people with the same interests find each other and create online communities.
In todays world, many argue that social media plays a vital role in building connections between people and keeping those connections strong. It offers everything from professional networking to crowdsourcing ideas, sharing news, and playing online games together. However, this all-encompassing power of social media also contributes to its downsides.
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Struggling With An Addiction
If youre struggling with an addiction, it can be difficult to stop. Gaining short-term relief, at a long-term cost, you may start to wonder if its even worth it anymore. If youre looking to make some changes, feel free to reach out. I offer individual addiction counselling to clients in the US and Canada. If youre interested in learning more, you can send me a message here.
How Do You Know If You Have A Social Media Addiction
A person can suspect having social media addiction if they spend increasing amounts of time and energy on social media. Another major indicator of problematic social media use is its negative impact on an individuals life and personal relationships.
Because social media is now the priority in an addicts life, they may start neglecting responsibilities and ignoring real-life relationships to engage with social media users. This interference in daily life functioning ultimately leads to a poorer quality of life.
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Why Social Media Is So Addictive
Courtesy of Shutterstock
Has the hype about social media turning us all into narcissists, egomaniacs and internet drug-addicts run its course? I doubt it. A quick search on Google and youll find hundreds of articles warning us of the drug that is social media.
Some interesting facts:
Its hard to argue against the idea that many people are addicted to Social Media. Its also tempting to suggest that its turning us into narcissists and egomaniacs I dont buy it.
Does Social Media Isolate Us
It depends on how you use it.
Facebooks mission is to Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. But is social media actually bringing us together?
As a sociologist, I took a look at the research. Here is what I found:
Social media use is correlated with depression and low well-being. Yes, this conclusion itself sounds depressing, but lets take a look at the data.
A 2016 study surveyed 1787 19-32-year-old men and women, finding social media use was was significantly associated with increased depression.
Another 2016 study found the following:
Taking a break from Facebook has positive effects on the two dimensions of well-being: our life satisfaction increases and our emotions become more positive.
Internet use is correlated with decreased loneliness among older adults. So its more complicated than the above studies might suggest.
According to this 2015 study looking at individuals 65 and older:
Higher levels of Internet use were significant predictors of higher levels of social support, reduced loneliness, and better life satisfaction and psychological well-being among older adults.
How you use social media makes a difference. According to another 2016 study on the correlation between Facebook and well-being, the researchers found:
Specific uses of the site were associated with improvements in well-being.
So what made the difference?
Another 2016 study found the same for Instagram:
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