Social Media Addiction

A couple of weeks ago, we talked about social media and mental health. That post got a LOT of reactions. Because of that, this week, I wanted to continue and talk about Social Media Addiction.

What exactly is this type of addiction? The National Institute of Health, defines it as:

“A type of behavioral addiction that is broadly defined as compulsive engagement in social media platforms that significantly disrupts the users’ functioning in important life domains, such as interpersonal relations, work or study performance, and physical health [14,15].”

While this sounds quite dire, it doesn’t mean that everyone fits into the category. Personally, I would define this as not JUST compulsive engagement but also an over reliance on the platforms to give us a sense of belonging which is separate from the lives we lead in the non digital world.

Social Media Addiction

I know I am guilty of getting up in the morning, getting my coffee, and then jumping to check on my various feeds. It could be Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and even Twitter. I refuse to call it X because that is just fucking STUPID! It’s almost as if those little notification numbers are a beacon saying, “come see what we have for you today.”

I remember a time when there was no social media. We had to get our news and gossip from actual pages and not a screen. As a child of the 1990s, it was fun to watch shows like Entertainment Tonight or the news. We got to know what was happening in the world. If we wanted to connect with our friends, we picked up a phone. We made plans, and took actual pictures with non smartphone cameras.

How to Fight Social Media Addiction

There are many ways to fight this addiction. Here are just a few:

  • Take an entire day away from social media. That includes turning off all notifications.
  • Put your phone down at a specific time at night and do not pick it up again.
  • Turn off the phone
  • Finally, set timers to limit your consumption of social media,

I don’t want to blame the people who check their feeds for this addiction. There have been many studies on social media consumption. Many have said that these companies intentionally make things look a certain way. It’s meant to draw us in, contributing to the addiction.

When I was growing up, we were told that watching too much TV would mess with our eyes and rot our brains. Now we have TV with us as well as these platforms almost 24/7. It’s an issue!

If you think you may be addicted to social media, I encourage you to find a professional to help. It’s a fairly new concept but I’m positive there is a professional out there that can help.

Until next week, my friends! Be well and namaste.

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