It might seem like we are constantly scrolling, tapping and clicking our lives away. It appears that way because evidently, it’s true.
What Is Social Media Addiction?
Feeling the need to constantly update your social media platforms and checking to see whether your latest post has been received well by your friends are just some of the signs associated with this very 21st century problem.
One big problem with social media is that it negatively impacts your real life relationships. Have you ever caught yourself absentmindedly checking your phone when someone right next to you is trying to have a chat? Or have you ever taken a photo simply so you can put it on Facebook? Maybe you’re one of those people that loves taking photos of every meal they’ve eaten. While that’s one thing, having to put it up on social media simply for your circle to see can be a sign of social media addiction.
While it might be easy to palm this off as a young person problem, it’s actually older demographics that make up for a large number of active Facebook users. While Gen X and millennial have control over Instagram, baby boomers have Facebook firmly in their grasp. Globally, people over the age of 45 make up for 20% of Facebook users.
- On average Australians aged 14 + spent over 8,000 hours between March 2017 and March 2018 on some form of social media. While that sounds like a large amount of time, it equals less than half an hour each day.
- Some psychologists believe social media can be more harmful than smoking cigarettes for a person’s emotional well being.
- 56% of social media users said they feared they were missing out on something when they were offline
- 60% of females surveyed admitted to being addicted to social media
Does Social Media Addiction Need to be Treated?
While social media addiction is yet to be officially recognized as a clinical addiction disorder like drugs, alcohol or gambling, it’s starting to be seen as a behavioral issue that can be treated. Just like other addictions, just because you use social media (just like people are able to have a drink without being addicted) doesn’t mean you have a obsessive relationship with it. If your job entails spending 5 hours a day using social media platforms, that doesn’t mean you are necessarily addicted. It’s when things start to go wrong in your life because of social media. Say for example, you feel such a need to post and scroll through Facebook that you miss an important appointment or if you prioritize social media over quality time with loved ones. If you think you might have an issue with your own social media usage, start by setting limits on the amount of time you spend scrolling. For example, switching off your socials by 7 pm each night and waiting at least 30 minutes after waking up to scroll is a great way to start. Social media addiction isn’t widely understood yet but with younger generations being exposed to it much earlier than previous generations, perhaps in the future there will be a rehab program for social media addiction. Or at the very least thumb rehab for all the incessant scrolling that they are subjected to on a daily basis.
Do you think you’re addiction to being online LiveTribers?