There are many positive aspects to social media, but there is an increasing problem, especially among young people social media addiction. This addiction can impact every area of your life, from your mental health to physical safety. Usage of social media was already on a pretty steep upwards trajectory, but this has been accelerated by the pandemic, as people were forced to stay behind doors to find other ways to occupy their time.
Here’s how to tell if you or someone close to you could be suffering from social media addiction.
It’s the first and last thing you do every day
Is the first thing you do in the morning checking your social media accounts? Is it also the last thing you do before you go to sleep? Then this is a good indication that this is taking up too much space in your life.
It distracts you from your day
Checking your phone every few minutes is going to interfere with all of your other daily activities. Checking it at work will stop you from focusing and even impact your job performance. If you’re driving and can’t resist checking then you are risking your own safety and that of others. Distracted driving is one of the top causes of car accidents in many countries. Don’t risk it.
It starts affecting your relationships
Nobody wants to be around someone who is constantly on their phone rather than talking and engaging with them. Sooner or later, people will stop trying to spend time with you because you’re making them feel like they don’t matter. This can cause huge rifts with your partner, friends, and even your children.
The number of ‘likes’ becomes too important to you
People are increasingly measuring their self-worth by the likes and comments they receive on social media. Ask yourself how much it would affect you if no one responded at all? Would it make you feel upset or ashamed? If so, then your mental health could be starting to be affected by your social media use.
Your life revolves around your next post
Spending all of your time trying to create the perfect Instagram picture or TikTok video means that you’re missing out on the spontaneity of life. Obsessing over things looking a certain way or writing your next caption is not time well spent.
You cannot be separated from your phone
During those times that you can’t look at your phone, how do you feel? If it gives you a sense of anxiety, then you are going to need to find a way to unplug. It’s not always as simple as a digital detox. Genuine addiction needs to be dealt with very carefully. For some people, this could mean disconnecting immediately, for others it might be a more gradual behavior change that is needed.
It’s easy to write of addiction to social media as a silly affectation of young people. But it can go well beyond that and have a tremendous impact on lives. If you feel that you might have a social media addiction, seek out resources to help you get it under control.