Did you know that social media addiction is a real thing? For some people checking their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social accounts really can be addictive. Millions of people use social media every day. And some of those people become addicted to seeing how many new likes, comments, or other interactions they get.
Social media sites are designed to keep people interested and coming back often to check their notifications. No one wants to miss out on an important post or the chance to show off a new selfie. Many social scientists have conducted experiments showing that the way social media are designed encourages people to check the sites often. By making people afraid that they are going to miss out on something big these social media sites make sure that people are always checking in on social media.
The Line Between Addiction and Healthy Social Media Use
It’s very common for people to check their social accounts at work. Many others always check their social media sites on a tablet or phone before bed or when they wake up. That’s not really a cause for alarm. According to psychologists, the biggest indicator of an actual social media addiction is showing signs of withdrawal when it’s is not available.
Someone who can’t turn their phone or tablet off at night or who can’t sit through a meeting or a 20-minute drive without checking all their accounts might be addicted. There is a greater danger of teenagers becoming addicted to social media than there is of adults becoming addicted to social media.That’s because teenagers are constantly seeking approval from their peers, their parents and friends. When they get positive attention from people on social media they will keep coming back as often as they can to get more.
Modern Culture Plays A Role Too
But it’s not just teenagers who get addicted! The hectic pace of life means that people don’t always time to spend talking on the phone or going to see friends and family. Staying constantly connected through social media can make it easier for people to keep up with their friends and family members are doing. The constant stimulation from social media can replace the desire to actually interact with friends and family in a more meaningful way.
What To Do About It
Social media is a great tool for checking in with the people that you don’t get to see often. It’s also great for promoting a business or personal brand. But if you think that you might be heading towards addiction or you think a loved one might be developing an addiction, there are things you can do.
The best way to focus on using social media responsibly is to set limits on how much you consume it or your children consume it. Start by turning off the computer, phone, and tablet at least an hour before bed. Instead of checking your accounts, try doing something together as a family like watching a TV show or having a snack and talking. Or try reading a book, making some art, or taking a long bath before bed instead. When you get up in the morning instead of reaching for your phone or tablet take some time to meditate. Or get some exercise.
If you want to see your productivity increase at work cut back on your social media use at work too. Create a schedule of times during the day when you will check your social media accounts and then stick to it.