According to phychologytoday, addiction, “Addiction is a condition in which a person engages in use of a substance or in a behavior for which the rewarding effects provide a compelling incentive to repeatedly pursue the behavior despite detrimental consequences”
Istockphoto from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/internet-addiction-changes-brain-similar-to-cocaine-study/
In this era, Social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc. have taken over our lives and well-being. We often visit social media several times a day to get updates, which translates to spending too much time that it interferes with other aspects of daily life.
Researchers at Chicago University concluded that social media addiction can be stronger than addiction to cigarettes and booze following an experiment in which they recorded the cravings of several hundred people for several weeks. Media cravings ranked ahead of cravings for cigarettes and alcohol.
And at Harvard University, researchers actually hooked people up to functional MRI machines to scan their brains and see what happens when they talk about themselves, which is a key part of what people do in social media. They found that self-disclosure communication stimulates the brain’s pleasure centers much like sex and food do.
Are you spending too much time checking social media several times during the day? Do you log on to social media sites when you are waiting for a bus, walking back from school or work, at doctor’s office waiting etc.?
An addiction to social media might not be something you’re ready to admit, but it’s estimated that 54% of social media users feel some level of addiction to their social network of choice. Research shows that 46% of users visit their favorite social network several times a day or even constantly. You might argue that your constant social media log-in’s are out of boredom or curiosity. Whether that’s the truth, or you’re checking to see how many likes and comments you got on your latest post, constantly checking your social media may mean that you have an addiction.
According to CBS news, “Several recent brain imaging studies, severely effected Internet addicts show structural and functional brain abnormalities similar to those found in people with substance abuse problems. Other research has shown that Internet addiction frequently coexists with anxiety, depression, or an addiction to other things like alcohol or drugs”
Are you still thinking that you are not addicted to social media, right? Put a checkmark on these signs to see if they apply to you:
- You check your Phone first thing in the morning.
- You take your phone to the bathroom.
- You get upset when you don’t get the response you were hoping for.
- You lose track of time browsing through social media.
- You schedule your posts
- You question your posts when they don’t attract attention
- You re-read and double check social media
Do you believe now that you have all or some of these signs that you are actually addicted to social media? Are you feeling bit guilty that you do lose track of time when you are on social media web sites? It’s time for you to set some rules and break this addiction.
- Calculate how much time are you spending on social media
- Be Vigilant- set a per day time limit to use social media and stick to it.
- Get back to spring cleaning i.e. Delete friends perhaps you have never spoken with since they became part of your friend list on social media.
- Get back to basics- Decide who you really want to be friends with. The larger the friend list, the larger the news feed.
If you are still having hard time discipling yourself with this addiction it is best to go cold turkey and deactivate your account or delete the app from your smartphone. Personally, I found by deleting the app from my smartphone helped me to be in present and enjoy the people and moments vs checking the news feed.
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