Social media addiction is having a compulsion to use social media in excess with attention solely on status updates or looking at people’s profiles. A study at Chicago University says that this addiction is stronger than alcohol and cigarettes and Harvard University says talking about yourself stimulates pleasure. Go-Globe says that 2.03 billion people use social media and 18% cannot go a few hours without checking Facebook. There are five million photos uploaded daily on Instagram and 500 million tweets a day on Twitter. It is important to be in control of your time spent on social media or it can destroy your physical and mental health over time.
Addicts spend more than an hour everyday on social media. You could also be flipping through a variety of different social media, constantly posting on each one. You have a tendency of over sharing your every thought for the purpose of approval and acknowledgement. A lack of sleep can occur whether you are going to sleep late or waking up really early in fear of missing out on an update. Social media is also an escape away from daily stress like work, school, or your social life.
There are physical impacts that can occur from social media addiction such as carpal tunnel syndrome where you have problems with your hands or wrists from too much typing. Typing on your smartphone can also cause strain in your finger tendons. You could also develop eyestrain from staring at the screen for too long. Social media can also be a distraction as it can be dangerous to look at your phone while driving or walking across the street.
Your mental health can be impacted where you have a low self-esteem as well as feelings of envy looking at everyone’s “idealized” lives on social media. It will make you not want to have real social interactions if you can say one thing to hundreds of people in one click. Your mind will be occupied in viewing photos, liking posts, and commenting instead of learning something new.
Once you admit you have a problem, disable push notifications to lessen the urge to constantly check your feed. Do something productive like walking, reading a book, exercise, or a new hobby. Think about what the audience likes to see before you post. Most importantly, live in the moment instead of living to occupy your social media feed.
Castle Craig Hospital is a landmark of addiction and mental health treatment in Scotland, serving the UK, the EU, and patients from all over the world. Our commitment to long term abstinence has created a successful program of clinical and complementary therapies for mind, body, and spirit. Serving over 10,000 patients for more than 25 years, the Castle Craig model is proven in changing lives. Call our 24 hour free confidential phone-line for information: 0808 231 7723. From outside the UK please call: +44 1721 788 006
Page last reviewed and clinically fact-checked | January 28, 2020