Social Media Addiction: Is it a Real Thing?
Social media has exponentially grown in recent years. From a way to connect people in distant places, it has become a tool to design a second life in which we live with the people who surround us in real life. Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram have become our daily bread and butter.
We use them for everything: from learning about what is going on around us to passing the time when we are bored, from showing off our best pictures to looking at those of others. In fact, the social media platforms have turned themselves into an essential part of how we interact with the world.
But is social media really so addictive? Or is it just something that most users have been conditioned to believe by society’s constant pressure overusing it? We explore all that in today’s blog post.
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Is Social Media Really so Addictive?
The concept of social media addiction is that a person gets so absorbed into the life they present online that it becomes a part of their real life. This can manifest in different ways, from spending excessive time on the internet to having thoughts about checking your account so frequently and constantly such that it begins to affect how you think or feel about anything else.
In this way, there are two types of social media addiction: those who use online social networks too much and derive psychological satisfaction by curating an online persona with which they identify more than the one who appears offline, and those who yearn for constant feedback from others throughout the day.
However, these are just some examples since almost any activity performed frequently enough could be considered an obsession or obsession depending on its context, but many realize that without social media, they can live perfectly than if they are addicted to it. The concept of social media addiction is still controversial since it has yet to be recognized as a real psychological disease. Nevertheless, recent studies have shown that excessive use of technology could generate problems related to sleep deprivation, anxiety, and depression, among other things.
The Psychological Impact of Social Media Addiction
Social media addiction is a concept that has been widely discussed in recent years. This discussion comes from the growing concern over the negative aspects of technology on mental health, its addictive power, and how it leads to long hours immersed in front of screens.
In this way, some have been found several problems related to excessive use of social networks such as depression or anxiety due to an online life full of lies created by themselves. In general terms, many people tend to feel more positive about their lives when they present them through a screen since they can hide certain details that may be considered embarrassing or shameful by those who live with them in real life.
However, it is not only a question of showing a perfect version of yourself on the internet. In some cases, people have had real identity crises so great as to have even been diagnosed with a dissociative personality disorder. In this way, in many cases, they end up believing that the reality in which they live is not what appears in front of their screens and that it is much better.
So, how Addictive are Social Networks Really?
Well, we can say that today there is intense pressure from society to be seen on the internet. In fact, many people feel like they need to update their profiles with pictures or posts daily to feel accepted.
On the other hand, when we think about the number of selfies taken every day by people worldwide, it begins to seem evident that users have become so accustomed to being greeted by an audience whenever they log into their accounts. However, this is what happens with all forms of technology: it is difficult to be separated from them for fear they will no longer be valued or used by the rest.
For example, imagine not checking your email or phone for a whole day. You might feel detached and anxious. It was precisely because of this that the term “nomophobia” was coined (an abbreviation based on “no mobile phobia”) to describe extreme anxiety caused by separation from your digital devices.
What are the Possible Consequences of Social Media Addiction?
To begin with, using social media for a good cause like being a virtual assistant really doesn’t qualify as social media addiction so it shouldn’t be confused with being attached to the platforms. Now, even though there is still no clear evidence that links “technology addiction” to mental health problems, many users commonly believe that they suffer because of it.
This occurs especially among young people who spend hours every day in front of their screens, passing through diverse profiles until exhaustion. For example, one study has shown that excessive use can impair sleep patterns, and another has pointed out higher levels of anxiety and depression among social media addicts.
In this way, the excessive use of mobile devices can generate significant changes in brain chemistry since it activates the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter linked to pleasure and reward processes. In addition, the rise in activity caused by virtual connections generates an increase in cortisol levels (so-called “stress hormone”) related to negative emotions such as guilt or sadness.
Final Words: Is there Treatment for Social Media Addiction?
Really, you need not to be worried about social media addiction if you’re using it in growing your brand. Perhaps your only concern would be if you are not finding enough time for other activities like studies which again, referencing to the best essay tips should help you figure out how to organize your activities.
As previously stated, social media addiction is not currently an official psychological disease. However, some psychologists are beginning to investigate how to treat its symptoms. For example, there are some programs that help people improve their abilities to concentrate and stay focused on the tasks they need to complete without having to give up social networks completely. However, research still continues into what kind of therapies could be used for them not only to help the individual but also to find a solution that will allow him or her not to feel judged or misunderstood by society.
Eun Rockwell is a skilled blogger and academic writer cum editor who works with professional college essay writers online. She likes to try new challenges to help with her growth. Eun’s hobbies are reading books and traveling. You can reach her via Twitter @rockwell_eun_