What is social media addiction?
We see that today, even toddlers are aware of social media websites and children as young as 10 years old have their accounts on at least one of these social media websites. Many are monitored by parents, but many others are let loose to do as they please. Such activities may seem pretty harmless, but this exposure can lead to excessive usage of these websites. Researches indicate that this excessive usage can cause social media addiction just like the addiction of alcohol or drugs. Social media addiction is a reality and for some children and even adults, it can be absolutely lethal.
The symptoms of this addiction can be similar to other types of addiction too. The addict will feel an ever increasing urge to engage in addictive behavior, i.e. to log on to his/ her account and stay logged on for hours and the addict will feel bad when he/ she is not able to indulge in the addictive behavior.
Social media dependence is creating a mental health issue in teenagers:
It has been noted that teenagers who are becoming heavily dependent on social media tools have increased chances of going through mental issues like depression, stress and anxiety.
They start to associate their success and abilities with the number of ‘likes’ they get on their posts or the number of followers. Many such children feel quite depressed when their friends get praises on their posts and they do not. These comparisons can add to their mental image of themselves.
In many of the studies, egocentrism is also linked to social media addiction as it is a platform for such people to get praises and appreciation.
This addiction can lead to other issues too:
The problem is not isolated and can lead to many other issues in students too. For example, when students start to spend most of their time on these websites, they do not find enough time to do their homework and studies. Many such students then turn to the websites to buy assignments online and try to buy homework from academic writing agencies or writers.
It has also been seen that students who use excessive social media websites are more likely to fall into peer pressure and experiment with drugs and alcohol.
How to treat it?
The best way, as prescribed by many researchers, to treat this addiction is to cut yourself off completely from these websites. This, although, is a short term solution as like other addicts you will be tempted to use the websites soon. But, how can one completely cut oneself off from social websites as the temptations i.e. internet, laptops and smart phones have become a necessity and these websites are easily accessible via these tools. The long term solution is to learn moderation. As we cannot completely eliminate the internet, laptops and smart phones from our lives, so the key to treat social media addiction is not to eradicate these websites, but to normalize your daily usage.
Mary Fernando is currently working as an academic content writer at www.buyassignment.net. She is also a mentor and counselor for students who face troubles in writing professionally for an academic audience.