Social media is entertaining, and the signs and symptoms that indicate you’re addicted may appear innocuous. However, when social media addiction sets in, the dangers become very real.
Whether you’ve considered the signs and symptoms of social media addiction or not, social media is something that most of us spend a significant amount of time on every day.
Because our social lives have been put on hold due to the pandemic, we are turning to our phones for interaction far more frequently.
How Frequently Do You Check Social Media?
According to studies, prior to the pandemic, the average amount of time spent per day on social media was 2 hours and 22 minutes.
That’s already a significant amount of time, and while we don’t yet have data for the pandemic, imagine how much that’s likely to have increased. Even before the pandemic, the amount of time spent on social media was steadily increasing.
A quick glance on Facebook or Instagram is no longer an issue, and checking Twitter a few times per day is acceptable.
However, if you find yourself falling into the realms of social media addiction, you must pay attention to what you’re doing and take action to prevent it from becoming a major problem in your life.
Now that I’m older, I have a love-hate relationship with social media. For starters, it allows me to communicate with my friends and family all over the world.
However, far too much drama has erupted, particularly on Facebook, for my liking, and I dislike how much it forces us to compare ourselves to others. In that case, it is risky. However, when used for the right reasons, social media has a lot of advantages.
What Exactly is Social Media Addiction?
You may be wondering why social media is so addictive when you can simply put your phone down. The problem is that some people struggle to know when to stop. That is how you become addicted to social media!
You develop a severe case of FOMO (anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media) as a result of your obsession with wanting to know what’s going on.
There is no clear path to a diagnosis of social media addiction, and it is more a matter of how you feel when you are not on social media and how much time you spend on it. It could be about all social media platforms, or just one or two.
How Does a Person Become Addicted to Social Media in the First Place?
Addiction to social media occurs when your brain is influenced by the amount of time you spend looking at platforms.
In this situation, you use social media frequently and compulsively, i.e. you can’t stop yourself from looking at it. It becomes a natural part of your day, the first thing you look at in the morning and the last thing you look at at night, with many sessions in between.
You might be thinking to yourself, “I use social media like that,” but the important thing is how you feel about it. Do you want to take it or leave it? Or do you feel compelled to investigate? That is the primary distinction.
It’s also about how the content you’re watching makes you feel. Do you use social media to make you feel good on a regular basis? Do you constantly compare yourself to others on social media?
Do you rely on it for verification? All of these are negative consequences of social media addiction.
According to researchers, approximately 10% of US citizens are addicted to social media. That’s a lot, isn’t it?
How You Get Caught Up In The Web of Social Media Addiction
Scrolling through a favorite platform becomes a major part of your brain’s reward system for those suffering from social media addiction.
This is due to an increase in the amount of dopamine released by your brain, which has a strong association with rewards, such as the feel-good factor and pleasure.
Your brain then rewires itself to think, “hey, this is a good thing, I should do it more often.” Finally, when you can’t get your hands on a device to check your social media platforms, you feel compelled and almost panicked – you crave the feel-good reward.
16 Signs and Symptoms of Addiction to Social Media
You might believe that a social media addict has a distinct personality, but this is not the case. Anyone who uses social media frequently and for the wrong reasons can become addicted to it.
Let’s take a look at a few solid signs and symptoms that may point to social media addiction.
1A Lack of Self-Esteem
This could be due to a variety of factors, but it could also be due to the assumption that everyone has a better life than you. When you see everything that is being posted and how it is packaged to look like a perfect picture, it’s very easy to believe this.
This is rarely the case – people like to pretend their lives are perfect, usually to make others feel bad and themselves feel better. Isn’t it sad?