Abusing social networks can lead to Social media addiction that complicates interpersonal relationships and performance in important activities of daily life.
Social networks are a means of communication that does not stop. Through the different digital platforms, people can always be communicated and informed. However, excessive use can lead to social media addictions.
The way of relating has evolved along with technology; the distance that separates people no longer matters; they can always be communicated. This evolution has made it much easier to meet and interact with new people on a constant basis, which is not always positive for personal development.
Human beings require a certain coherence to achieve proper development. But the rapid advance of new technologies has complicated this. An example would be when a person’s information on their social media profile does not correspond to their reality.
What is Social media addiction?
By behavioral addiction, we understand the fact that a person needs, in an irrational way, the performance of a certain activity. In the case of addiction to social networks, it is an intense behavior pattern towards the use of digital platforms designed to connect people.Read:Polarized thinking, a cognitive distortion
Usually, a social media addict will have profiles created on various platforms. It could start by opening a profile on Facebook, Instagram, or any other. Now, with the passage of time and the gratification you receive in immediate interaction, dependency occurs.
What keeps people glued to social media screens is the need for gratification . The reward may come in different ways. For example, the likes in publications, the comments or simply the small talk with someone.
A risk factor in this type of addiction is low self-esteem. When a person has not been able to establish their personal assessment at an early stage of development, they could find a space in social networks in which they feel safe.
Within behavioral addictions’ symptomatology, the loss of perception of time stands out. That is, a person addicted to social networks is not aware of the number of hours he spends using them.
Other symptoms can be irritability when you cannot review notifications or voluntary isolation from your social group. Gravity tends to intensify gradually, something similar to a snowball that keeps getting bigger.Read:Polarized thinking, a cognitive distortion
Now we will see a list of other symptoms that usually occur in this type of addiction:
- Loss of interest in important activities: studies or work. Decrease in academic or work performance.
- Sleep deprivation in hours of the night.
- Frustration when the internet connection is poor.
- Significant difficulty in reducing the connection time to the networks.
- Lying about the time of use of social networks.
- The pleasant feeling of euphoria when you start using the networks.
- Anxiety when listening to alert notifications.
Who is most at risk?
Interpersonal relationships are important for teenagers, so that social networks represent an important part of their routines. In this sense, the continuous and intense use that young people give it makes them prone to generating addiction to them.
Adolescents like to feel that they are part of a group with which they have identified. However, many do not easily fit into friendships and feel left out. In this sense, social networks have become a viable alternative.
The danger for adolescents is due to the fact that they have not yet established the rational thinking of an adult, and they tend to act compulsively when something brings them joy. In such a way that when they experience the feeling of belonging through social networks, they spend a lot of time glued to the screen.Read:Exercising helps you be smarter
The new technologies provide great benefits to society, but they also have a bad side, as often happens with most things. The negative impact that social networks have on people’s lives starts from the way they socialize with their peers to affecting their relationship with themselves (self-esteem).
Young people who have access to screens at an early age will grow up with limitations to express themselves personally. Consequently, they will be adults who repress their emotions or express them in maladaptive ways because they do not have the necessary resources to establish a good interaction.
Another detrimental aspect of social media is the easy access to negative stereotypes. In this way, young people are influenced by others who achieve a certain level of notoriety and try to imitate the lifestyle that influencers lead.
Despite being complicated at the beginning, with the establishment of healthy and adaptive habits, we can significantly reduce the time on social networks.
Next we will see a list of some effective ways to detach from the screens:
- Avoid having social media applications on the screen; use the search engine to access.
- Establish the number of hours per day that you will use social networks.
- Stay away from the cell phone screen at least an hour before going to sleep.
When to seek professional help?
Professional assistance should be sought when addiction prevents a person from having a healthy routine. In short, if there are complications in 3 or more areas of life due to the continued use of social networks.
To prevent addiction to screens from occurring, it is a good idea to be clear about how we use technology. Indeed, if people recognize the reasons for using social networks, it is much easier for them to be moderate.
In most cases, when we realize that we spend hours glued to the cell phone screen and we are not productive, a feeling of discomfort occurs. Hence, it is important to define what use we want to give to social networks to prevent addiction.1
- Domínguez Vergara, Julio A., and Jessenia Ybañez Carranza. “Addiction to Social Networks and Social Skills in Students of a Private Educational Institution.” Purposes and Representations 4.2 (2016): n. P. Purposes and Representations. Web.
- Araujo Robles, Elizabeth Dany. “INDICATORS OF ADDICTION TO SOCIAL NETWORKS IN UNIVERSITY OF LIMA.” Digital Journal of Research in University Teaching (2016): 48–58. Digital Journal of Research in University Teaching. Web.
- Cholán, Alejandro, and Leticia Valderrama. “Addiction to Social Networks and Academic Procrastination in Students of the Universidad Peruana Unión Filial Tarapoto.” Repositorio.upeu.edu.pe (2017): 65. Repositorio.upeu.edu.pe. Web.
- García del Castillo, José A. et al. “Conceptualization of Emotional Behavior and Addiction to Virtual Social Networks.” Health and Addictions / Salud y Drogas 19.2 (2019): 173–181. Health and Addictions / Salud y Drogas. Web.