Social media platforms are a place for people all over the world to connect with friends, family, and strangers. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and Twitter are just some among the many social networking sites frequently used. However, social media can have a negative impact on users including FOMO (fear of missing out) and the need to constantly have people like, share, and comment on posts. These issues can cause a person to become addicted to social media and force them to constantly check their accounts on a daily basis.
What Is Social Media Addiction?
Social media addiction, also known as social media overuse, is the excessive use of social media by a person. The reasoning behind this addiction depends on the person, but it’s usually due to psychological or behavioral dependence. For example, a social media user may want to satisfy their psychological need to be wanted by others. Out of the billions of social media users, an estimated 210 million people suffer from social media and internet addiction.
10 Signs of Social Media Addiction
Feel The Need To Always Be On Social Media
The only thoughts you have on a daily basis surround social media. You feel the need to be on it 24/7 and be in the know about what’s happening around the world or with friends and family members. You may feel the need to constantly update others about what’s happening in your own life as well.
Constantly Monitor Your Posts For Engagement
Those that spend an excessive amount of time on social media often want to see how their posts are doing. How many likes, shares, and comments does it have? Has it gone viral? Monitoring posts often feeds the need many have to feel wanted and be noticed.
You’ve Become Distant From Your Friends & Family
Spending too much time on social media can take away from quality time with friends and family. You put off going out for checking social media and use the platforms as an excuse to avoid interacting with others.
Checking Your Account On A Regular Basis
With every phone notification, you jump and have to check your phone. You must regularly check your accounts to look at your feed, see the latest posts, and post about what’s going on with you. This occurs at all hours of the day, including in the middle of the night.
Irrationally Jealous Over Other Users
You are constantly jealous over others on social media, specifically influencers and celebrities. This jealousy can be of what they have, social media following engagement, and their experiences.
Overreact When You Cannot Access Your Social Media Accounts
It’s common for the Wi-Fi to go out or to not get data while driving. When this happens to those with social media addiction, they can become angry, irrational, and/or freak out over not being able to access their accounts. It could be to the point of causing a scene in public.
Overshare About Your Life and Daily Activities
Those who are addicted to social media are prone to oversharing about their life. For example, this includes posting about every meal you have or sharing intimate details about your relationship.
Spend 4+ Hours A Day On Social Media
The typical social media user spends 2-3 hours per day browsing their feed and accounts. If you spend 4+ hours per day on social media, you likely suffer from addiction.
Have Trouble Sleeping
If you’re constantly thinking about social media, this includes in the middle of the night. With your mind on social media non-stop, it can lead to a lack of sleep.
Lack of In-Person Communication Skills
When one is addicted to their social media accounts, they are less likely to interact with others in-person. With this, one’s communication skills decline which can impact personal and business relationships.
How To Stop Social Media Addiction In Its Tracks
Acknowledge Your Addiction
The first step to combating your addiction is to acknowledge it. If you don’t recognize it, then there’s no way to move forward with treating it. Answer this: Why are you addicted to social media?
Restrict and Block Social Media Use
To wean yourself off of social media, restrict your use of it to a certain amount of time per day. Then, try blocking your use of social media altogether and see how you do. An easy way to do this is by deleting your social media apps.
Set Technology-Free Times
Create times during your daily routine where you shouldn’t use your phone and other devices. For example, this could be while sitting down and eating, and after bedtime.
Keep Your Phone Out Of Sight
One of the triggers for most who are addicted to their phone and social media is having it within sight and arms reach. By having it in a drawer, bag, or another hidden location, your urge to look at your phone subsides.
Live In The Moment
To get your mind off of social media, try to live in the moment. Hang out and enjoy the company of friends and family. You could also take up a new hobby like hiking or reading a new book.
Turn Off Your Phone Notifications
To fight the need to check your phone, turn off your phone notifications. So, you will not hear your phone “ding” on a regular/hourly basis, interrupting what you are trying to do.