As information becomes faster and more accessible, people are becoming closer to each other than they realize.
Through social media, they can share their interests and personal lives in an instant and for the whole world to see. With platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, it’s possible to fill others in on what we think, say, and do.
Last year, the number of social media users was 3.6 billion people. By 2025, Statista.com expects the number to reach 4.4 billion users. Indeed, this shows how much social media is becoming a ubiquitous part of our lives.
Still, too much of something can be dangerous. And this applies to the relationship between social media and mental health.
The Consequences of Social Media Addiction
Social platforms were initially created for a single purpose: communication and socialization. An article published by the University of Nevada considers this as a positive effect of social media use, saying that it helps develop social skills and relationships.
As these platforms evolved, however, habits and attitudes transformed as well. The increasing reliance on social media can cause people to feel more anxious, self-conscious, and dejected.
People who flaunt their “perfect” lives will cause others to reflect and feel inadequate about their own. And as much as they bring people together, social platforms can actually increase the risk of depression and suicide.
There is also the problem of fake information and cyberbullying, but the worst that can occur is social media addiction.
Symptoms of Social Media Addiction
Social media addiction is a real problem, especially during this pandemic when people are asked to keep social interactions to a minimum.
Here are the symptoms to watch out for:
- Feeling the urge to use a social media platform during idle hours
- Tendency to forget about personal issues
- Feeling anxious about being unable to use social media even for just a short time
- Becoming unproductive and less focused on career and other important life aspects
- Unable to allocate more time for other pursuits
- Using social media as a coping mechanism to stress and anxiety
In severe cases, addiction to social media can lead to physical effects. Prolonged usage, for instance, can cause a person to neglect their physical needs and make questionable life choices based on the unverified information they encounter.
If you or someone you know manifests any of these symptoms, then it’s important to seek help.
Dealing with Social Media Addiction
The only and yet most challenging way you can deal with a social media addiction is to control your urges and limit your screen time. The challenging part is having to maintain your usage restrictions.
A better option is to delete social media apps altogether and take part in a hobby that doesn’t involve technology.
If in case the addiction is too much, there is no other course of action to take but to get professional help.
Look for a psychiatric clinic that specializes in treating severe addictions. At MidCities Psychiatry, we know how important social media is to modern life, but we also know how overreliance can lead to mental and physical problems.
Our solution is anchored on not just treating patients but also putting them on the path to a more fulfilling life. Give us a call today and learn more about our services.