Social media addiction is a term that is often used to refer to someone who spends too much time on social media like Facebook and Twitter or other forms of social media. As a result, it affects the person’s daily life. Addiction simply means a compulsive behavior that leads to negative effects. And in this case, social media addiction is referring to someone who has a compulsive use of social media. For example, people who constantly check updates on Facebook or “stalking” other people for hours.
Signs and Symptoms
If you want to know whether you are a social media addict, look at how you live your life and how you spend your time. Social media addiction can be considered a habitual disorder and the signs can be identified from what you do each day.
Social media is the first thing you do in the morning
What is the first thing you do once you wake up in the morning? If your answer is to check Facebook or update your status on any social media platform, it is a clear sign that you are addicted to social media. Almost every addict will start their day with a morning routine of checking and pointlessly scrolling through what they have missed on social media after the long hours of sleep at night.
You waste your time looking at nonsense and procrastinate
One thing that makes people less productive and accomplishes less in life is procrastination. People can spend hours scrolling mindlessly reading news and updates that have no meaning at all. They can be a form of entertainment, but in reality, most of the things shared through on social media will not do any good to your life. For example, some people scroll through videos of funny cats, while others “stalk” others and some swipe through their ex-girlfriend’s pictures from years ago. Most of these activities are time wasters and they do not add any value to your life.
You check notifications all the time
Checking notification can be a normal thing to do when your phone buzz. However, if you are checking it all the time regardless of whether your phone buzzes, you may suffer serious addiction. People check their phone because they receive notification, and most of the time, the notifications are from social media. Which means to say that these notifications are not really that important in your life.
You only want to contact and talk to your friends via social media
This is another sign of showing that you are a social media addict and the disorder slowly takes place in your life. Gone are the days of phone calls and text messages. With the introduction of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat, people may choose to contact you using those platforms and avoid real physical contact. If you choose to use social media as the only means of contacting and talking to other people, the sign is clear that you are a social media addict.
Craving for internet connection
The existence of internet is not the issue, the real culprit is that with internet access, people can easily connect themselves to social media. And when there is no internet connection available, the addicts will feel stress and uneasy. Social media addict cannot live a life without internet, even for just a few hours. They will feel anxiety and choose to enter places with an internet connection.
You take photos of almost everything
There are plenty of videos and photos that went viral showing someone involved in an accident, but the bystander did nothing besides taking photo or video for social media use instead of helping the ones in need. This has become a serious issue and society condemns the ethical of the one who chooses to share the incident on social media than giving a helping hand. If you are taking photos of everything, from the food you eat, the movie you watch, to constantly taking selfies and sharing them on social media, you should keep an eye on your behavior.
Social media becomes part of your life
Social media has been created to connect people with ease and to build relationships. There is nothing wrong with this, but if it has become part of your life and you cannot live without checking Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, you know that something is wrong.
Ways To Stop Your Social Media Addiction
How much time do you spend on social media each day on average? Do you spend a lot of time on them and they have become part of your life? If so, you need to do something about it and never let this habit grows into disorder.
Turn Off Your Notifications
When you stop notifications from disturbing your normal routine, you might find it easier to concentrate on your daily tasks and not get distracted so easily. Notifications are a constant reminder that something is happening in the online world and you might feel like you’re missing out. So turn off your notifications. The bonus is, when you do come around to checking your social media, you may have a build up of more notifications which will make it more exciting and will make the experience more rewarding.
Set a timer on your watch or phone, to limit the amount of time you spend on social media. Choose a limit depending on the severity of your addiction say an hour a day, which equates to seven hours per week and whenever you check your accounts, start your timer going. When you reach your limit, be strong and don’t be tempted to add on extra time. This will be a strong test of your willpower, but it will be worth it in the end.
Get A New Hobby
You may have a lot more free time on your hands now that you’re trying to cut down on your social media usage, so why not pick up a new hobby to fill your spare time? You could learn a new skill or do something you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time. You’ll probably surprise yourself at how much free time you have when you stop mindlessly scrolling through your newsfeed. Plus your new hobby will keep your mind and hands preoccupied when you’re craving social media.
Spend More Time With Your Loved Ones
Instead of keeping up to date with your friends’ and family members’ lives through a screen, spend time with them in the real world and reconnect with them. Make new memories and keep them personal to you — you don’t need to document everything you do in life with selfies.
Make It A Treat
Look at social media as a treat. You might not buy an artisanal coffee everyday or get your nails done every week, but you may reward yourself with these kinds of small treats when you feel like you deserve it. So think of social media in the same way: only allow yourself screen time when you’ve achieved something or you’ve done something productive first. This way you might change the way you think about social media.
Deal with your boredom
Mostly, people use social media because they are bored or just lazy. Really, though? Go learn a new language, pick up a book, watch an Indian film, discover new hobbies, take an online course – just turn off your phone and go do something new.
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