Leaving aside the scientific jargon, if social media addiction is to be understood it is very important to have an understanding of what entails addiction. Addiction would simply mean the constant urge to use an object or subject incessantly. So, what does social media addiction mean, firstly as Homo sapiens we all seek human interaction be it in the form in person socializing or through technology which is through social media apps. Technology undoubtedly helps us maintain those relationships and becomes a boon as it transcends geographical boundaries. On the flip side it can have catastrophic repercussions, when one is unable to restrict their social media use which hampers their day-to-day functioning can take the form of Social media addiction where their intense urge to use social media becomes problematic.
How does social media addiction impact our daily lives?
Social media addiction can have debilitating effects for people and it just doesn’t affect a person’s life in one area but has a multidimensional impact. For children going to schools if they have social media addiction they are more certainly going to slack off in academics this may restrain them from performing to their full potential. Moreover, social media apps are designed with a purpose to hook the viewers and more the viewer is hooked to their apps the better is for them and the worse for the person. It continuously, brings us the content that we wish to see and hence get addicted to it. Not just we are addicted to it but it also strengthens are beliefs (and often times it is our biases) by suggesting us content similar to our search.
For teenagers and adolescents and children alike it can assuredly distance them from physical activities which is crucial for their physical and mental growth. In addition to that it can severely impact their sleep cycle and for adults it is bound to have a consequence on their work life as well. This inefficiency in work can have an influence in their interpersonal affairs at workplace and even at their homes. At home when you are addicted to your social media it takes away your crucial family time, as you use that time on your social you are missing out on important events at family and if one does attend to them they are not fully engaging in it. So it is a problem that affects people across different age groups and their multiple aspects of life. Is there a way this addiction can be managed, and the simple answer is a yes, like any other behavior and psychological problem this is manageable and treatable. The next section will delve into those methods.
Ways of managing social media addiction
1. Setting a time: More often than not when parents are busy and they do not have time to play with children they give them cell phones and as children get exposed to electronic devices early on it becomes difficult for them to get rid of it later. One very good way parents can take care of it is that they must encourage their children to play outdoors and inculcate habits of physical workout. In addition to that it would do wonders if parents can make time to play with children. Even if they give their children phones they must set a schedule and time limit for their usage.
2. Have limited social media apps: having less number of social media apps would certainly reduce the amount of time devoted to social media apps.
3. Have someone to check on you: when you feel that it is becoming more and more difficult for you to restrict you social media usage have someone that you are accountable to, ask either your colleague or friend if you are a workplace or family member to check on you if you are at home. This will definitely make it easier to reduce the frequency as it would in a way create a support system for you.
4. Adhere to the promise: one must constantly try to abide by the promise they make to themselves about not using social media. Additionally it is imperative to praise themselves for tiny milestones they achieve such not using their social media for two hours even, as when one praises themselves they intrinsically motivate themselves which a terrific way of getting rid of a poor habit.
5. Having a routine: Addiction is a problem which is also caused due a lack of routine and a good lifestyle. Having a routine of waking up at a certain time and eating healthy and doing regular exercise can be a very efficient method of fighting addiction. Even more important to creating a routine is incorporating that routine as a part of your life style.
6. Seek help: there are going to be times when one feels helpless and hopeless about their addiction and it becomes beyond manageable with the family’s support and then it is best one seeks help for their problem. Psychologists and Online Counsellor are well equipped with skills which inarguably help mitigate their addiction. With their expertise and their strong will one can overcome such an issue.