Social media has become an intricate part of everyday life. Starting out as a fun and instant way to communicate with friends and family, it has now become a platform for everything from business and marketing to socializing, research, and sharing. Sure, social media is beneficial for a lot of things, but it has inadvertently created a dependency for some and a need for attention from others. When used around the clock, one can become addicted, which can have a major psychological impact.
Do you get up and immediately check your newsfeed? Does the idea of not having access to wi-fi or data cause anxiety? Do you frequently check your posts for comments and likes? Are you constantly online competing for attention? Is every aspect of your life put on display or shared in a photo? If so, you’re headed down a dangerous path.
As great as social media is, too much of it can lead to disorders like depression, anxiety, and even post-traumatic stress which can cause self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. If Twitter, Facebook or Instagram have pushed you to these levels, you’ll need to find help from service providers like Haven House, a rehab in Los Angeles, to detox from harmful substances and underlying causes like social media.
Signs to Look Out for
So, how do you know if your online engagement is more than just a favorite pastime? Here are some signs to look out for below.
- It’s the first thing you think about – when you wake in the morning, do you say your prayers, roll over and kiss your partner, or even think about the things you must get done? Or, do you reach for your phone to see the latest on social media? If it’s the latter, you could be addicted.
- You can scroll for hours – checking out what your friends and family are up to is what sites like Facebook were designed for. However, if you find yourself years into your newsfeed or someone’s profile aimlessly scrolling through pictures and liking posts, this could be perceived as overkill and a red flag.
- You live for likes – who doesn’t want others to approve of their photos, feelings, or comments? It feels good to know that others agree or value what you have to offer. However, if you post something and check back every second to see how many people have liked it, you’re hooked. The same is true if you delete posts and photos that don’t receive enough likes.
- You do things for attention – doing things and getting a laugh or response out of others can be fun. Yet, there are some individuals who will do and say just about anything for attention. If you are willing to act recklessly and say things without a filter just to get a reaction out of others, you may be addicted to attention.
- It has taken the place of other activities – who doesn’t get caught up in their phones on occasion? If, however, your phone can replace the excitement and responsibility of other activities, this is a problem. If you are supposed to be hanging with your friends but spend hours checking for updates, you’re too attached to social media. Likewise, if you’re supposed to be working but you’re too busy trying to follow the latest trending topics, you need to get help.
Are you guilty of any of these addictive behaviors above? If so, it is time to unplug and detox from social media. Take a hiatus from digital communication and get back to enjoying things in the real world. If the use of social media has become something you can’t do without or it has begun to cause mental health issues and substance abuse, you may need to get help from an expert.