With a large number of the world’s population now connected online through social media, psychosocial health advocates and experts are now worried about how social media addiction is affecting people’s digital health. For users who recognize this risk, the question is whether or not they can use social media without becoming addicted.
Not everyone who logs into social networks are social media addicts. This term is not medically or scientifically coined to refer to a disease or a disorder affecting a person’s digital well-being. It is used to refer to the excessive use of social media in a way that interferes with daily living.
The seemingly harmless activity of connecting with family and friends online through social media possibly becomes harmful when people engage in it excessively. They no longer have time for their other activities, it has been speculated. When they need to log off and be away from their screens, they feel anxious and uncomfortable. This creates problems when they have other commitments and responsibilities to fulfill.
It becomes an addiction when the person is already dependent on the activity to satisfy his often self-declared needs. Experts have suggested that social media addiction is even more serious than alcohol and nicotine addiction. The activity was found to stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain in the same way as food and sex.
Over 3 billion people all over the world are social media users, 210 million of which are considered as social media addicts. More specific studies have been conducted all over the world to identify the ill effects of social media addiction.
The study further concluded that screen exposure is a big factor in the development of sleep disorders. Nearly half of those who reportedly spent more than the average amount of time on their phones were found to have difficulties sleeping.
Every online user has a choice and can certainly decide, where, when, and for how long to stay connected on their social media account. No one should feel compelled to be available to interact with on the social networks. You can use social media without becoming addicted.
You have to be clear on what your goals are in your online activities. You also have to acknowledge and commit to the fact that social media is just one aspect of your social life (or professional life, for those who do it as part of their job or for business).
Here are some of the other things that you can do in order to maintain your digital health and spare yourself from becoming addicted to social media:
Think of all your tasks and responsibilities and make a schedule. You can choose to designate your break times for your social media activities. You have to make sure, however, that you do not go beyond your scheduled break. Be strong enough to resist the temptation of staying online “for 5 more minutes, or maybe 10.”
You can also designate no gadget times or areas in your house. No one – for instance, is allowed to bring out his phone during dinner. Some modern apps have been developed to help with this issue. With these apps, you can set a schedule when you want to be logged out of your social media accounts.
Social media addiction is not impossible to avoid. There are easy steps that you can take in order to prevent it from happening. To ensure that you are taking care of your digital health, assess yourself regularly. This way, you can easily catch yourself when you are sliding towards social media addiction.