How to deal with social media addiction (Part 1)
Published On December 20, 2022 » 1739 Views» By Times Reporter » Features
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SOME people are “cyborgs”, which means that their lives evolve on social media, and they feel they cannot do without it. Their thoughts, their opinions, everything about them is about social media.
They are cyborgs because even the artificial intelligence embedded in the social networking sight controls or knows their behaviors and moods.
Social Media and networking have made life easier by connecting people around the world. It has gained popularity, transforming how human beings interact and do business. Families, communities, businesses, education, and general news are all connected which is adding value to life.
Oxford Dictionaries defines Social Media as “Websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking”.
The most popular social media websites and applications are found in the categories of social networking, social curation, wikis, forums, microblogging and many others found on the internet.
Here are the most popular examples; Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and many more are coming.
Because of its complexity and attractive features, a lot of people tend to use social media excessively which leads to serious negative effects on their daily lives and at times results in job losses, marriage breakdown, financial debt, unhealthy body or mind, and academic failure.
Developers of social media content always attract users by constantly developing new irresistible attractive features.
Smartphones and other mobile devices are always found in our hands prompting users to spend more time checking online activities every time the phone alerts. Even though it does not come out explicitly social media developers are making users believe that “people are meant for social media”.
When Social media gets to hold the centre of our lives, it leads to social media addiction.
Social media addiction can also be like any other addiction such as alcohol addiction, addiction to food, addiction to TV, and addiction to smoking; you can add more to the list. Addiction is a result of overindulgence. These are common types of social media addiction ranging from cybersex, cyber-relationships, online gambling, information
searching, and online shopping.
Before we get deeper into our topic, let me mention to you that this article is not meant to have some technical arguments. I am sharing this subject with the intention that those who will identify the need to be helped will consider seeking expert advice.
I did my best to do my own research and I think if you need to know more about this subject do more research so that you can help someone in need of help or maybe help yourself
Symptoms of Social Media Addiction
Although a lot of people do not easily admit to this addiction, early detection of symptoms may help the victim manage his/her situation by applying remedial from experts. According to Dr Kimberly Young, the first psychologist to document internet addiction, these disorders are similar to impulse-control disorders.
Meeting the following symptoms can lead to a diagnosis of internet addiction disorder: Feeling preoccupied with the internet and Thinking about your previous online activity or anticipating the next time you will go online.
A person has a strong desire to be online for lengthy periods to feel satisfaction. (Similar to a tolerance that is addressed in substance abuse problems).
Having a lack of control in efforts to stop using the internet or to cut back use. Feeling restless, irritable, depressed, or otherwise moody when not using the internet.
Staying online longer than you originally planned to jeopardizes a job, relationship, educational opportunity or other important opportunity because of the internet.
Lying to friends, family members or others in an effort to conceal the true amount of time that you spend online or your actual activities while online. Using the internet as a way of escaping reality, escaping problems, or relieving a negative mood.
I am not writing to bring judgment on social media users who may find themselves with these characteristics, spending more long hours a day on social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram, and checking updates before anything else in the late at night and early morning. Having more connections with people via social media than in real life.
Cancel activities with friends and family to be on social media. Imagine your partner is seated there busy on social media, there won’t be a mutual connection between couples. Get anxious feeling when you log into your social networks. Like chatting online and then calling someone or even visiting them in person. Check social media constantly when you’re out with friends and family. Share personal secrets on social media that you regret later.
Announce personal events on social media before announcing them to real-world friends (engaged, pregnant, or “in a relationship”.) Feel agitated if you can’t go an hour without “checking in”. Get extremely upset when your favourite social media platform is down.
Reasons for Social media Addiction
People become addicted to the internet for a number of different reasons. Oftentimes, the urge to compulsive use the internet is the result of a desire to manage unpleasant feelings, such as depression, anxiety, stress, or loneliness. Some feel socially inept in the real world and turn to social media interaction as a means of feeling close to people, while others may lose themselves online in an effort to temporarily feel better. Unfortunately, the internet, when used compulsively, can lead to many consequences. Many people use the internet to mask anxiety, depression, or other mental illness. Some people have an intense hunger for knowledge and the internet provides immediate access to tons of information that can be very attractive for information addicts. Some people have anxiety when they are face to face with people or suffer from other social disorders that make it difficult for them to interact in real life but easier to interact online. Many people, especially those who do not have a companion, interact online to fulfill a void that causes them to feel lonely. I remember a friend of mine told me that she feels accepted and appreciated on Facebook. Many people who suffer from a real-world addiction to shopping or gambling will shift their addictions to an online version such as internet gambling or excessive shopping online.
We will conclude this topic in our next column. The Author is a Speaker, Mentor, Educator, Trainer, Professional and Community Leader, and Information Technology (IT) Service Delivery and Cybersecurity. For comments email:; 

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