Is Social Media an Addiction

Increasingly we are witnessing a large amount of research that points to the addictive nature of social media. Now of course this makes sense but it's not all bad news. 

There is an increasing number of young people leaving social media. It appears that when asked these people say that they either found it stressing them out or that they found themselves neglecting the real world and those they care about in real life. This doesn't surprise me as whether we like to admit it or not younger people are more likely to recognise these signs and to do something about it. 

A study I was reading stated that of course social media can be addictive like anything else in life can. Just because you are not an incessant poster doesn't mean you are not addicted. Some signs to look out for are being anxious when you haven't been on in a while, the need to "just check" your Facebook when you should be focussed on something else, the need to look at every alert or notification as soon as they appear, responding or checking your phone during a meal. These are only a few. It also discussed those who claim that that being on social media relaxes them.  This is highly unlikely as sites such as FB have been proven to cause stress through the shear volume of information. It gave the example that if you asked a drug addict or alcoholic why they drink, they will say it helps them relax or escape. Sounds familiar doesn't it. 

That doesn't mean that it's all bad it just means that you need to teach yourself how to control it. It is really entertainment, so treat it as such. If something or someone really needs you they will ring, put your phone where you can't see it at night and put it on Do Not Disturb, as many phones will allow phone calls in from people you have placed on your Favourites list. Make sure you are not looking at your phone every time you get a notification or alert. So put your phone or tablet away and concentrate on connecting to those you love and those who truly value you in real life. 

Remember what is important and what is truly urgent. Give yourself time to reply to messages but allocate a time or times each day to do this. People need to learn that you don't always have your phone next to you and that you will get back to them when you choose and not instantly. Otherwise it will become expected.