The sad fact about social media addiction is – we don’t even realize when we slid into the addiction zone. For a long time, we don’t want to accept that we’re already addicted. Yet, it’s only you who needs to take charge of your life and address the concerns before they become too large to handle.
So, let’s see what exactly is this social media addiction and if you’re on the right page.
When one or more social networks start consuming over 4 hours of your day; when the virtual world seems to be one of your priorities; it’s a loud enough sign that you might be falling into addiction.
Signs & Symptoms of Social Media Addiction
If you are wondering if you’re addicted to Social Media or not, watch out for these common symptoms of Social Media Addiction;
1. First thing you do after waking up is checking your Whatsapp and social notifications
2. You spend hours looking at your newsfeed
3. You check in at every location you go
4. You count ‘Likes’ and ‘Shares’ and it gives you kind of a different high
5. You ask for wifi password and connection availability at places you go
6. Likes and Hearts MATTER a lot to you
7. You feel tempted to check your phone in the mid of your family get-together, meetings, conversations
8. You make a post and status of almost every happening in your life
9. You tag people on most of your posts even if it is not related to them
10. You have started hashtagging about everything in the world. #feelinghigh #ilovelife #whataredoing #mycatiscrazy
11. You feel strange when someone doesn’t respond to your social media message soon
12. Everything you found great, you take a picture first and then feel it. You make sure that you post
13. You have started posting how you helped a poor or someone in need or worked for a cause too often (unless you’re a part of an NGO)
14. Number of followers feels like an achievement
15. If you’re awake or not sleepy, you prefer scrolling through social overdoing anything more productive.
16. You feel like checking your phone every 5-10 minutes.
17. You love surfing to an extent that your phone has started giving company in the toilet.
18. You realize that you have wasted hours every day only after wasting hours and still wasting hours next day.
19. You clearly can feel that you’re not being your true self.
How and Why Exactly Social Media Addiction Happens?
Social media is indeed entertaining and a lot of times, useful. It requires the self-discipline to put limits.
When we fail to put limits, it leads to overuse of social media, eventually making the person addicted.
The habit of feeling good with so much virtual attention from strangers starts disconnecting us from reality. It happens so slowly that we don’t even get to know.
How it is affecting your life, slowly but threatening enough
Social media addiction is raising health issues and disorders such as isolation, defensiveness, headaches, lack of sleep, overthinking, weight gain/loss, trained vision, anxiety, etc.
A recent study shows that 79% of the population between the ages 18 and 44 have their cell phones with them almost all the time—with only 2 hours of their waking day spent without their cell phone on hand.
And this is creating a rising population with a modern ailment called “Text Neck” along with several spine and cervical ailments.
Unfortunately, most of us take these early symptoms lightly but they lead to serious mental and physical concerns affecting every area of one’s life.
Another major concern is the contradiction people face in real life. One tends to look good and show good-self online. Having attention from social media leads to high self-worth and when it contradicts in real-life, it becomes the reason for rejections and negative behavior.
Moreover, you may end up getting into unnecessary arguments and conversations.
The way users are sharing too much about their personal life and everything they do, it’s exposing them to predators serving every possible information.
Most importantly, it takes away your precious time that never comes back.
Social media addiction stats (and they are life-threatening)
- 94% of mobile phone and smart device owners are on social media platforms. Crazy, right?
- Teens who spend 5 or more hours a day on their phones are twice more likely to show depression symptoms.
- Young single females are addicted to social media more than any other group
- 71% of the people sleep with or next to their mobile phone
- 50% of people driving while using a smartphone are checking social media
The good news is, no matter how addicted you’re, you can fix it. Let’s see how.
How to get rid of social media addiction
1. Accept your addiction
Any solution starts with accepting the problem. It begins with accepting and acknowledging that you’re addicted to social media or anything that’s online. Realizing that it has started to impact your life and goals and you can’t let it happen anymore.
The moment you’re feeling this firm, you’re ready to get rid of your social media addiction and it’s going to be easier for you.
2. Uninstall the social media apps from the phone – One at a time
Never uninstall the social media apps in one go. You can never get rid of an addiction forcefully. Usually, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp and Tiktok have been seen the most addictive. Take baby steps and start with removing the one you check the most. Take slow and steady steps to reduce anxiety and withdrawal symptoms.
Most of us are using WhatsApp for business purpose. You can make moderate yet great use of WhatsApp by keeping the notifications on mute and set a time to check your WhatsApp.
3. Set your digital time
Start limiting the amount of time you spend on social media. Start with 45 minutes a day. 15-20 minutes around late morning and 15-20 minutes the early evening. Try that you avoid social media 3 hours before your bedtime.
4. Start a hobby or a new routine
Your reduced social media usage will make good time and space in your day. Use it to divert your mind with one new activity or hobby you love doing. This will keep you from getting back into addiction.
5. Take a walk without a phone
Step out without phone or listen to the podcasts/songs as you walk.
6. Meet friends
Surprise them with arranging a meeting or inviting them over tea or just join them. The more you spend time with real people in real life, the more you stay away from social media.
7. Promise Yourself Not to Check Phone In a Meeting
Unless there is a call, do not scroll through a newsfeed or check notifications. Even if you’re bored, stick to your commitment and stay in charge. It’d not only keep you be present fully with the other person but also makes the person you’re meeting feel respected and important. Liking in real time is far more beautiful than liking virtual posts.
8. Reward yourself
Saving yourself from social media addiction itself is a reward. But what wonders it will do to your day, life and even business are going to be a huge reward. When you find yourself wanting to spend lesser time on social media after a week of effort, reward yourself with a gift or treat. Do anything that makes you feel rewarded and motivated.
Technology, social media, and the internet, all these are to ease our life, not to use life.
Being a social media and blogging coach myself, my whole business life revolves around digital media. However, I spend no more than 2 hours a day online that covers my business, communications and 20 minutes of social media time.
Ultimately, we need to understand the importance of real life and real-life activities. No one knows better than you how much digital time is needed and good for you. Just stay in charge of your life. The moment you let your devices and internet take charge, life will start falling out of your hands, so does everything that comes with life.
Your turn now. What’s your say on this? Got any question or opinion to share? I would love to see your comments.
See you soon